The Town with a Blend of New and Old

By: Douglas Scott

Reading is a town, in the Borough of Reading and urban area in the English county of Berkshire. The town is the historic county town of Royal Berkshire.
The centre of Reading is on a low ridge between the Rivers Kennet and Thames. It is a blend of the old and the new, with older buildings in the local red brick side by side with modern commercial buildings.

The town has developed as a business centre, housing the United Kingdom offices of a significant number of IT companies including Microsoft and Sage.

People come from miles around to sample Readings nightlife. It have the best selection of pubs in the area, as well as several bars with DJ's and clubs. All the water-front venues offer pavement cafes. The Oracle is the embodiments of cafe culture with bars, cafes and restaurants.

The Oracle Shopping and Leisure Complex has 90 new stores including brands such as Zara, Mango, Karen Millen, Disney Store and Mama and Papas and provides three storeys of shopping. It was built in 1999, and is named after the 17th century workhouse founded by John Kendrick. Broad Street on the main shopping thoroughfare is another shopping street which was pedestrianised in 1995.

Famous people of Reading include authors Michael Bond and Elizabeth Taylor, Entertainers Chris Tarrant, Marianne Faithful, Alma Cogan and most famously, actors Kenneth Branagh and Kate Winslet.

The towns three main industries in the Twentieth Century was Huntley and Palmers, Simonds and Suttons the three B's of Biscuits, Brewing and Bulbs. Most of Readings people worked in the factories of these three companies. By the turn of the millennium only the brewery remained.

The Hexagon offers a range of shows from comedy and drama, to live pop and rock.

The Forbury Gardens, which where originally part of Reading Abbey, were laid out between 1856 and 1864. The gardens are dominated by the Maiwand Lion, an 1886 memorial to the dead of the 66th Berkshire Regimentin the war of 1878-80.It was designed by George Blackall-Simonds.

the Riverside Museum tells the story of Reading's two rivers the Kennet and the Thames. It is situated at Blake's Lock and it occupies two former industrial buildings. A medieval mill wheel was found when The Oracle was built.

The Turbine House is a unique building that spans the Kennet with a waterside view of the town centre, housing preserved turbine machinery and occasional summertime art exhibitions and events.

Travel and Leisure
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Travel and Leisure