Although barely an hour from London, Reading has managed to remain a peaceful country town with friendly locals and a charming way of life. Although having a population that would rival many small cities, Reading is still classified a town, and this is part of its charm that attracts people from around the world. Surrounded by rolling green hills, and situated in between the River Thames and River Kennet, Reading offers great scenery and is the perfect destination for those wishing to escape the stresses of big city London. Auto Europe offers several pick up locations and a large fleet selection, so finding a car rental in Reading is both easy and economical.
Once an important centre of activity in medieval times, Reading has a rich history and plenty of interesting architecture for visitors. For a great insight into the city's past, park your rental car in the town centre, and visit the Museum of Reading, located in the old town hall. Here you will learn of the interesting history of Reading, and also of nearby Silchester, the site of a Roman Town which was abandoned not long after the Roman era.
Ruins of the Roman Settlement, which was known as Calleva Atrebatum, are still present today, with some in excellent condition. Drive your hire car a short trip south from Reading, and visit the site, where you can see the remains of the defensive wall which surrounded the town, and also the once grand amphitheatre.
Back in Reading, there are some interesting ruins within the town itself which are definitely worth visiting. The Reading Abbey was once one of the most important religious centres of England until it was destroyed in 1538 as a result of King Henry VIII's suppression of the monasteries in the mid-1500s. Most of the building's materials were removed from the site and reused elsewhere, leaving the ruins that we find today. Park your rental car in the downtown area, and visit the remains of the abbey, which have signage and are well maintained today to avoid any further ruin.
Not far from the ruins of the abbey, you can visit Reading Minister, also known as St Mary's Church. Also badly damaged in the 1500's, the church was rebuilt with materials including many salvaged from the abbey. The brickwork of church has a unique checkerboard pattern and is very popular with visitors to the area.
If you are staying in Reading, why not take a day trip to one of the many towns or cities nearby. You can visit London and see the famous attractions such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, or perhaps just spend a day touring around the green hills of the Thames Valley and visiting small villages along the way.
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