Famous the world over for its University and historic background, Reading is an intoxicating mix of ancient and modern, with everything you need for a short break or a long stay.
Reading is simply a retail paradise, with everything from great shopping centres like The Oracle and Broad Street Mall through to the eclectic and quirky Harris Arcade. Yet the history is just as good as the shopping here, with delights such as the 19th century Forbury Gardens and the gorgeous ruins of Reading Abbey (which is free, but with booking essential). Or if your tastes run to the literary, you might want to check out Her Majesty's Prison Reading, immortalised in the Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde, who is also commemorated on an evocative memorial.
As you might expect from the town that gave us the legendary Reading Festival, there are plenty of music and theatre venues here. The iconic Hexagon, in the heart of town, offers a wide range of rock and pop, while Reading Film Theatre shows all the art house and foreign films you could ever imagine. And if you want to let your hair down a little, you'll find a host of happening nightspots here, with everything from a couple of pretty grand casinos through to informal places like the After Dark Club and the always hilarious Highlight Comedy Club.