Welcome to Explore Reading!

Welcome to Reading image

Welcome to Explore Reading – your new critical guide to the best things to do, places to eat or drink and cultural events to check out in Reading, UK

Whether you’re a long-time Reading resident, just visiting for the weekend or are looking to find more to do in the area where you live, Explore Reading‘s got you covered.

Who is Explore Reading?

Claire Slobodian
Founding editor, Claire Slobodian. Photo: Diana Francis

This site was launched in July 2017 by Claire Slobodian. (Hello, that’s me up there!) I’m a Reading native and a journalist. In late 2015, I moved back to West Reading after 5 years working as Editor of Timeoutshanghai.com.

When I returned to Reading, I heard a lot of warning cries. “Reading is a cultural blackspot”, someone cautioned. “But it’s all just chains, isn’t it?” was another. Or, my favourite: “Well, it’s quite nice, but there’s just nothing to do here”. Quickly, I discovered this was all nonsense.

Over my past year rediscovering Reading, I have sampled dreamy coffee from Tamp Culture, had an epic Spanish feast from ILovePaella and sipped a teeth-tingling Rhubarb Ale at Craft Theory.

I found Reading’s burgeoning hip hop scene at Are You Listening Festival? and watched Iranian cinema at Reading Film Theatre. I marvelled at ArtAngel’s Inside at Reading Prison – proof that we can be home to a world-class arts scene. And I was wowed by Reading Between the Line’s excellent production of ‘Henry 1’ – a reminder that we have a claim to one of England’s most interesting slices of history.

In that year, I discovered that there is a lot to love about Reading.

But, it wasn’t always so easy to find out about these openings or events. There was a lot of digging around on Twitter or combing through Facebook. So, I’m launching Explore Reading to make it easier to highlight the best of our town for everyone. So no one has to say, ‘there’s nothing to do in Reading’, again.

About our team

For now, we are a small team of two volunteers. So our content will start small. But we hope to grow and bring you more of the best of Reading on a weekly basis.

Find out more about Explore Reading and how we’ll work over in our About Us section.

Explore Reading owes a creative debt to many local websites and blogs who have long been promoting our town and building online communities proud of Reading. This site, and my social life, was inspired by: AltReading (where I used to write), EdibleReading, The Whitley Pump, Reading-on-Thames, Shit and Not Shit Pubs in Reading and Get Reading, among others. Do go and read them too.

Discover our articles

Right now, we’re focusing on three sections of the site:

Food & Drink

See our guide to the Food Markets worth checking out in Reading. We’ll also be spotlighting a Happy Hour of the Month. This time, the team gets merry at The Mal Bar.

Things to Do

Here you’ll find our extensive guide to the Best Things to do in Reading in August. It’s heaving with over 15 events, gigs, art shows, festivals, films, talks and more that we can’t wait to attend. And you thought there was nothing to do here!

We’ve also got guides to the biggest events of the summer: Readipop Festival, and all the open-air film screenings you can handle in outdoor cinema season.

Heritage & Culture

Finally, my dad likes to frequently remind me that there is also a lot of history in Reading. And he’s right. So to honour that, our Heritage and Culture section will take a look at our town’s historical sites and attractions, as well as cultural events, including theatre, art exhibitions, classical music and more.

For now, check out our review of the Thames Tower-hosted art show A Better Britain II: Britlins and find out everything you need to know about the Reading Fringe Festival.

Thanks for having a read, and welcome to Explore Reading. I hope you enjoy sticking around!


Editor, Explore Reading

Get in touch!

Do you want to get involved with any aspect of Explore Reading? Visit our contact us page to get in touch.

If you are organising an event in Reading, and you think we should know about it, let us know here

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Your independent guide to the best of Reading. So no one has to say, ‘there’s nothing to do in Reading’ again. Read more.
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