The University of Reading campus sits in the town centre at the heart of the action. The lively market town has a bit of something for everyone whether you’re a social butterfly or prefer to be at one with nature in the countryside. You can study one of our many courses at the University of Reading and we’ve compiled the top five reasons to study there.
By Elena Carruthers. Published 03 November 2021. Last updated 11 January 2023.
Reading has a flourishing student nightlife scene.
Some top picks include the beach bar by Reading Riverside where you can enjoy a cocktail overlooking the River Thames – not quite a tropical beach, but not a bad substitute. At Christmas, the beach bar turns into a festive winter wonderland where you can sip on some mulled wine.
Other popular bars include Pacific Island-themed Lola Lo and Purple Turtle, known for its live music and alternative scene.
With London nearby, you can also enjoy the colourful nightlife the city has to offer.
Great links to London
Reading is known for its excellent transport links to London. You can get on a direct TFL train and voila, you will be in central London in less than half an hour.
Once you arrive in London Paddington, there are tube links to all over the city via the Bakerloo, Central, Hammersmith & City, and District line as well as many restaurants and cafes to enjoy at the station.
If you opt to take a slightly longer route by driving or hopping on a bus, you’ll still be there in good time with each taking just over an hour.
As well as having many great bars and restaurants, Reading is rich in culture. The town is home to an array of museums including the Museum of English rural life (MERL) which focuses on rural life over the ages exploring architecture, machinery used in farming and the history of medicine.
If the gory medical content is of particular interest, Reading has its very own Medical Museum. Tour guides will take you on a journey through time with their expertise on the evolution of medicine and medical practises over the years – you will leave almost certainly leave feeling grateful for our current medical practises.
The largest museum the town has to offer is the Museum of Reading which exhibits Victorian, Roman, and natural history. The museum also has a replica of the elusive Bayeux Tapestry, its origins still unknown to this day. The tapestry is over 70 metres long and depicts the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
The Abbey Ruins
Reading is famous for the Royal Abbey ruins located in the town centre; a historic site founded by Henry I in 1121. Once officially opened in 1164 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the church was the fourth largest in Europe.
The site is now King Henry’s burial site, who died before construction was completed. Following his death, the area became a designated place for royal burials and is the resting place of Matilda of Scotland, Constance of York and William of Poitiers.
Once a grand and magnificent sight, it remains an impressive monument to 900 years of history.
Close to the countryside
As well as its lively nightlife, Reading is known for its proximity to the River Thames and the scenic Berkshire countryside.
Some nearby places to explore include the famous Chilterns which sits in between London and Oxford where you can enjoy 324 square miles of open countryside and picturesque walks.
Neighbouring South Oxfordshire is home to many charming market towns including Henley-on-Thames, known for its beautiful riverside scenery and for hosting the annual Henley Royal Regatta.
Reading is also only 20 miles from the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead if you fancy visiting the historic Windsor Castle.
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