Facts about Reading, which is twin city with Düsseldorf:
Population: 155,700 (2011 census)
Location: South East England; on the River Thames
Well-known and popular places:
Reading museum: The museum’s galleries are home to an array of local and global historical and artistic objects. Highlights include archaeological finds from Roman Silchester and the medieval Reading Abbey and a Victorian copy of the Bayeux Tapestry. There are also various events for children, including the escape room trail, craft and reading sessions.
Forbury Gardens: This beautiful Victorian garden has recently undergone major restoration. It is located close to Reading station.
Reading Abbey: Reading used to be an important town in medieval times. King Henry I announced that he wanted to build a new abbey in 1121, and it went on to become a royal abbey and one of the largest monasteries in Europe.
River Thames: Reading is located on the River Thames – ideal for those who enjoy walking, boat trips or just relaxing in a waterfront restaurant.
Riverside Museum: The museum is close to the Reading museum, and has a permanent gallery that tells the story of the two rivers – the Kennet and the Thames. There are also changing exhibitions held in the Turbine House; a unique Victorian building.
Celebrities in Reading:
- Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton was born at the Royal Berkshire hospital.
- Kate Winslet (actress) was born in Reading, and went to drama school in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
- Bryan Adams (singer) lived in Reading for a short time.
- Jane Austen (author) attended the Abbey school, which at the time was a boarding school for girls.
- King Henry I is buried in Reading Abbey (although he died in France).
- Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years in Reading prison between 1895 and 1897. He wrote about his experience in prison in the poem, ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’. Read more on the BBC website here.
- Kate Richardson-Walsh (British Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist in hockey). She played club hockey for Reading in the women’s British hockey premier division for seven years.
- Alex Danson (GB Olympic team women’s hockey)