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 ancient market town is memorable as the birth-place of our great Alfred in 849, and his jubilee in 1849; and during the time of the Saxons it was a royal residence. The famous Wayland Smith’s Cave, on Childry Downs, is not far from the town. In the romance of “Kenilworth,” Wayland Smith plays a prominent part, and his character – though founded on a slight foundation – has been drawn by the author of Waverley with amazing power and freshness, forming another of those poetical creations which his wizard pen has left to solace sickness, console sorrow, inspire genius, and defy imitation.
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Banbury is situated on the river Cherwell; the navigable canal from Coventry to Oxford passes by this town.
Delightfully situated on a sloping bank of the Thames, amid extensive beech woods.