Reading is situated in an ideal location 41 miles (66 km) west of central London on the M4 corridor within easy access of both the M40 and M3.
This bustling hub is just a 25 minutes by car to Heathrow Airport and it is served by the Great Western Main Line railway making it an ideal commuter base.
It is positioned on the river Thames just as it meets the River Kennet reflecting the history of the town as an important river port.
Reading has a population of more than 235,000 and it is twinned with Düsseldorf in Germany, Clonmel in Ireland, San Francisco Libre in Nicaragua and Speightstown in Barbados.
It is home to two universities and has a large student population. It is also host to the Reading Festival which is one of the biggest music festivals in the UK.
Reading today is an important commercial centre with many multi-national companies being based here. It also has an exciting, varied nightlife with something for everyone from cinema and theatre through to restaurants, lively bars, nightclubs and casinos.
Shopping and growth
In 1999 the local shopping centre, The Oracle, was built on the site of a 17th century workhouse of the same name which was founded by John Kendrick.
It occupies three storeys and boosted the local economy by providing over 4,000 jobs in over 90 retail units.
During the 20th century Reading continued to expand and in 1911 Caversham, originally in Oxfordshire, became a suburb of Reading.
Further housing developments have extended the urban area of Reading to the M4 motorway, which now acts as its southern boundary.
Reading is also home to the infamous Reading Gaol made famous by Oscar Wilde. Reading prison is a young offender Institution and remand centre, for males aged 18 to 21.
Reading Museum is the perfect place to discover the history of the town.
It has many and varied exhibits charting the history of Reading from the first settlers up until the modern day.
It also houses an impressive array of finds from the nearby Roman town of Silchester and a full sized replica of the Bayeux Tapestry, which is 70 metres long and was made in 1885 by 35 skilled women from the Leek Embroidery Society.
It was bought for the town in 1895 by Arthur Hill, a former Mayor of Reading.
Tel: 0118 959 4000 – Mondays to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm (excluding public holidays)
Head Office – Great Knollys Street, Reading RG1 7HH
Reading Borough Council has been running buses in the area for over 100 years.
Reading Bus Station is currently in Station Road during the refurbishment of Reading Station.
It offers frequent services to all parts of the town. For bus timetables visit: www.reading-buses.co.uk
Station Approach, Reading, RG1 1LZ
0845 700 0125
Reading is on the Great Western Main Line, which runs west from London Paddington before splitting to the west of Reading into two lines, one serving Westbury, Taunton, Exeter and Plymouth and the other serving Bristol, Bath, Newport and Cardiff.
Other main lines connect Reading with Birmingham, northern England and Scotland, as well as Winchester, Southampton and Bournemouth to the south.
The station currently has four through-platforms and eight terminal platforms as well as
waiting rooms, trolleys, refreshments an ATM machine, toilets, payphone, Wi-Fi, post box and shops.
PUBLIC CAR PARKS
- Broad Street Mall
- The Oracle
- Queens road
- Reading Station
- Garrard Street
- Cattle Market
- Kings meadow
- Hills Meadow
- Civic Buildings
- Chatham Place
- The Forbury
For Blue Badge Parking Spaces go to www.reading-travelinfo.co.uk /travelinformation/travellingbycar-parking/carparkinformation/index?ID=SXD800-A77F6487
Abbey Square RG1 3BQ
Tel: 01189 015950
420 Oxford Road RG30 1EE
Tel: 01189 015100
Palmer Park Library
St. Bartholomew’s Road RG1 3QB
Tel: 01189 015106
Mobile Library Services
Tel: 01189 015118
Southcote Lane RG30 3BA
Tel: 01189 015109
The Town Hall
Tel: 0118 937 3400
Museum of English Rural Life
University of Reading
Tel: 0118 378 8660
Riverside Museum at Blakes Lock
Gas Works Road (off Kenavon Drive)
Tel: 0118 939 9800
Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology
Department of Classics
University of Reading
Tel: 0118 378 6661
Reading Borough Council
Civic Centre RG1 7UE
London Road RG1 5BA
234 Northumberland Avenue RG2 7QA
21 – 22 Market Place RG1 2DQ
252 Shinfield Road RG2 8EY
17 Whitley Street RG2 0EG
168 Whitley Wood Road RG2 8LQ
Tel: 0845 850 5505
9 Hollow Lane
LOCAL COUNCIL OFFICES
Reading Borough Council
Tel: 01189 373737
West Berkshire Council
Tel: 01635 42400
South Oxfordshire District Council
Tel: 01491 823000
Wokingham Borough Council
Tel: 01189 746000
Reading Register Office
131 Castle Hill
Tel: 0118 937 3533
Registering: births, and deaths.
Conducting: Marriages ceremonies, Civil Partnerships and Nationality ceremonies (Citizenship).
Copies of original certificates.
Nationality Checking Service.