Summer activities around Reading

Mature student Andy, MPhil History, takes us through her top tips for keeping busy in and around Reading this summer. Got your family with you? Andy has it covered.

As the Summer continues many of us have the burning question in our minds ‘What to do with all this free time’? Some of us won’t be returning home to our families, and if you’re a mature student you may have a family of your own to entertain.

The University of Reading and our state of the art train station are fortunate to be central to many locations in the south of England. For those who drive, there are vast opportunities quite close to campus for outings and endless amounts of fun.

Reading: There are many family friendly activities taking place in our town. The Reading Museum hosts many kid friendly activities, is located off Broad Street and is very accessible. Best bit is it’s FREE!  For festivals and other events it’s always helpful to visit for neighbouring areas such as Woodley, Wokingham, and Earley. For the Oracle, visit: The Reading Music Festival is also set to return on the bank holiday weekend in August.

The City of London: Traveling to London for a round trip with a ‘Friends and Family’ discount card (£30 per year) from National Rail Cards, runs at £18 to Paddington Station. London has many museums, and historical attractions that are open almost every day. Foodie, shopper, to museum hopper places to visit include: the Victoria and Albert Museum, Household Cavalry Museum (home of the famous horseguards) Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Museum, The Tower of London, Hyde Park, Harrods Department Store just to name a few.  This isn’t even mentioning all the shows to watch in London’s famous West End. All are must see and suitable for families and students alike.

Windsor: Easily accessible from Reading, holds the famous Windsor Castle, Castle Gardens, and St. George’s Cathedral and Legoland.  To visit Legoland it is suggested you book your tickets in advanced. Prices are listed as £35 per individual. Careful eyes can find discount coupons on several goods purchased at shops such as one currently with Cadburys for a voucher for ‘Buy one adult ticket and get a free’.

Winchester: A city of Saxon origin and the capitol of the old Wessex kingdom, the city of Winchester houses some of the most fascinating cites near reading within a half hour train ride.  For a start, the famous round table located in Winchester’s Great hall, and Winchester Cathedral, are sites to see.  Jane Austen fans would be interested to know that she is interned there. Throughout the summer, the cathedral is hosting monthly events, including ‘Jane Austen – Regency Tea and Readings’. The high street in Winchester houses many fascinating shopping experiences and places for lunch within its picturesque walls. The cities’ website hosts a wealth of information including free events.


More Summer inspiration

Our next list of summer tips comes from second year student Grace. Grace caught up with other students to find out about their ideal summer, and inspire the rest of us!


Exam revision takes up a significant amount of time before the summer holidays. This can lead to summer plans being easily forgotten or put to one side. If you are looking for some CV boosting, fun and last-minute ideas, or getting organised early for next summer, here are a few things six Reading University students are doing for their sunny season.

Why not broaden your horizons with some traveling?

“I’m currently traveling through Europe with Busabout, and it’s amazing!! I’ve been to Lake Como, now I’m in Switzerland, then we’re heading to Paris, Munich and Prague.”

Balancing an internship with a relaxing time abroad

“I’m going to Budapest to explore the main sites and bars for a week with friends, then I’m doing a 4-week editorial internship at a publishing company.”

“As an overseas student I spend most of my summer on the beach in Gibraltar. Though this summer also I’m going to visit morocco and Italy with some friends from university. Then I’ll return to Reading to take up a placement as part of my History Education module.”

Music Festivals are the place to be

“This summer I will be preparing for my dissertation, and working my regular part time job to save money. For fun, I’m going to lots of festivals including Field Day, Truck, Reading and more…”

Volunteering at home or away

“I’m going to America tomorrow to volunteer with the Salvation Army, then au pairing in Spain for a month, and then I’m doing work experience at the British museum!”

“This summer I am going to Bali in Indonesia for 5 weeks with a friend from the university. We are going out to volunteer and teach English in a local village school.”


Hopefully, these summer plans have given you plenty of food for thought on how you can get the most out of your summer!


Summer student stories!

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing some tips from our students about how they spend their summer holidays. We’re starting off with some last minute tips from year 3 student, Holly…


Do something you enjoy. I love watching tennis so got a ground pass for a day at the Wimbledon Championships

As a student, the summer holidays are arguably the best time of year. The weather picks up and you have no looming essay deadlines, exams to revise for, or lectures to go to. However, the summer is also a valuable time for us to gain some work experience, make a bit of money, or give back to our community or causes that we are passionate about.

If you have extensive summer plans already then that’s great! But as a final year undergraduate, I have learnt how to manage my summer holiday time wisely over the years and here are my top tips for you this summer.

  1. Take a minute to think about your passions. Whether that’s sports, art or film; make sure you do a little of what you enjoy.
  2. Take up something new. The summer is a great time to try out something new. For example, join a gym, learn to cook a new dish, read a new book or get creative.
  3. Think about your CV. See if you can pick up any work experience, a job to get a bit of cash or do some volunteer work. These all add to your CV, and show that you have taken some initiative over the summer holiday. Double bonus if you can combine your passions with some work or volunteering. As a geography student, I have always been passionate about the environment, so I spent some time volunteering for my local council to raise awareness of the importance of recycling in my local area. This was both interesting for me and added something a bit different to my CV. Some useful sites to find jobs and/or volunteer work can be found at the end of this article.
  4. Plan for the future. The summer holidays are the perfect time to plan what you want to achieve in the next year or so, and think more about career aspirations. Once you have a couple of goals in mind, work towards achieving them over the summer.
  5. Don’t forget that this is your summer holiday so make sure you take some time out to relax before the next busy academic year.