23 Apr 2021

Rediscover Reading town centre: Shopping, eating, drinking - and more!

Fed up with the impersonal nature of internet shopping and not being able to touch something before you buy? The second stage of re-opening the economy on 12 April means our non-essential retail businesses can reopen again.

In line with the new Government Roadmap to Recovery guidelines, all shops can open again, along with outdoor attractions and outdoor dining at restaurants and cafes.

John Lewis, Reading - credit Great West WayImage credit: The Great West Way

First off, a big thanks to the marvellous men and women who have kept our supermarkets, banks, pharmacies and other “essential” shops going throughout the last 12 months. They are now joined by all those shops and services that make such a difference to the quality of our lives. Welcome back to the hairdressers, the department stores, the fashion boutiques, the nail bars and much, much more.

Here are some ideas to make the most of your trip back to Reading's town centre:

Visit the high street

At the heart of Reading’s retail appeal, John Lewis Reading will open its doors again on 12 April. Other John Lewis shops may not have survived the lockdown, but the Broad Street store is back to continue its nearly 70 years of association with the town! Oracle Shopping Centre stores reopen again, returning to their pre-pandemic opening hours to offer a quieter early evening shopping alternative.

Check out Reading's Indies

Many of Reading’s independent stores have survived through innovation during lockdown, offering takeaway, click and collect or delivery services. Pop in and help them get back on their feet with your custom. From jewellery to hats, cheese to comics, help keep Reading an independent town.

Get a haircut

Pampering and grooming is definitely an area that has been put on hold during lockdown. Hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons and nail bars re-open again from 12 April. They’re bound to be busy so make sure you book an appointment if your hair is down to your ankles!

Grab a coffee in the sunshine

Many of Reading’s food and drink businesses will be making the most of their outdoor space from 12 April. Take a break from shopping to relax over a skinny latte at Workhouse or a gluten free cake at Nibsy’s.

Visit the gym

Gyms in the town centre are also allowed to open from 12 April, so keep up all that good work done over lockdown at home but with better equipment and support!

For more information and the full list of Reading shops, as well as outdoor dining and cafes, head to the Living Reading website.