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Reading town guide


Probably the first mention of Reading is in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle for 871, the name Readingum meaning the place of Reada's people. Having been ignored by the Romans, Reading then began an unbroken history of expansion and development until today it is one of the most important centres in the Thames Valley.

Reading's situation at the confluence of the River Thames and the Kennet was probably the spur to its initial development, later the Great Western Railway built the main line to Bristol and the West Country through Reading, promoting the town as an important railway junction.

Nowadays it is the nearby M4 Motorway that carries the bulk of the traffic along the Thames Valley.

Reading has attracted many High-Tech to locate there including the likes of Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and the Oracle Corporation. These are all supported by the leisure and shopping facilities that such a major centre warrants.

Take a trip by hire car to explore the attractions close to Reading; Oxford is not far away and well worth a visit, as is the World Heritage Site of the city of Bath. Between Bath and Reading are many fine towns such as Hungerford and Marlborough. On the way along the old A4 road to the west the traveller will encounter the pre-historic site of Avebury that rivals Stonehenge as a site of mystery and wonder with its huge Stone Circle and Barrows.

In Reading itself, Blake's Lock Museum tells the story of the various trades that were based in Reading, it also tells the story of river transport and the town's sewerage system, appropriate given its location.

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