Check out our list of 15 free things to do in Reading. There is something for everyone. Book your Reading taxi in advance.
1. Reading Museum
Reading Museum has permanent exhibits. Sharing the history of Reading or Berkshire. From Roman times until the middle of the 20th century. Enjoy learning about the history of Huntley and Palmer’s biscuits.
Enjoy the Bayeux Tapestry. The artefacts include a 95 million-year-old of a piece of a dinosaur backbone. Remember to pop into the museum shop. You can buy local honey. Or gifts that reflect Reading. And the local crafts and prints supporting local artists.
They have lots of family events throughout the year.
2. The Oracle
You Oracle is great for shopping. With over 80 fabulous stores including Hollister Co. Levis, Hugo Boss, Reiss and House of Fraser. Catch up with the latest movies at the 11-screen Vue cinema.
Summertime is lovely at the Oracle. Experience beach life at the riverside. You can relax in the lounge chairs.
3. Abbey Ruins
Abbey Ruins Reading has been closed for the last 10 years. It opened it’s doors to the public on the 16th of June 2018. After a 3-year conservation project. Located in the centre of the town.
For more information check out our blog post on Abbey Ruins
4. Forbury Gardens
You can spend an afternoon at Forbury Gardens. Take a picnic to the Victorian town garden. Take afternoon stroll. The bandstand, hosts live music events every weekend in the summer. Enjoy the fountain and rose garden. The kiosk serves coffee, light lunches and ice-cream. Forbury Gardens is accredited as a Green Heritage Site.
5. Dinton Pastures
Dinton Pastures has 7 lakes, 2 rivers, and several meadows. One of the lakes is a local nature reserve. Dinton Pastures Country Park is an award-winning play space.
Book yourselves on one of the activities or just enjoy the natural beauty of the rural park. Bring a picnic or pop into the Cafe. Hire a Segway and head off into Hurst meadow and attempt the obstacles.
Activities include boat hire, canoeing, fishing, boat hire, kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing. If you prefer to stay on land you can join the walking group or orienteering.
Visit The Museum of Berkshire Aviation is also in the park.
6. The Museum of Berkshire
A small aircraft museum, open Wednesdays and weekends. The collection has machines built by the firm, Miles Aircraft. It includes miles Student jet trainer. An experimental FaireyJet Gyrodyne. And a Miles Martinet. A Second World War target tug. Also on show are a Miles Magister training plane. A Fairey Gannet anti-submarine bomber and a Handley Page airliner.
7. The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology
Owned by the University of Reading The Ure Museum is the fourth largest collection of Greek ceramics in Britain. Packed with Greek pottery. Egyptian antiquities the museum offers a fascinating insight into the ancient world. The museum is open between 9 am and 4.30pm weekdays. www.reading.ac.uk/Ure
8. California Country Park
150 acres of beautiful countryside. 6-acre lake which is home to geese and swans. Perfect place for a family stroll. Kids can have fun exploring the play park with the wooden adventure trail. The pirate ship and the climbing frame are great fun too! In the summer the outdoor paddling pool is open for the little ones.
9. Royal Berkshire Medical Museum
A great place to explore. If you are interested in the history of medicine. The collection includes many hundreds of artefacts and photographs relating to medicine. Nursing, pharmacy and dentistry.
Housed in the old hospital laundry which was built in 1881. There are also displays along the concourse in the Centre Block. In the foyer of the Maternity unit, the Radiology Department and also in the Trust Education Centre.
Open on the first and third Sunday of the month from 2.00pm until 4.30pm. For other times and group, visits call (0118) 954 9371.
10. Caversham Court Gardens
Lovely place for a walk. Bring a picnic and enjoy an afternoon at Caversham Court Gardens. Pop into the cafe for a hot or cold refreshment.
Enjoy the picturesque setting with a great view of the river. Watch the boats go along the Thames. Caversham Court Gardens has activities on offer. Experience Shakespeare outdoors. Or enjoy the outdoor cinema.
11. Walk by Mapledurham Lock
A tranquil place for a spring or summer walk. Remember to bring your picnic. In 1956 it became the first mechanical lock on the River Thames. The lock is situated near the Mapledurham corn mill. The only working water mill on the Thames. The mill appears in the famous Domesday Book.
12. Public Lectures at the University of Reading
The University of Reading runs free public lectures at various times throughout the year. The topics range from science to literature. A great way to learn something new. With some popular speakers on the guest list. The lectures are held at the Palmer Building, Whiteknights campus.
13. The Museum Of English Rural Life
Go back in time and learn about rural life in Britain. Lots of interactive displays and exhibitions. Learn about the lives of farmers and the reasons the countryside is important.
They also have events throughout the year. https://merl.reading.ac.uk
14. Reading Central Library
A hub of free entertainment. There are thousands of books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and newspapers. There are plenty of free regular events like story time for families and book groups.
The library is free to join if you live in Reading
If you are looking for inspiration then Ikea is the place for you. Their breakfast, lunch and dinner are reasonably priced. Children aged 2-10 years old they can stay in the creche, whilst you wander around. There are 2 cinema evenings a week at the creche. They offer activities throughout the year in store for the children. Such as biscuit decorating, seed planting and textiles.
If you are planning on visiting any of the attractions in a group. You can book our people carrier or minibus at short notice.