Offbeat Places in Reading


Nestled along the banks of the River Thames in Berkshire, England, lies the town of Reading. While it might be best known for its bustling city center, rich history, and thriving business scene, Reading holds a treasure trove of offbeat and lesser-known attractions waiting to be discovered by intrepid explorers.

Beyond the well-trodden tourist paths, Reading boasts a vibrant underbelly of artistic enclaves, historical curiosities, and natural wonders that often escape the radar of casual visitors. In this guide, we invite you to peel back the layers of this charming town and embark on a journey to uncover some of its best-kept secrets.

Artistic and Cultural Gems

Your adventure begins with a foray into the artistic and cultural heart of Reading. Here, you’ll find:

  • The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), where history comes alive through its unique exhibits and collections, offers a fascinating glimpse into rural England’s past.
  • South Street Arts Centre is an unassuming venue that hosts alternative and indie performances, providing a stage for local talents to shine.
  • OpenHand OpenSpace Gallery is a haven for contemporary art enthusiasts, showcasing cutting-edge exhibitions and nurturing the talents of the local art community.

Quirky Historical Sites

Dive into the town’s rich history with visits to:

  • The Blade, is Reading’s iconic Blade-shaped building, offering an observation deck with panoramic views and unique photo opportunities.
  • Reading Abbey Ruins, where the whispers of history echo through the ancient stone walls, and guided tours bring the past to life.

Natural Wonders

For those who seek a touch of nature, Reading surprises with:

  • Caversham Court Gardens, is a tranquil oasis by the river, with historic gardens and a vibrant ecosystem, perfect for leisurely strolls and picnicking.
  • The Oracle Riverside, is a place to unwind and soak in the waterside ambiance while indulging in shopping, dining, and outdoor relaxation.

Culinary Adventures

Satisfy your taste buds with:

  • Blue Collar Street Food Market, a weekly gastronomic extravaganza offering diverse food stalls and international flavors that will tantalize your palate.
  • The Grumpy Goat is a haven for beer and cheese aficionados, where craft brews and artisanal cheeses await your discerning taste.

Hidden Gems in Reading’s Surroundings

Venture beyond Reading’s borders to explore:

  • Mapledurham Watermill is a picturesque watermill and historic gem set in stunning natural surroundings, perfect for a day of exploration.
  • Silchester Roman Walls and Amphitheatre is an ancient archaeological site that transports you back in time to the days of the Roman Empire.

As you navigate this guide, keep in mind that Reading’s offbeat places are not just locations on a map; they are gateways to unique experiences, hidden stories, and a deeper connection with this charming town’s essence. So, pack your curiosity and set off on a journey of exploration, ready to uncover the offbeat and extraordinary side of Reading.

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