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“Make sure you go during a dig!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Silchester

Silchester
Reading, England
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Ranked #5 of 33 Attractions in Reading
Type: Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Cultural
Attraction details
Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Make sure you go during a dig!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Most of the reviews of this I've read are fairly accurate - it's basically an enormous field surrounded by an original Roman flint wall, with a footpath running on top of the wall, but the main point of interest is the amphitheatre; a full intact example that you can walk all the way around at the top (although this path can be slightly precipitous,) and mooch around down on the arena itself. There are the usual information signs which are quite nice. The car park is free and has more information signs but be aware that the car park is the other end from the amphitheatre and church - it's worth driving round the other side and parking in the church car park if you want to see these two features in particular. On a Sunny day, its a very nice walk, but on a cold winters day it's all rather bleak and windy. However! the real time to visit Silchester is when Reading University's archeologists are doing a 'dig.' They do the dig every year and fill all the soil back in again, but when they are at it there is a student assigned to 'tourist duty' and if the foreman sees you he sends the student over to make you welcome and show you around the tent with all the artifacts they've dug up. I presume the dates can change each year so best to check with the university, but we happened upon this by chance and it added a lot of interest to our visit. The Red Lion pub isn't far away either and that's worth visiting as well just to experience the gigantic inglenook-type fireplace, and it also does meals and badger ale.

Visited June 2012
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92 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“An interesting day out for the history buffs amongst us”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

It's a nice walk around the old Roman settlement. The history of Britain is something that has always amazed me I was facinated to read about the town. We took a picnic and made a day of it, and it was great that there were local students from Reading that were on hand and available to explain the latest goings on at the site. The church is always worth a visit.

Would recommend it to any history buffs out there.

Visited June 2012
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Basingstoke, United Kingdom
1 review
“Roman Silchester”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

I live locally and often walk around/on the walls. There is a circular walk around the walls bisected by one through the middle. Not easily wheelchair accessible, but very nice for a walk. There are maps near the entrance in the main carpark, and a number of information plaques as you walk around. If you get the chance visit during the summer holidays when the university runs an archeological dig, and the students explain all about the site and their finds. No facilities (toilets/cafe/museum) etc and local pubs are driving, rather than walking distance. The ampitheatre - just outside the circular walk - is also worth a visit. Very atmospheric, and an English Heritage site..

Visited October 2012
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“stunning”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

what an amazing place, if you are atall interested in history or archeaolgy really worth a visit. the explanations and guide was great

Visited October 2012
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Farnham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Feel close to those Romans!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

This is such a peaceful place to go for a walk, and the original walls are in ruins but still standing, so you just have to close your eyes and you are back in the second century with just the birds for company. Stand in the southern gate and look out to the south, and imagine you are about to march down to Dorchester or wherever. I first saw this gate on a tv documentary and the next day I was delighted to find that Silchester was only near Basingstoke. I had no idea suce a Roman town still survived in this part of England. For history lovers it is an absolute must.

Visited April 2012
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