Reading has a wealth of history to explore, good shopping and canalside walks as well as stunning countryside on the doorstep. All are within easy reach when you visit Opodo and search for cheap hotels in the town. Reading sits on the River Thames, the River Kennet and the Kennet and Avon Canal and in the Middle Ages was an influential place with a powerful abbey. The fascinating abbey ruins are once again open to explore. Reading Gaol is now closed but can be glimpsed behind a high redbrick wall. This was where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for homosexual offences in the late 19th-century. During his two years in the prison, he wrote the Ballad of Reading Gaol. The Oscar Wilde Walk is now a pleasant stroll along the canal bank and past both the abbey ruins and the prison walls. To find a hotel in Reading, visit Opodo and use our easy-to-navigate filters to search by location, price and date.
Book a hotel in central Reading and you will be near the neo-Gothic Old Town Hall, home to Reading Museum. This delves back through the town's past exploring its early Saxon days and the time when the abbey controlled the town, through to the Industrial Revolution and up to the present day. Among the museum artefacts is the United Kingdom's only copy of the Bayeux Tapestry. In between the museum and the abbey is Forbury Park. Reading was hit badly by the English Civil War and during this period, the park was used for gun emplacements and later for drilling soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars. An attention-grabbing centrepiece is the huge Maiwand Lion. Erected in 1886, it commemorates men of the local 66th Berkshire Regiment who lost their lives at the Battle of Maiwand in Afghanistan in 1880. Another interesting attraction is the Museum of Rural Life, housed on the University of Reading's London Road campus. This maps nearly 300 years of English rural life with exhibits of weird and wonderful tools and machines. You will always find good hotel deals near the university's several campuses.
Staying in a hotel in Reading puts you at the gateway to the Chilterns. Nestled in these hills just a short drive from the town is Basildon Park. This country house was constructed in the Palladian style during the 18th century and was used as a prisoner-of-war camp in the Second World War. After the war, it fell into sad dereliction before it was rescued and restored by Lord and Lady Iliffe and opened to the public. Particularly interesting are the Octagon Drawing Room, the Staircase Hall and the Rose Garden. Nearby is Beale Wildlife Park where children can have fun playing on the adventure playgrounds, petting the farm animals or admiring birds of prey and wild species such as lemurs, meerkats and alpacas. Also close to Reading is Silchester, now an English Heritage site. Silchester was founded by the Romans in the 1st century on the site of an old Iron Age fortified town. The site lay abandoned for over 13 centuries but excavations started in the early 20th century. These uncovered a polygonal-shaped settlement with remarkably intact walls and an amphitheatre. The site is now largely overgrown but elements of the former landscape can still be made out. Some of the artefacts discovered during the excavations including a lifelike bronze eagle are on display in the Reading Museum.