Reading is situated on two small eminences, whose gentle declivities fall into a pleasant vale, through which the branches of the Kennet flow till they unite with the Thames at the extremity of the town.
This place is celebrated for it race course on the Heath (nearly 2 miles in circuit), with a Royal Grand Stand, two stables, large coach house, commodious weighing houses, &c., all constructed by the Duke of Cumberland. The sport at these races is first-rate. They are generally attended by the Royal Family in state, and the elite of the court, nobility, and fashion of England.
Twenty years ago Ascot Heath was as wild a district as any in Great Britain, with hardly a house visible from it but the Royal Kennels, and an apology for a race stand. Now the buildings appropriated to the turf form a little city of Olympian palaces, the most complete range of racing Chateaux extant. The sport, too, is indeed worthy of being set before a Sovereign. On most occasions there are upwards of thirty races, some of them bringing together the best horses in the land, and the whole generally go off with considerable éclat.
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The seat of her majesty the Queen, and of her ancestors from the period of the Conquest. Eton College also is within a short distance.
Hampton Court stands on the north bank of the Thames, about twelve miles from London. Numerous sovereigns have made it their temporary abode; and the last who resided here were George II. and his Queen.