Reading is an affluent university town on the banks of the Thames, just a 25-minute train ride from London. It's a great place to enjoy riverside walks and boat trips, visiting traditional pubs and restaurants along the way. There are stately homes in the surrounding area, including Mapledurham House – reputed to be the inspiration for Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows.

    The city offers plenty of shopping locations and nightspots, while the history of this ancient community can be explored at Reading Museum. On a sunny afternoon, you should also have an idyllic amble through Forbury Gardens.

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