Top 10 Unusual Things To Do In Reading

birds eye view of a city with a river winding through it

Reading often surprises visitors and locals alike with its unique blend of history, culture, and unusual attractions. Beyond its well-known landmarks and bustling town centre lies a treasure trove of experiences that veer off the beaten path, offering something different from the usual tourist spots. These unusual activities provide a deeper, more quirky insight into what makes Reading a fascinating place to explore.

One of the town's hidden gems is its array of historic pubs, each with its own unique backstory. Among these, a visit to a pub rumored to be haunted adds an intriguing twist to a traditional night out. These establishments not only serve up local ales and hearty British fare but also offer an evening filled with tales of ghosts and centuries-old legends, providing a glimpse into Reading's mysterious past.

Another distinctive aspect of Reading is its connection to the natural world, evident in the unexpected presence of a micro-farm located right in the heart of the urban landscape. This little oasis offers a hands-on experience with urban farming, beekeeping, and sustainable living practices. It's a place where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of city life, learn about permaculture, and even participate in workshops on everything from composting to growing your own food.

For those intrigued by the art of brewing, Reading boasts several microbreweries that open their doors to the public for tours and tastings. These small-scale breweries, often tucked away in unexpected locations, provide an intimate look at the craft beer production process. Visitors can sample a range of brews, from traditional bitters to experimental ales infused with unusual ingredients, all while chatting with the passionate brewers who create them.

Art enthusiasts will find Reading's street art scene to be a vibrant and ever-changing canvas that adds a splash of color to the town's streets and alleyways. Guided walks led by local artists reveal the stories behind some of the most striking murals and installations, showcasing the town's creative spirit. This visual journey through Reading's laneways uncovers hidden art gems that many residents and visitors overlook.

Adding to Reading's quirky appeal is its fascination with escape rooms. These immersive puzzle experiences are set in uniquely themed environments, ranging from historical mysteries to futuristic challenges. Teams must work together to solve clues and escape from the room within a set time limit, offering a fun and brain-teasing way to spend an hour or two.

For a taste of the countryside without leaving town, the Thames Path offers an idyllic escape into nature. What makes this section of the path unique is the opportunity to engage in foraging walks led by experts. Participants can learn to identify and gather wild edible plants, herbs, and mushrooms, turning a simple walk into an educational adventure.

Reading's historical sites often have their own unusual tales to tell, and the Abbey Ruins are no exception. Beyond their historical significance, the ruins are the site of various unconventional events throughout the year, including open-air theatre productions, yoga sessions amidst the ancient stones, and unique art installations that breathe new life into this historic setting.

The town's love for literature is celebrated in offbeat ways, too. Reading is home to quirky bookshops that double as venues for literary events, workshops, and even live music sessions. These cosy spaces invite book lovers to linger over a good read, participate in a workshop on bookbinding, or enjoy an acoustic set by local musicians.

For those interested in the supernatural, Reading offers ghost tours that take participants on a chilling exploration of the town's haunted locations. Led by guides who are well-versed in Reading's spooky history, these nighttime walks combine historical facts with tales of unexplained phenomena, providing a spine-tingling perspective on the town's darker side.

Lastly, the Museum of English Rural Life, managed by the University of Reading, defies expectations with its innovative approach to displaying the country's agricultural heritage. Exhibitions here are anything but ordinary, blending traditional artifacts with interactive displays and contemporary art to tell the story of rural England in engaging and unexpected ways.

In Reading, the unusual and the extraordinary coexist with the town's rich history and natural beauty, offering endless opportunities for discovery. Whether it's through engaging with the past in a haunted pub, exploring the creative present in street art and microbreweries, or looking to the future with sustainable practices and immersive experiences, Reading invites visitors to look beyond the conventional and embrace the quirky and the unique.

Other Things to Do in Reading

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