Getting to Reading Festival: Directions, train travel and car parks

Becky blog author avanti social team

By the Avanti Web Team

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3 mins read | May 26, 2023

Reading Festival gives music lovers the chance to see the world’s biggest artists on the banks of the river Thames. Before ticket holders dance the weekend away, they need to get to the town centre site. Understand your travel options and get your weekend off to the best start with a smooth, stress-free trip to Reading Festival.

With options of travelling by car, coach, bus or train, this article will explain the pros and cons of each.

How to get to Reading Festival

Reading Festival is held in the town centre on Little John’s Farm, next to Caversham Bridge on the river Thames. This makes the UK event one of the most unique, with festival goers watching acts, dancing and camping on the riverbanks. It’s also one of the easiest to get to.

What is the Reading Festival postcode?

Reading Festival’s location is on Richfield Avenue with the postcode RG1 8EQ. However, if you’re looking for directions to Reading Festival, using the postcode isn’t recommended. To get to the right entrance, car park or drop-off point, you need to follow specific instructions for your chosen mode of transport.

How to get to Reading Festival by train

Catch a train to Reading station to get to Reading Festival. There are regular trains from major cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol and Swansea. If you’re travelling from London, trains go from Paddington station.

The walk from Reading train station to the Reading Festival site takes around 20 minutes. You may be a little slower if you’re carrying tents, clothes and the rest of your festival gear. If you prefer, you can catch a taxi from right outside the station to the Red Gate entrance on Tessa Road. This will cost around £5 to £6.

Shuttle bus to Reading Festival

Shuttle buses are an easy way to get to and from the centre of Reading town to the festival site. Services 97 and 98 will be running between Thames Side Promenade at the festival and Sainsbury's Friar Street or Reading Station North in town.

Single tickets cost £1.50 and an unlimited weekend pass is £6. Both can be purchased via the Reading Buses app.

Reading Festival directions by car

If you’re driving to Reading Festival, you’re advised not to follow your sat nav as it won’t take you to the right car park. Instead, follow the AA signs or directions given on your car pass to make sure you get to the correct area. This may be the White, Green or Broad Street Mall car park. You then need to display your car pass if you’re leaving your vehicle for the weekend or day.

If you’re just dropping off friends or kit, then head to Hills Meadow car park.

Get to Reading Festival by coach

Reading Festival has partnered with Big Green Coach to help ticketholders get to the site easily. Both weekend and day services are available from 38 UK locations. Places are available to purchase alongside event tickets.

What to expect at Reading Festival

There has been a music festival in Reading since 1961, though it looks very different now compared to when it first started. In the first few years, Reading Festival was dedicated to jazz artists. Now, it attracts more than 100,000 people each year with headliners from across the world of music, including indie, pop and rock artists.

In 1999, the festival became a two-venue August Bank Holiday event, the Reading and Leeds Festival. Many of the same acts perform at both venues, often on consecutive nights, with the Leeds opening day line-up playing the final day of Reading.

Both weekend and day tickets are available for the event, with the choice of on-site camping or off-site accommodation. For the best of both worlds, there are glamping areas with more luxurious toilets, 24-hour security and warm showers. VIP sites and places to stay in town get booked up quickly, so be sure to look for options well in advance.

Once there, there are lots of spaces and stages to explore. Dance and sing with headliners at the main stage, tuck into a snack from a food and drink stand or upgrade to relax in the Reading Lounge. You can even pop into Reading town for breakfast or to continue your night out. Whatever you do, Reading Festival promises an exciting weekend on the banks of the River Thames.

Save on train tickets to Reading Festival

Once you’ve got your ticket to Reading Festival, you’ll have plenty of time to plan your train journey. Booking in advance and travelling off-peak (anytime on Friday, Saturday or Sunday) wherever possible are the easiest ways to save on your train tickets.

Use a Railcard, buy a group ticket or compare prices on the Avanti West Coast app to find the best deal on stress-free travel to Reading Festival.

Buy train tickets for your next journey here:

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees. To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance and booking as a group visit our ways to save page.

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