Reading | Budget B&B and Self Catering | University Rooms
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  • Availability is all year round in the Cedars Hotel conference facility which is situated within the university
  • Rooms typically become available two to three months in advance, so please revisit the website within that period if nothing is available now,
  • Alternatively go to SpeedyBooker for more accommodation and travel ideas

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in Reading university halls

Not just for students - anyone can book!

  • Staying in Reading University accommodation is a convenient and affordable option for visitors to this county town
  • Accommodation is in a newly refurbished hotel set in the heart of the award winning Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading
  • A cost effective, and enjoyable alternative to staying in a B&B, hostel or cheap hotel in Reading

Reading Visitor information

Reading is a large town in England. The town originated as a river port at the confluence of the rivers Thames and Kennet, both of which are navigable. Outside of the central area of the city, the valley floors containing the two rivers still remain for the most part unimproved floodplain, which subject to occasional flooding. During the medieval period, Reading was an important national centre, being the site of an well known monastery and having very strong royal ties. Historically, the town has been famous for the "Three Bs", which are beer, bulbs and biscuits. Today, the city remains a hugely successful commercial centre – many major companies, such as Fujitsu and Hewlett-Packard have a storn presence in the area. More recently, the giants Microsoft and Oracle have both established multi-building campuses in several sites throughout the town. Among other technology companies with a significant local operations in the town there is Bang & Olufsen, Ericsson, Virgin Media and Xerox. The directories company Yell Group and others, like PepsiCo and Holiday Inn also have large offices.

Reading is also the home of two universities, boasting thus a large student population. The University of Reading was founded in 1892 and was an affiliate of the University of Oxford. Reading was declared an independent university in 1926 and moved onto the Whiteknights Campus in 1947. Since 1971 Reading hosts one of the biggest music festivals in England, the Reading Festival. Since 1999, this festival has been twinned with the Leeds festival, which takes place at the same time, with the same acts appearing at both festivals, but on different days. The city is the home of musician Mike Oldfield and the first and probably most famous singer of hard rock band Uriah Heep, David Byron, lived his last years in Reading before his death in 1985.

The local shopping centre, named The Oracle, was built in 1999 and is named after the 17th century workhouse founded by John Kendrick which had previously stood on the site. The Museum of Reading first opened in 1883 and is housed in the Town Hall, parts of which date back as far as a hundred years earlier to 1786. The museum hosts galleries depicting to the history of the city and its related industries. The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, the Cole Museum of Zoology and the Harris Botanic Gardens are all is situated on the university’s Whiteknights Campus. In the suburb of Woodley, the Museum of Berkshire Aviation is also a worth-while destination – it has a large collection of aircraft, which relate relate to the town’s aircraft industry.

Reading university accommodation

Reading is home to two universities, who offer a wide range of accommodation in convenient areas of the city. It should be understood that the university halls are designed primarily for students: not children or for adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the halls do meet level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.

Getting around Reading

Reading is 41 miles (66 km) west of central London and around 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Oxford. The city is closely skirted by the M4 motorway, which serves it via three junctions (J10-12). The city is also major intersection point on the national rail system and Reading station is a busy transfer point between many of the England’s cities. It is linked via railway to both Paddington and Waterloo stations in London. The Paddington route offers both fast (around 30 minutes) and stopping services, whilst the Waterloo line offers only the latter. Inter-city services also connect the city to Bristol, Cardiff and South Wales, Exeter, Plymouth and South West England, Birmingham and the North of England, and Southampton and Bournemouth.

There are additional local services linking Reading to Oxford, Newbury, Basingstoke and Guildford. The nearest airport is London Heathrow, which is 25 miles (40 km) and can be reached by car or by the express RailAir bus service. London Gatwick is 60 miles (97 km) away by road and can also be reached by direct trains from Reading. Away from London, the nearest airport is Southampton Airport, which is aorund 45 miles (72 km) away by road.

History of Reading

The settlement was founded in the 8th century at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet. It was originally named Readingum, which probably comes from the “Readingas”, an Anglo-Saxon tribe whose name literally means "Reada's People", or, arguably less probably, from the Celtic Rhydd-Inge, meaning "Ford over the River". In the latter part of 870 an Danish army invaded the then kingdom of Wessex and used Reading as their base. The beginning of the following year saw the first Battle of Reading, when an army lead by King Ethelred and his brother Alfred the Great attempted to breach the defences of the Danes, albeit unsuccessfully. The battle has been described in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and thus provides the earliest known written record of the existence of the town of Reading. The Danes were in Reading for another year after that, until they finally retreated to their winter quarters located in London. The town had grown marginally by the time it was listed in the Domesday Book in 1086, having a modest population of around 600. Reading Abbey was founded by Henry I in 1121, who was also buried there, and this led to the town becoming a place of pilgrimage. It is not known precisely how badly the city was affected by the Black Death, which swept through England during the 14th century. It is, however, known that the abbot of Reading Abbey, Henry of Appleford, was one of its victims of the plague in 1361.

In 1538, the Abbey was almost destroyed during Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. The very last abbot, Hugh Cook Faringdon, was later tried and convicted of high treason, for which he was hanged, drawn and quartered in front of the Abbey Church. By the middle of the 16th century, Reading had become the largest town in the county of Berkshire, and according totax returns, was also the 10th largest town in the country, based on taxable wealth. By the beginning of the 17th century, the town’s population was a respectable 5000 and it had grown rich due to its cloth trade. During this period, Reading had mostly traditional timber framed houses. Several examples of such houses still exist in Castle Street and Market Place. During the English Civil War, the town played a very important role, when it changed hands a number of times. The Siege of Reading by the Parliamentary forces succeeded in April 1643, however, the taxes imposed on the town by the garrison badly damaged the cloth trade, which did not manage to recover. During the Revolution of 1688, Reading was also the only site of significant fighting in the country, with the second Battle of Reading.

The 18th century saw the establishment of a major iron works in the town and the growth of the brewing trade, for which Reading would one day be famous. Reading's trade then benefited from better designed turnpike roads, which helped it put itself on the major coaching routes from London to Oxford and to the west country. Increased river traffic on borth rivers also helped the city develop. In 1810, the opening of the Kennet and Avon Canal made it possible to travel by barge from Reading to the Bristol Channel. Towards the end of the 19th century, Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, lived at Bulmershe Court. When he was appointed prime minister, he moved to Richmond, but had nonetheless retained his local connections in the town. He even went so far as to donate the four acres (16,000 m²), occupied today by the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

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