Come and find us!
Our hydro plant is on the River Thames in Reading, between Caversham Weir and View Island. It’s easily visible from public land that’s open 24/7, so you can visit whenever you like. Have a good look at our hydro turbines and fish pass from the West end of View Island. Stand on the footpath on the North bank of the river to get a full panorama of the murals on our turbine house, or walk along the public footpath that crosses the weir for a close-up view. Information boards around the site explain all about Reading Hydro, see details below.
View Larger Map
Address: View Island, Caversham Weir, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8BP. OS grid reference SU720741.
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.
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.
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
Organise a visit
Bring a school or youth group
If you’re a teacher or youth leader we can help you plan a trip to the hydro plant and/or fish pass. We will be hosting visits specifically to help teachers and youth leaders plan. Our volunteers can also give short on-site talks when you bring your group. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the name of your school/college/youth organisation, the age range of the group you want to bring and any special interests, and we’ll let you know the date of the next available visit for teachers and youth leaders. Please note that the school/college/youth organisation is fully responsible for all aspects of their trip, including health and safety, insurance and safeguarding.
Bring a special interest group
Organised groups of adults (over 18), such as MSc students and environmental groups, are welcome to visit. We’ll try to find volunteer hosts to match your particular interests or, if you prefer, provide an on-site talk. Email email@example.com and we’ll send a visit request form for more details.
If you’re paying us a visit, please respect the local environment on View Island and the River Thames. They are precious resources and a habitat for the wildlife of Reading. Reading Hydro volunteers have helped improve the environment on View Island, and we want to co-exist positively with our neighbours! Some of the 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 visible and accessible from the Hills Meadow car park off George Street.
- 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.
Behind the scenes
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! See what goes on inside the turbine house:
See how we clear the trash screens of debris to stop it entering the turbines:
Thanks to our O&M and clearance volunteers for producing these videos.