Sculpted by the Thames and the Kennet rivers, Reading is teeming with spectacular historical sites, cultural centres and outdoor adventures. The town is better known for the Reading Festival, one of the world’s most popular music events, but it’s also a rocking destination to spend the festive break. Whether trying your hand at wreath-making or exploring an open-air light trail, here are a few places to visit in Reading to add to your Christmas list.

Join a wreath-making workshop

Get into the festive spirit with a luxury wreath-making workshop! Hosted by Tamalia, the cheerful evening teaches participants how to craft winterberry Christmas wreaths ideal for the front door or above the fireplace. Along with the sweet scent of pine needles, you can expect an array of delectable treats including mulled wine and spiced mince pies.

Take a stroll along the Thames Path

The Thames Path is a gentle walking trail that follows one of England’s most famed and beautiful rivers. Start the scenic stroll at Pangbourne and meander through the rural countryside and unspoilt meadows for about 5 miles until you reach Goring-on-Thames. The path is paved with local delights, including quaint cottages, hearty pubs and breathtaking views.

Enjoy festive family crafts at the MERL

The MERL (Museum of English Rural Life) offers families the perfect day out with their various Christmas crafts, shops and confectionaries! The museum is open throughout December and boasts a number of great activities the whole family can enjoy, including paper crafts, exhibitions, interactive games and trails.

Explore Reading’s roots at the Abbey

Constructed by the order of King Henry in 1121, the Reading Abbey was once one of the largest and most important monasteries in Europe. The grand historical site played an important role in Reading’s history, serving as lodging for Elizabeth I and even features the jail that held the great Oscar Wilde. Today, the ruins host a number of lively events including guided tours, drawing workshops and an open-air theatre.

Tour the Reading Twilight Trail

When the sun sets, head to Reading’s breathtaking Abbey Ruins and Forbury Gardens to explore a whimsical biscuit-themed light show. Twilight Trail: Biscuit Town is set to bring the town to life with a series of unique lighting installations which will include The Lion’s Roar and the Production Line stepping stones.

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