Getting to the ground
The ground is literally miles out of town - 3 miles from the station as near as dammit. If arriving by train then the recommendation is to drink in the town centre and then catch the special F1 shuttle bus from just down the road from the station. Full info on this service is in the Visiting Supporters Guide..
If you're driving there then the parking options appear to be:
- pay anywhere from £5 to £10 in a car park, and probably have a long wait to get out after the game
- Mereoak Park & Ride; parking is free, then the bus is £3.50 return, or there's a group ticket for up to four people for 7 quid
- if you arrive early, it may be possible to park in the streets around Spencer Road; this is fairly handy for a couple of the pub options
- head for Three Mile Cross on the opposite side of the motorway to the ground; not only can you park for nowt, getting away will be no problem; plus there's the excellent Swan Inn, which is about a 25-30 minute walk from the ground
The Three Guineas (next door to the station) is designated an away fans pub and gets good reviews, although obviously it'll get chocka. You'll struggle to get served anywhere else though if you're wearing colours or if they suspect you're a football fan. If you do venture further afield the the Grey Friar, the Ale House (formerly the Hobgoblin) and the Allied Arms are worth checking out. There is naturally a Wetherspoons outlet, the Hope Tap, in the town.
The drinking options around the ground are slightly better than they used to be. For a start there's the Fan Zone at the ground itself, which opens two hours before kick-off. Then there's the bar in the Holiday Inn (Callaghan's). If it's an actual pub you want then head for Reading's newest, the Island Lounge. It's a 20 minute walk from here to the ground. Slightly further away is the World Turned Upside Down, which is a Harvester. By far the best of the options though is the aforementioned Swan Inn, from where it's about a 25-30 minute walk to the ground..
If you decide to use the Park & Ride then the Black Boy is only a 6 or 7 minute walk from the car park. Unfortunately it's currently closed for refurbishment, re-opening (believe it or not) the day after the game!
Football Ground Guide
Official Reading site
Visiting Supporters Guide