Great value hostel accommodation in Reading

Compare and choose from our collection of cheap hostels in Reading. Options range from traditional Reading hostels with dormitory rooms, to up-market hostels and guest houses, where you will have your own room, to university halls of residence, which are available in the holidays when the students have vacated their rooms.

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If you can't find what you are looking for, or no availability exists for your dates, please visit our sister website, www.historicbritain.com/reading, where you can see our range of bed and breakfasts and hotels in Reading.


Overall Experience

Reading Visitor information


An Introduction to Reading

Modern Reading is a university town that hosts the Reading Festival and is full of character, from the many shops to the beautiful Forbury Gardens and the surrounding Thames Valley countryside proving that it is not just a commuter town.

Things to do in Reading

Reading is home to the Museum of English Rural Life and the Museum of Reading which contains information on the area in previous centuries such as Silchister a Roman town, which can still be visited today. In the surrounding area is Wellington National Park, Basildon Park and the UK Wolf Centre which has open days and helps raise awareness for these creatures. Since 1971 Reading has hosted one of the biggest music festivals in England, the Reading Festival.

How to get to Reading

By Air

Reading is well served by London's collection of airports, the most convenient ones are Heathrow Airport, about 40 minutes down the M4 (eastbound) motorway, Luton Airport is about 50 minutes away via the M1 (southbound), M25 (westbound) and M4 (westbound) motorways. 

By Rail

Reading is served by inter-city and regional train services from many different directions, including through services from Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London - a 30 minute journey, Manchester, Oxford, Plymouth, Exeter, Cornwall, Portsmouth, Southampton, Swanesa, Winchester and York as well as the airports above.

By Coach and Bus

National Express serve Reading with express coach services from around the country; advanced ticketing is necessary. Reading Buses are the main bus operator in the area.

By Car

The M4 motorway which runs from London to Bristol and South Wales. It is about an hour's drive from central London. The best junction to use for central Reading is Junction 11.


Reading History


The first evidence for Reading as a settlement dates from the 8th century, where the town came to be known as Readingum. In late 870 an army of Danes invaded the then Kingdom of Wessex and set up camp at Reading. On 4 January 871, the first Battle of Reading took place, when an army led by King Ethelred and his brother Alfred the Great attempted unsuccessfully to breach the Danes' defences. The battle is described in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. The Danes remained in Reading until late in 871, when they retreated to winter quarters in London.

The town played an important role during the English Civil War; it changed hands a number of times. Despite its fortifications, it had a Royalist garrison imposed on it in 1642. The subsequent Siege of Reading by the Parliamentary forces succeeded in April 1643.
Reading played a significant role during the Revolution of 1688, with the second Battle of Reading being the only substantial military action of the campaign. 

The 18th century saw the beginning of a major iron works in the town and the growth of the brewing trade for which Reading was to become famous.

The following events are occuring in the area

Universities in Reading

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