15 Best Walks In Reading (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Reading (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Hi there! If you’re looking for a great outdoor adventure, Reading is the perfect place to explore.

With its rolling hills, lush forests and picturesque parks, there’s something for everyone.

From peaceful strolls through the countryside to challenging hikes up steep peaks, Reading has it all.

Here I’ve compiled a list of the 15 best walks in Reading, whether you’re looking for a short stroll or a full day’s hike.

From Forbury Gardens to the White Horse Trail, there’s something here for everyone.

So grab your walking boots and let’s explore the best of Reading’s walking trails!

Forbury Gardens

Forbury Gardens
Photo by Stephen McKay

You’ll love taking a stroll through Forbury Gardens – it’s a great way to enjoy some peace and quiet! Located in the center of Reading, Forbury Gardens is a beautiful and tranquil haven, perfect for a peaceful walk.

There are plenty of winding paths that make it easy to explore the area, while the stunning landscaped gardens offer a great spot to sit and take in the beauty of the surroundings. In addition, there are plenty of interesting sculptures and fountains to admire along the way.

The gardens also offer plenty of seating areas, perfect for relaxation and contemplation. Whether you’re looking for a short walk or a longer hike, Forbury Gardens has something to offer everyone.

The park is also home to plenty of wildlife, including a wide variety of birds and other animals, making it an ideal spot for wildlife-watching. With its idyllic setting and calming atmosphere, Forbury Gardens is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful walk and take in nature’s beauty.

Prospect Park

Prospect Park, Reading
Photo by Andrew Smith

Discover the beauty of Prospect Park, a hidden gem in Reading that’ll make you feel like you’ve escaped to the countryside. Located just a few miles from the city, this stunning park offers plenty of activities for you to explore.

From walking and running trails to a tranquil lake, this is the perfect place to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can even bring a picnic and enjoy a relaxing lunch in the lush greenery of the park.

For those looking for a bit more of an adventure, Prospect Park offers a range of outdoor activities. From fishing and orienteering to cycling and adventure playgrounds, this park provides something for people of all ages.

You can even take a leisurely stroll around the lake and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Whether you’re looking for a fun family day out or a peaceful retreat from the city, Prospect Park is the perfect place to explore.

Mapledurham Estate

The Almshouses, Mapledurham
Photo by Trev Clough

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Mapledurham Estate, a picturesque location just outside of Reading. Located on the banks of the River Thames, the estate is full of stunning views and wildlife.

Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds and soak in the atmosphere of the lush meadows, ancient woodlands, and tranquil riverside pathways. You’ll also have the chance to spot majestic deer and rare birds, as well as the odd fox or badger.

Mapledurham is also home to a 12th-century watermill, a 16th-century Elizabethan manor house, and a picturesque chapel.

Visit the mill and enjoy a traditional cream tea, or take a tour of the house and admire the exquisite interiors.

The estate also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including outdoor theatre performances, live music, and jousting tournaments.

Whether you’re looking to relax or explore, Mapledurham Estate is the perfect place to take a peaceful walk in Reading.

Basildon Park

Take a journey through time at Basildon Park, a stunning 18th-century estate just outside of Reading.

This historic estate is a perfect spot for a leisurely walk or an adventurous hike. With 500 acres of parkland, woodland, and stunning open views, Basildon Park is sure to delight.

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The magnificent 18th-century mansion, built in the Palladian style, is the centerpiece of the estate. You can take a stroll around the grounds of the mansion, through the terraced gardens, and around the lake.

There is also a heritage trail with an interesting audio guide that will take you around the estate. If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, there are plenty of trails and paths to explore.

Take your pick and enjoy a peaceful walk in the countryside. Be sure to take in the stunning views of the Berkshire countryside and the River Thames.

With something for everyone, Basildon Park is the perfect place to take in the beauty of Reading.

Dinton Pastures Country Park

Sit back and take in the beauty of nature at Dinton Pastures Country Park. Located near Reading, this country park is the perfect place to go for a leisurely walk.

With over 400 acres of open grassland, marshland, and woodland, visitors get to experience the beauty of nature close-up.

Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal with your friends and family while taking in the stunning views of the Thames and Kennet valley.

There are plenty of trails for all ages and levels, making it a great place for a family outing.

The park also has an onsite visitor center with interactive displays, so you can learn more about the park and its history.

Whether you’re looking for a short stroll or a longer hike, Dinton Pastures Country Park has something for everyone.

So grab your walking shoes and explore this beautiful park for an unforgettable experience.

Swinley Forest

Admire the breathtaking beauty of Swinley Forest, located near Bracknell. With over 2000 acres of woodland and heathland, Swinley Forest is a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll in nature. It also offers numerous biking and horse riding trails that pass through the park.

You can wander past lakes, admire the wildflowers, and spot a range of different wildlife while you explore the area. For the more adventurous, Swinley Forest also offers a range of more challenging hikes, such as the two-mile loop around the historic Nine Mile Ride.

Enjoy the views from the top of Swinley Hill, or take a stroll along the bridleways and paths. No matter what your level of fitness and ability, Swinley Forest is sure to provide you with a unique and enjoyable experience.

Thames Path National Trail

Explore the fascinating Thames Path National Trail, a 184-mile route stretching from the source of the River Thames all the way to the Thames Estuary.

This trail offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and explore some of England’s most beautiful countryside.

From the central town of Reading, the Thames Path National Trail winds its way through picturesque villages, meadows, and ancient woodlands.

Along the way, there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy the views, as well as picturesque pubs and quaint tea rooms.

The Thames Path National Trail offers something for everyone, from leisurely strolls through the countryside to more challenging hikes up the River Thames’s many tributaries.

With its variety of terrain, spectacular scenery, and abundance of wildlife, this is the perfect way to explore the area.

You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the river, and you may even be lucky enough to spot some of the area’s wildlife.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk or an active adventure, the Thames Path National Trail has something to offer.

The Ridgeway National Trail

Making an exciting transition from the Thames Path National Trail, the Ridgeway National Trail is a stunning hike with lots of incredible views and experiences to take in.

It is an 87-mile trail, stretching from Overton Hill in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, and it’s a great walk for all levels of hikers.

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Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, the Ridgeway provides an array of challenges and opportunities to explore and admire the beauty of the English countryside.

The Ridgeway is a perfect place to enjoy the fresh air and picturesque views.

The path is lined with rolling hills, farmland, and ancient burial grounds, offering a unique experience for every hiker.

There are also plenty of historic sites and monuments located along the trail, including White Horse Hill and the Uffington White Horse.

The Ridgeway is also home to a variety of wildlife, including foxes, badgers, and a variety of birds.

The trail is perfect for those looking for a peaceful walk or for those looking for a bit of adventure.

Sandford Locks

Take a journey through history as you stroll along the Sandford Locks, a series of locks on the River Thames in Oxfordshire.

The locks were built in 1790 to enable transit of boats between the Oxford Canal and the River Thames. It’s a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon, with plenty of opportunities to take in the breathtaking scenery, spot wildlife, and learn interesting facts about the locks.

The locks can be easily accessed by foot, bike, or car, and can make for a pleasant and peaceful walk. As you traverse the locks, you’ll pass by a variety of lovely homes and cottages with beautiful gardens, and gain a glimpse into the life of the locals.

The locks are also home to a variety of birds and animals, including swans, ducks, geese, kingfishers, and otters, which can often be spotted swimming around the locks.

With its picturesque scenery, Sandford Locks makes for an idyllic spot for a leisurely walk and is well worth the journey.

The Kennet and Avon Canal

The Kennet and Avon Canal is an incredible sight to behold, providing a tranquil backdrop for a leisurely stroll. Meandering through the countryside, the canal offers a unique window into the natural beauty of Reading.

From the historic locks in Newbury to the stunning bridges in Bath, the Kennet and Avon Canal is a must-see. The canal is a great way to explore the outdoors, with a variety of options for both short and long walks. Whether you’re looking to take a peaceful stroll through nature or have a more strenuous hike, the Kennet and Avon Canal has something for everyone.

The canal is also home to a variety of wildlife, from swans and geese to kingfishers and herons. The Kennet and Avon Canal is a great way to experience the beauty of Reading while getting some exercise.

The Thames Valley

Experience the stunning views of the Thames Valley and its picturesque villages by taking a leisurely stroll along its banks. Enjoy a leisurely day out in the countryside, watching the boats lazily float by as you take in the sights and smells of the area.

The Thames Valley is a great spot for a relaxing walk, with plenty of areas to explore, such as the tranquil villages of Marlow and Henley. Enjoy a peaceful stroll along the riverbank, admiring the swans and geese that inhabit the area.

You can also take a trip further inland and explore the area’s rolling hills and lush forests. The Thames Valley is an ideal spot for a nature walk, as the area is dotted with ancient monuments and castles.

Take a journey back in time and explore the region’s rich history, or just enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the area. With so much to explore, the Thames Valley is the perfect place for a relaxing, scenic stroll.

Chiltern Hills

Discover the beauty of the Chiltern Hills with its rolling hills, lush greenery, and charming villages.

With over 500 miles of public footpaths, the Chilterns offer some of the most picturesque walks in the Reading area.

Take a stroll through the stunning Ashridge Estate, or explore the ancient woodland of the South Chilterns.

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There are plenty of spots to stop for a picnic or to soak in the stunning views.

The Chiltern Hills are a great place to explore with its rolling hills, wildflower meadows, and wildlife.

Spot deer, buzzards, and other fascinating species as you traverse the hills.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the picturesque villages, uncovering their history and culture.

With so much to discover, the Chiltern Hills are the perfect destination for a day out, or a longer walk.

North Wessex Downs

Head to the North Wessex Downs for an unforgettable experience of stunning hillside views, charming villages, and a range of wildlife.

The North Wessex Downs is an area of outstanding natural beauty, stretching from the Marlborough Downs in the east to the Thames in the west.

Here, you’ll find an impressive array of rolling hills, lush valleys, and ancient woodlands that make up the perfect setting for a day of exploration.

You can take in the views of the impressive chalk ridgeway from the top of the escarpment, or explore the tranquil green spaces of the surrounding countryside.

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, the North Wessex Downs will provide a memorable experience.

The area is also home to a variety of wildlife, from rare birds to badgers, foxes, and deer.

There are plenty of opportunities to spot some of the more unusual species, so don’t forget your binoculars!

With its incredible landscapes and abundance of wildlife, the North Wessex Downs is an unforgettable destination for a day out.

The South Downs Way

After exploring the North Wessex Downs, I’m ready to turn my attention to the South Downs Way. This is a 100-mile-long National Trail that takes in some of the most stunning landscapes the South of England has to offer.

From the chalk hills of Winchester to the Seven Sisters cliffs near Eastbourne, the South Downs Way is an incredible journey through this area’s natural beauty.

The walk can be completed in sections, as there are numerous access points and plenty of accommodation in the nearby towns and villages. It passes through rolling hills, ancient woodlands, and sprawling meadows, with plenty of stops for picnics and sightseeing. It’s a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.

Plus, there’s the added bonus of being able to complete the entire route in a few days if you prefer.

The White Horse Trail

Experience the beauty of the English countryside along the White Horse Trail, a 40-mile route that takes in some of the most stunning landscapes in the South of England.

This is a great walking route for both experienced and novice hikers, with plenty of opportunities to explore the landscapes of Wiltshire and Berkshire.

Starting in Wilcot, the trail follows the River Kennet and passes by the ancient White Horse of Uffington, before reaching the stunning views of the Ridgeway.

From there, hikers will take in the stunning views of the Berkshire Downs, before finishing in the picturesque village of Lambourn.

The White Horse Trail offers plenty of interesting sights along the way, including Iron Age hill forts, ancient burial mounds, and the historic market towns of Wantage and Newbury.

With plenty of opportunities to stop and explore, the trail is ideal for a weekend walk or a longer multi-day hike.

Take time to enjoy the rolling hills, the picturesque villages, and the array of wildlife and plants that call the White Horse Trail home.

Conclusion

I’ve just explored the best walks in Reading.

From the historical Forbury Gardens to the picturesque Dinton Pastures Country Park, there’s something for everyone.

There’s also plenty of adventure along the Chiltern Hills, North Wessex Downs, and The South Downs Way.

Plus, if you’re looking for a challenge, why not try The White Horse Trail?

With so many options, you can’t go wrong!

So grab your walking shoes and get exploring today.

You’re sure to make some incredible memories on these amazing walks.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.