Each August bank holiday weekend, tens of thousands of people descend on Reading for the oldest pop music festival in the world that is still in existence. But Reading also welcomes visitors throughout the year, who come for the excellent retail areas, sport, and leisure facilities that it has to offer. Being so close to London, you would expect that the town has a large commuting base, but the opposite is true, with more people travelling to work in Reading than there are leaving on a daily basis, which is unique for towns and cities so close to England's capital. The future looks bright for Reading, with multi-million pounds worth of investment pouring in to aid redevelopment and improve the town’s infrastructure in the residential, retail, and industry sectors.
Location: Less than 25 minutes from London by train
Situated on the M4 corridor 70 kilometres to the west of London and 60 kilometres east of Swindon, Reading is a key rail hub with links to the rest of the UK. The rail station is found in the centre of the town, and is within walking distance to the shopping areas and a short bus ride to Reading University and the town's business parks.
Business: A thriving economy and IT sector
Reading has been a town of innovative technology for many years and companies, such as Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, and Verizon, amongst many others, have headquarters based here. The investment potential is staggering, with hundreds of millions of pounds being earmarked for growth by Network Rail to improve the mainline station and multi-million pound development plans for the retail and residential sectors. Keeping in with Reading's history with technology, the University of Reading is developing its Science and Innovation Park with an initial investment of £50 million.
Culture: Enjoy a festival on your visit
The Reading Music Festival is the most famous of the town, with over 87,000 visitors in 2014, but there are opportunities for you to explore the local cuisine at the Eat Reading Live food festival or to relax and enjoy a drink with friends at the Beer and Cider Festival. With a diverse culture, Reading also celebrates world, events such as Bastille Day in July, Black History Month in October, and the Asian Arts Festival, the Dhoom Dhamaka, which is celebrated every July.
Activities: Water, wildlife, sport, and shopping
There is truly something for everyone in Reading. Situated where the Thames and Kennet Rivers converge, it has a whole raft of water-based activities that showcase the natural beauty and wildlife of the Royal County of Berkshire. Retail therapy is always top on the list for visitors, and Reading has an enviable mix of shops, boutiques, and malls to keep you entertained all day, or, if you prefer your sports, then the town has top-flight teams in both football and rugby for you to enjoy.