Looking for things to do in Reading, but don’t want to break the bank? We have listed 10 free things to do in Reading whilst you are staying with us. We have included something for everyone. Whether you like the great outdoors or maybe not? Things to do for families, couples and single people. We are always happy to update our list, if you have any suggestions, drop us an email and we will include your recommendation on our list.
Things To Do This Weekend
1. Dinton Pastures
If you enjoy spending time in natural beauty then Dinton Pastures is the ideal place for you to relax. Stretching to 450 acres in size. With 7 lakes, 2 rivers, 3 public bird hides, and several meadows. One of the lakes is a local nature reserve. Dinton Pastures Country Park is an award-winning play space. There is something for all the family. You can book yourselves on one of the activities or just enjoy the natural beauty of the rural park.
A great place to have a picnic or you can grab a bite to eat and a well-deserved rest at the Dragonfly Cafe. You can hire a Segway and head off into Hurst meadow and attempt the obstacles. Dinton Pastures backs onto Hurst Golf Course, which is great if you enjoy playing golf.
The activities include fishing, orienteering, boat hire, walking groups, kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, and canoeing. The Museum of Berkshire Aviation is also in the park.
2. Reading Museum
Attached to the Town Hall Reading Museum presents a varied array of permanent exhibits, all related to Reading or Berkshire history, telling us the story of Reading from the Roman times until the middle of the 20th century, fossils included and industries, pottery or Huntley and Palmer’s biscuits.
The artefacts range from a 95 million-year-old of a piece of a dinosaur backbone to a stunning reproduction of the Bayeux Tapestry that is definitely worth a special trip.Throughout the year they hold a variety of events, there is something suitable for everyone. You can grab something to eat or drink at Palmer’s cafe which serves cakes, sandwiches, soup and cookies! Plus fair trade hot drinks. The museum shop sells gifts which reflect Reading and the local crafts and prints supporting local artists. Some of the products are inspired by the Museum’s collection. There are also plenty of pocket money toys for children which have a historical theme.
The hotel is in the Reading area, near the town centre making it an ideal place to stay when visiting Reading.
3. California Country Park
150 acres of beautiful countryside. With a 6 acre lake which is home to geese and swans. California Country Park is the perfect place for a family stroll. Children can have fun exploring the play park with the wooden adventure trail. They can enjoy the swings, pirate ship and the climbing frame. Or have a splash in the outdoor paddling pool which is open during the summer holidays. If you enjoy fishing then don’t forget to bring your fishing rod!
4. The Oracle
The Oracle is sophisticated shopping, dining and lifestyle experiences with over 80 fabulous stores including House of Fraser, Reiss, Hugo Boss, Hollister Co, Kiko Milano and an 11-screen Vue cinema. There are vibrant riverside cafés, bars and restaurants.
In the summer you can experience summer beach life at the riverside, relax and lounge on the swings, play ping pong, a place to relax with your family and friends. In the winter Wundermarkt, a themed German bar serves Gluhwein, Bavarian beer, German sausages, cheese and hog roast and festive mulled wine are served by the riverside alongside the Thames Valley’s largest Christmas tree. We are one of the cheap hotels in Reading cheap and very close to the town centre making it an ideal place to stay whilst visiting Reading.
Free Things To Do In Berkshire
5. Royal Berkshire Medical Museum
Ever wondered what medical care was like back in 1837? Situated within Royal Berkshire Hospital. The museum’s aim is to preserve and display items of historical medical interest particularly those with a local connection. 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.
The museum is 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. The hotel is near Royal Berkshire hospital, it is within walking distance which makes it an ideal place to stay if you wanted to be near the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
The Museum is open on the first and third Sunday of the month from 2.00pm until 4.30pm. If you are looking to explore Reading this visit should also be on your list!
6. Picnic at Forbury Gardens
Forbury Gardens is a great place to have a picnic when the sun shines. The Victorian town garden is popular with business people as it is close to the town centre. Families and couples also enjoy relaxing in Forbury Gardens. The flower beds are stunning. And you can’t miss the grand Maiwand Lion statue who keeps watch over the park. The famous Maiwand Lion statue commemorates the deaths of 329 men from the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot who lost their lives in Afghanistan between 1878 and 1880.
Throughout the summer months the bandstand, which hosts live music events every weekend. There is also a fountain, rose garden and kiosk, which serves coffee, light lunches and ice-cream.
Since the gardens reopened in 2005, following a year-long revamp, it has won a Green Flag Award every year. It has also been accredited as a Green Heritage Site. It has also emerged triumphant in the Best Regional Park category in The Britain in Bloom competition.
7. Walk by Mapledurham Lock
The beautiful Mapledurham lock is an ideal place for a spring or summer walk, you can also have a picnic on one of the grassy banks. Whilst watching the swans, ducks and boats go along the River Thames.
Mapledurham Lock made history in 1956 when it became the first mechanical lock on the River Thames. There was a dam or weir here in 1086, which is one of the earliest recorded on the river. The lock is situated near the Mapledurham corn mill, which is the only working water mill on the Thames. The mill appears in the famous Domesday Book.
8. Public Lectures at the University of Reading
Only a short walk from Hillingdon Prince. 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.
9. Rural Life Museum
If you are interested in the ways farmers and crafts people both past and present used their skills and how they affect the way we live today, then a trip to the Rural Life Museum is a must for you. There are lots of interactive displays and exhibitions, that are suitable for everyone. You will also learn the reasons the countryside is important in our lives. What is the future of food? Pop into the Rural Life Museum and find out!
They also have a range of events on throughout the year. The Rural Life Museum is only a short walk/drive from our budget hotel.
If you enjoy Ikea and shopping, then make sure you pop into our local store! You can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at a good price. With easy parking. Spend a day getting inspired!
If you have children with you aged 2-10 years old they can stay in the creche, whilst you shop. They also have 2 cinema evenings a week at the creche. They also host various activities throughout the year in store for the children. Such as seed planting, textiles, biscuit decorating and various arts and crafts activities.
Whatever the reason for your visit to Reading we hope you enjoy yourself when you stay with us.