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.
Blenheim Park to the right. A government grant of half a million of money was expended in the erection of a magnificent palace at this place for the Duke of Marlborough in the reign of Queen Anne. Besides a beautiful chapel, it contains a library of more than 17,000 volumes. It also contained a most costly collection of paintings, until recently (1861), the most valuable portion of them having been accidentally destroyed by fire. It is a calamity the nation will deeply deplore. The grounds are laid out with great taste; and the park, which is richly wooded, is about 2,700 acres in extent.
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Cheltenham takes its name from the river Chelt, and is celebrated for its medicinal waters. It has been for the last sixty years one of the most elegant and fashionable watering places in England.
Banbury is situated on the river Cherwell; the navigable canal from Coventry to Oxford passes by this town.