Now under the care of the National Trust, this Grade I country house was built between 1776 and 1783 in the Palladian style – a European style of architecture derived from and inspired by the designs of the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio. Basildon Park has had a number of owners including the British Government when it was used as a convalescent hospital and barracks during the World Wars.
Gifted to the National Trust in 1978, today house has undergone major restoration – the elegant interior is a must see. Alongside the fabulous architectural fixtures and fittings throughout the house there are fine paintings, fabrics and furniture to enjoy. Basildon Park lit up the small screen in ITV’s Downton Abbey, the London Season, 2013.
The Living Rainforest
Approximately 14.4 miles from Reading, The Living Rainforest is an indoor greenhouse run by the Trust for Sustainable Living which is home to a tropical rainforest, popular as an ecological centre, educational centre and visitor attraction. The Living Rainforest has an emphasis on sustainable development and sustainable living to conserve the world’s disappearing forests and threatened ecosystems.
With over 700 different species of plants and animals the centre has received a number of grants resulting in an acclaimed education programme – having attracted 20,000 schoolchildren to the centre in 2010-11, and is now widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading eco-attractions.
Legoland Windsor Resort
If you are out with the children in Berkshire nothing beats a trip to Legoland, offering rides and games themed by these well-loved children’s building bricks. Don’t miss the Imagination Centre with its educational attractions Build & Test Workshops, Lego Mindstorms NXT-based Lego Mindstorms Workshop and Robolab Workshop for a futuristic experience.
With 11 themed areas you and the family can enjoy exploring the Kingdom of the Pharaohs, The Land of the Vikings and Pirates Landing – each offering their own unique fun-filled rides and entertainment. If you have young children be sure to visit Duplo Valley with activities such as Splash Safari and the Duplo train for little ones to enjoy. See Choice Hotel’s Guide to Legoland for more information.
Museum of Reading
Housed in Reading Town Hill the Museum of Reading showcases the history of this Berkshire Town and its related industries. The Museum is open from 10am – 4pm from Tuesday to Saturday and is free to enter.
There are 8 principle galleries to explore, my favourites include ‘Reading: People & Place’ which documents the history of Reading from the 6th Century Saxon settlement through to today and The Bayeux Gallery which contains an extraordinary replica of the famous Bayeux Tapestry (my favourite exhibit) together with information on the history of Saxon migration and Viking raids in the local area.
Kennet and Avon Canal
Made up of 87 miles of waterway the Kennet and Avon Canal flows from Bristol to Bath via the River Avon before linking it to the River Kennet at Newbury. From there it flows to Reading on the River Thames and incorporates 105 locks along the way. A stand out view of the Canal is along Caen Hill where 29 locks made up the Devizes flight.
This stretch of waterway has been developed after restoration work finished in 1990 as a popular heritage tourism destination for boating, canoeing, fishing, walking and cycling, and is also important for wildlife conservation with species such as the water vole, dragonflies and damselflies and a wide range of water fowl making their homes along the canal.
Thanks to Choice Hotels for working with Not Another Mummy Blog