The collegial and charismatic city of Reading is most commonly associated with the musical exuberance of the yearly Reading Festival, a weekend during which thousands of music fans flock to the city's fields to enjoy raucous revelling. However, throughout the year Reading offers visitors an exciting array of activities related to everything from contemporary art to technology museums so it's a wonderful place to explore whatever the weather or season.
The Gorgeously Green Gardens of Forbury
Reading is a fabulous city that can be discovered for little or no money, so take advantage of the free activities during your visit. Begin the day with a romantic wander through the gorgeous greenery of Forbury Gardens, an inner city park that features blooming flower borders, tall trees and striking animal monuments akin to the iconic lions of London's Trafalgar Square. The park is upon the site of the former Reading Abbey, a place steeped in intriguing history and heritage. Next, immerse yourself in the city's fascinating story with a visit to some of reading's most celebrated exhibitions; begin at the Reading Museum for historical relics and beautiful tapestries, moving onto the REME Museum of Technology for a fascinating insight into dynamic technological developments throughout the ages. The Museum of English Rural Life celebrates Reading's fruitful agricultural heritage through a collection of captivating objects relating to food and farming.
The Roman Ruins of Silchester
For lunch, wander to the city's main train station for a hearty helping of healthy and wholesome hot pot; the Stewed! Kiosk offers gourmets a delicious range of warming stews throughout the day, including colourful combinations of beef and ale, three bean chilli and Pomegranate laced Persian stew, all served with either creamy mashed potato, white rice or exotic couscous. Once you've eaten your fill, discover the parish of Silchester, which is located just outside of Reading upon the ruins of the historic Roman town of Valleva Atrebatum. The short journey to the town will afford visitors splendid views of some of the best preserved ruins in Britain; walk alongside the crumbling wall and ascend to the top row of the magnificent amphitheatre for a unique and unforgettable experience.
The refined restaurants of Reading draw inspiration from the city's agricultural heritage by serving locally sourced and luscious ingredients that are present simply and cooked perfectly. Bill's Restaurant is a fantastic example of this wholesome and heartfelt cuisine; inside the restaurant, recycled potato sack cushions and enticing bottles of organic oil decorate the furniture and the menu features creative combinations of signature British staples. Feast upon dishes such as mustard spiked bubble and squeak with free range ham or the fresh flavour of the pea and mint risotto before setting out to explore reading by night. Toast your excellent excursion to Reading with an exotic cocktail in the elegant Mix Cocktail Bar for a taste bud tantalising conclusion to your stay.