Top 10 Things to do and see in Reading (Secret Reading)

Oracle Shopping Centre
The Oracle Shopping Centre is perhaps the favourite place for students to visit in Reading. With lots of shops inside the Oracle and bars and restaurants on the riverside, it’s a must for those who enjoy browsing, spending and relaxing. There’s more to Reading though than the Oracle as you’ll find out here.

University of Reading
Whiteknights campus Reading is fortunate among universities in having such a large and green campus. The campus has all different natural landscapes from lake and woodland to meadow and garden. Take 20 minutes to walk beyond the Students’ Union and explore the wild campus and the Harris Gardens. You will find yourself in classic unspoilt English countryside where you can forget about the demands of being a student and just enjoy the nature and scenery.

Madjeski Stadium
In 2012 Reading Football Club won the Championship League, meaning they are now promoted into the Premiership playing all the top UK teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. These teams will all be coming to Reading town to play Reading FC at Madjeski Stadium. The stadium is also home to Reading’s Ruby club London Irish. To see sport at its best there’s no better place in Reading than Madjeski Stadium.

Reading Museum and Abbey
Learn about Reading’s heritage. Reading Town Hall houses the Reading Museum, with 12 galleries of artefacts, exhibits and displays chronicling the history of Reading from back in the ice age, when the main inhabitants of Reading were gigantic woolly mammoths, through to the important industries that shaped modern Reading, such as biscuit making and brick making. Art exhibits are also housed here, it’s free to enter and after browsing at your leisure there’s also a café. In the museum you can learn about Reading Abbey in which the remains of King Henry I are buried. It is then only a short walk past Forbury Gardens to the remains of the Abbey in the Abbey ruins.

Shows, concerts and entertainment
Reading has a number of venues, the largest of which is The Hexagon. It is close to the Council Offices on Queens Walk and hosts many big name comedy acts as well as concerts of both pop and classical music and theatrical shows. Other venues in Reading include the Concert Hall at the Town Hall and 21 South Street each hosting an array of different events. To see what’s on and to book tickets look at the Reading Arts web site:

The cinema most students visit is Vue at the Oracle. However, Showcase Cinema at Loddon Bridge is another cinema in Reading and is bigger with 14 screens and often a larger selection of films. If you or a friend have an Orange mobile on Wednesdays there is a 2-for- 1 promotion at either cinema and as a teenager you can get 20% off at any time at Vue cinema. See web sites for more details:

The Reading wind turbine
With blades reaching 123 m high, the wind turbine at Green Park that generates electricity is perhaps the most famous wind turbine in the UK and is seen by millions each year who pass Reading on the M4 motorway. It is also seen by many as a symbol of the move towards greener forms of energy production. You can get up close to the gigantic wind turbine in Green Park and find out more about it from the information boards at the visitor centre near the foot of the turbine.

Readings parks and garden
The most famous of Reading’s public parks and gardens is Forbury Gardens with the large cast iron lion, locally called the Forbury Lion, standing proud and weighing a massive 16 tons. Other parks and gardens in Reading include Caversham Court Gardens on the bank of the Thames, Palmer Park and Prospect park. These are all free and a great place to play sports, relax and unwind.

The River Thames
Past the town centre on the north side of Reading is the River Thames. This can often be missed by students with the University situated to the south of Reading. Students who explore Reading though will know how delightful the river is. If you enjoy walking there are fantastic scenic walks along the river to Sonning to the East of Reading and Mapledurham and Pangbourne to the west. If you don’t like walking then take a boat cruise from Thameside Promenade near Caversham bridge to Mapledurham with cruises running every Saturday. See for details.

Reading Station Reading is fortunate to have excellent travel links to the rest of the UK. Make the most of these links by arranging trips to towns, cities and sites of interest within the UK many of which are accessible by train from Reading Station. Plan your journeys using National Rail Enquiries: