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Reading

Hiking around Reading

Hiking

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Photo: STU

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Far more than a convenient town from which to commute to London, exploring the walks in Reading will reveal all sorts of intriguing things if you know where to look. This thriving market town lies on the confluence of the River Thames and the River Kennet along with the Kennet & Avon Canal. Add in the numerous lakes on its outskirts and you’re scarcely more than a stone’s throw from water wherever you go.

There’s a wonderful variety of hikes in Reading and throughout its vibrant surroundings. It’s bordered to the north and west by two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has pockets of woodlands, parks and riverside trails all within easy reach of the centre. Whether you’re looking for a short Sunday stroll, a day-long adventure or a multi-day expedition, there’s something for you in this historic town. 

Find a route, get your boots and head out the door, Berkshire’s largest town is waiting.


Top 20 best walks and hikes around Reading

    Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    1
    1
    Intermediate
    02:22
    5.71 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    2
    Difficult
    05:57
    14.4 mi
    2.4 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    04:47
    11.6 mi
    2.4 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    4
    Intermediate
    04:36
    11.2 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    5
    Intermediate
    02:43
    6.65 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    6
    Intermediate
    02:03
    4.73 mi
    2.3 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Intermediate
    03:04
    7.25 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Intermediate
    02:43
    6.61 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Intermediate
    02:19
    5.50 mi
    2.4 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    02:19
    5.65 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Easy
    01:37
    3.96 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    12
    Intermediate
    04:57
    12.1 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    13
    Easy
    01:32
    3.73 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    04:13
    10.2 mi
    2.4 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    15
    Easy
    01:19
    3.08 mi
    2.3 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    16
    Intermediate
    02:54
    6.87 mi
    2.4 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    17
    Intermediate
    03:29
    8.31 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    18
    Easy
    01:15
    3.05 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    19
    Easy
    01:40
    4.10 mi
    2.5 mph
    25 ft
    25 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    20
    Intermediate
    04:32
    10.8 mi
    2.4 mph
    400 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View

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More Information

Canal boats, kingfishers and waterside trails

Considering its inland location, this old town has more than a touch of watery landscape about it. In fact, some of the best hiking trails in Reading visit a watercourse of some description. The Thames is the town’s most obvious artery, and a beautiful companion for adventures, with its peaceful banks and puttering boats. There’s a trail that follows its southern bank for considerable distances, allowing you to use the river as a pretty route for hikes out of Reading. 

The River Kennet flows in from the south west and also has trails along its beautiful, verdant banks. The Kennet & Avon Canal runs alongside it, often using sections of the river to aid its journey. The confluence of the Kennet and Thames is immediately north east of the town centre, next to Caversham Lakes. This lake system not only makes for a lovely place to walk in Reading, but you can even cool off there by taking a dip. 

Blending historic sites and beautiful landscapes

Just upriver from Caversham Lakes and Reading town lies the village of Sonning and its picturesque span, Sonning Bridge. To the west of the centre you can find the huge Prospect Park, a Grade II-listed green space, along with its impressive 18th-century mansion house. For a touch of Reading’s oldest history, seek out the ruined abbey in the heart of the town, which lies just between the Thames and the Kennet. 

To the north west, you can hike along the Thames to reach the grand Elizabethan house, Mapledurham, and its exquisite estate. Built on the site of a 12th-century manor, this stunning private estate is still owned by the same family who built it in the 16th century. You can take tours of the house, watermill and grounds. 

Getting to Reading

Reading is particularly well connected by train and road from London, Bristol and Southampton. There are abundant local buses and, if you happen to have a river boat, you can even tie up in the marina.


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