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Bed and breakfast accommodation in Reading Monasteries

• Unique and peaceful Monastery stays like no other

• Enjoy one of a kind guest accommodation in some of the most historic and beautiful buildings in Reading on the doorstep of some of United Kingdom's most renowned tourist attractions.

• Monasteries.com provides a unique opportunity for anyone to stay in beautiful Monastery accommodation across Reading and the surrounding area, the perfect base for a peaceful, relaxing retreat.

Reading Visitor information

Reading is the largest town in the county, with a lot of historical importance.

In the neo-Gothic Town Hall, the Reading Museum explores the town’s past, from its earliest days as a Saxon Settlement, through its Medieval abbey, industrialisation and up to the 21st century. It is a free and fun day out for all the family. Discover more about Reading's local history, the Abbey Ruins, animals, art and more.

The Victorian prison life can be explored at the Reading Gaol, where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned between 1895 and 1897, and would later write the Ballad of Reading Gaol while in exile in France. If you decide to do a tour you will see the austere corridors, the hospital, the cells and the cold chapel, but also Oscar Wilde’s own cell. 

The town is also home for the annual Reading Festival, an outdoor rock music event. Officially the world's oldest pop music festival, the event takes place every year during the bank holiday weekend at the end of August. The event grew out of the National Jazz Festival in the 1950s and in the early-1970s evolved into a purely rock extravaganza. Many famous bands have played throughout the years such as Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Cream and the Kinks.

Travel

The central area of Reading is easily traversable on foot. From the main rail station, you will be able to take in the Abbey Ruins, the Forbury Gardens, both rivers, both shopping centres, most (but not all so check) hotels, pubs and restaurants.

Reading is one of the busiest interchanges on the national rail network and has direct routes to almost every part of the UK. There are many routes to Reading from major cities by train. The direct train from London Paddington to Reading takes just 25 minutes, from Bristol to Reading, the journey is 1h 17m and from Oxford to Reading it's just 36 minutes. 

Reading has an excellent local bus service. Reading Buses serves the entire Reading urban area and some of the local villages. Newbury Buses offers routes between Reading and Newbury/West Berkshire. Other rural areas are served by Arriva, First and Thames Travel buses. 

History of Reading

Reading is a large historic market town located on the Thames and Kennet rivers in southern England. 

During medieval times, Reading was the site of the great Royal Abbey, founded by King Henry I in 1121. It was designed to be his mausoleum, however he died before the Abbey was completed. The Abbey and the ground therefore became a desirable location for other royals and nobles to be buried. 

The Abbey had a large and impressive church with quarters for the dozen monks who lived, worked and worshipped there. It was also the fourth largest church in Britain and was once the greatest Benedictine monastery in Europe. Royal visits, funerals and weddings and ceremonies of court and Parliament were held at the Abbey. Thousands of pilgrims have visited for over 400 years to pray for a blessing or a cure and an ailment. It was a site of international significance.

After 400 years of monastic life, the Abbey suddenly closed after the orders of King Henry VIII, pillaging all valuable possessions and executing the Abbot.

Even though the complex has been disused for almost 500 years the ruins are Grade I listed, and you can enter the shell of the former chapter house. The ruins of the historic Abbey quarters can now be explored located on the southeast boundary of Forbury Gardens, mingling with more recent buildings.

Next to the Abbey, St Laurence's Church was established initially as a chapel at the Abbey's gates almost 900 years ago in 1121. Due to the churches location next to the Abbey, trade in the area was lucrative and a large market sprung up around the church giving name to the Reading Market Place that can still be found in the same site today. St Laurence's impressive tower - which was originally built in 1458 and was restored in 1882 - is the only 12 bell tower in Reading. 

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