Reading is a university town 20 minutes west of London. The town is on the Thames, at the very end of the Kennet and Avon Canal, and in the Middle Ages was the site of an influential abbey, the ruins of which can be seen around the central Forbury Gardens. It’s famous for the annual Reading Festival, an outdoor rock music event. Shops and riverside restaurants dot the town centre. Places of interest include The Reading Museum, which explores the town’s past, from its earliest days as a Saxon Settlement and Caversham Court, where in the past some of Reading’s most powerful families have lived.