University is now well underway for students across the UK, and for many it may still feel a little odd until you start to get used to your new surroundings.
The dust may only just be settling on your Fresher’s week or fortnight and you may have had very little time to explore your new home. So, we have put together the latest in a series of student guides aimed at helping you get to know a range of academic towns and cities across the country.
This feature explores all the best places to visit in Reading, Berkshire’s county town and home to some of best attractions in the south of England. Follow this and you will quickly get to know your surrounding area.
The obvious: Reading Festival
Let’s start with getting the most obvious of Reading attractions out of the way. Reading Festival is the event that comes to mind when you ask anyone about the area and rightly so, it’s quite impressive.
This year’s festival was headlined by some of the biggest acts on the planet, ranging from hip-hop royalty Eminem to Leicester’s favourite sons, Kasabian. One of the UK’s biggest music festivals, it is always mirrored by the equally impressive Leeds Festival, meaning music fans across the country can find an amazing array of artists on offer.
The event is something you simply can’t pass up, especially if you are studying in the area and you will have at least three chances to attend throughout your uni life.
The town’s museum is one of the finest you will find anywhere in the region and has been open since the Victorian times, in 1883.
Reading Museum has collected archaeology, art, natural history, and ethnography relating to Berkshire since local collector Horatio Bland started donating his artefacts over a century ago; the museum has never looked back since.
Today, this great Reading attraction focuses on collecting exhibits linked with the locale, its people and the environment. Indeed, the museums’ school loans service started in 1911 and gives opportunities for young people in the area, including university students, to handle many of the relics.
This pioneering engagement with its collections through learning, community and volunteers has been vital to the museum’s progress over the decades.
If you are looking for places to visit in Reading and are after something a little more highbrow than a weekend in the mud at a music festival, then this could well be perfect for you.
Sample the local parks
Other than fascinating local history and world-famous music festival, the town is also renowned for its array of beautiful parks. Stunning all year round, there are several for you to check out that will come in very handy when you need some fresh air away from the rigours of academia.
We recommend checking out the following three parks first, but there are also many other hidden gems if you really start exploring this fantastic student town:
Basildon Park is actually an 18th-century house and went on to be a 1950’s home. It is now open for the public to explore its beautiful ground, and has been resurrected twice over the years.
This Georgian mansion, surrounded by glorious parkland, was lovingly rescued from ruin by Lord and Lady Iliffe around 70 years ago. It is truly stunning, and definitely worth exploring during your time in Reading.
Another Reading attraction which came into fruition during the 1950’s, Beale Park is full of adventure, gardens and interesting wildlife. It’s a great day out – whether you have family visiting or are looking for a fun way to spend a day with your friends.
Wellington Country Park
Finally, there is Wellington Country Park, a simply stunning piece of land situated between Reading and Basingstoke and it offers some of the best views and countryside Reading has to offer.
There are zip wires for adults but also plenty of fun things to do for younger siblings, should they visit you whilst you are studying in Reading. Miniature railways, jumping pillows, a nature trail maze, a mini-golf course and even an animal farm in the summer months make this one of the most visited attractions in Reading.
We hope you have enjoyed our round-up of some of the best things to do in Reading while attending university in the town; from a weekend of live music, to museums and stunning countryside there should be something to suit everyone’s tastes.
If you’re thinking of heading to Reading next year or you still need accommodation, just get in touch with the team here at Collegiate. We offer expert help should you need support finding exceptional student accommodation in Reading.