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Come and find us!
Our hydro scheme is on the River Thames in Reading, between Caversham Weir and View Island. You can walk 24/7 along the public footpath that crosses the weir for a close-up view of the hydro turbines, the murals on the turbine house and the fish pass. Information boards around the site explain all about Reading Hydro
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Address: View Island, Caversham Weir, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8BP. OS grid reference SU720741. What3words: ///gained.lock.title.
Coming from Reading train station:
Wheelchair users Leave from the north side of the station, down the ramp. Cross the car park exit and head along Trooper Potts Way. Turn right along Vastern Road, cross the car park entrances, and cross Vastern Road at the traffic lights. Turn left and cross Kings Meadow Road at the central refuge. Continue on George Street over Reading Bridge. Immediately after the bridge, turn left down a sloped tarmac path, to join the riverside path. Continue along this path until you reach a wooden bridge on the right which takes you over the Mill Steam and onto View Island. The tarmac path along the side of the Island takes you past the ‘technical section’ of Reading Hydro’s fish pass, and along to the turbine house.
Pedestrians Can follow the route above. Alternatively, after crossing Kings Meadow Road, take the second left and follow the short road past Thames Lido to the Thames Path: you can see the hydro plant from here. Cross Caversham lock onto De Bohun island, and follow the path to the turbine house across Caversham weir.
Coming by car
Wheelchair users Park north of the Thames in Hills Meadow car park, off George Street. There are Blue Badge parking bays close to the riverside path on the North of the Thames. From here follow the wheelchair route above.
Other drivers Park in Hills Meadow car park. Alternatively, park south of the Thames in Kings Meadow car park, off Kings Meadow road. Follow the pedestrian route across the lock and weir. Charges apply in both car parks.
Make a virtual tour! View the information boards and operations videos
Six information boards around the site explain all about Reading Hydro. You can find them on the route map, and read the details of each board below. After that, watch our videos of how the O&M team work inside the turbine house, and how the clearance team stop debris from getting into the turbines. Many thanks to the University of Reading for producing the information boards, and to our O&M and Clearance volunteers for producing the videos.
Board 1: Welcome to Reading Hydro
Board 2: The Reading Hydro fish pass
Board 3: Climate heating and renewable energy
Board 4: Helping wildlife on View Island
Board 5: Hydroelectricity generation
Board 6: Trees and plants on View Island
Work inside the turbine house
We aren’t allowed to take visitors inside the turbine house, for safety and insurance reasons, but you can watch some behind the scenes footage.
Stopping debris from getting into the turbines
Organise a site tour or talk
Bring a special interest group
We offer tours around the hydro site for adult groups (over 18s), such as MSc courses and environmental groups. We’ll try to find volunteer hosts to match any particular interests. If you prefer we can give a talk on-site. Email email@example.com to say what interests you and we’ll send a tour request form for more details.
Bring a school, FE or youth group
If you’re a teacher or youth leader, why not plan a trip to the hydro plant and fish pass? Our volunteers can be there to give short interactive talks. Go to For schools, FE and youth groups to find out how to request talks, and the other educational materials we can provide. Please note that the school/college/youth organisation is fully responsible for all aspects of their trip, including health and safety, insurance and safeguarding.
Amenities near the site
If you’re paying us a visit, please respect the local environment. The River Thames and View Island are precious resources and a habitat for the wildlife of Reading. Reading Hydro volunteers helped fish and eels move more easily upriver, and also improved the environment on View Island. We want to go on co-existing positively with our neighbours!
Amenities local to our site include:
- Thames Lido: the wonderfully restored historic open swimming baths are just beside Caversham Lock, and include spa facilities and a great restaurant and bar. Not only that, Thames Lido buys most of the electricity that Reading Hydro produces! Find out more here.
- Whittington’s Tea Barge: Operates between March – October; fancy a cup of tea and a slice of delicious cake? Whittington’s will be very happy to accommodate you by the Thames near Reading Bridge. Find out more here.
- Christchurch Meadows & Hills Meadows: Our site is located next to two of the three parks in this part of Reading. The turbine house is visible from the Hills Meadow car park off George Street, and you can walk from their to see the hydro scheme close up.
- Kings Meadow: On the other side of the Thames? Kings Meadow is a wide open park with the Thames Path running through it. You get a wonderful view and photography opportunity of our site just in front of Caversham Lock.