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|Reading Town, River and Canal|
|Author: Richard, Published: 03 Dec 2011||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 3 mile loop around Reading and its two rivers the Thames and Kennet. The walk takes in the Thames Path, former industrial areas and the historic grounds and ruins of Reading Abbey. |
Reading is a large town built on the confluence of the River Thames and the River Kennet. It is also served by the Great Western Railway and the M4 Motorway. First evidence of settlement dates from the 8th Century although it became important in medieval times with the founding of Reading Abbey.
The walk follows a mixture of tarmac paths, grass tracks and towpaths. The walk is flat other than steps leading to and from the rivers, a long bridge over the Kennet Canal (suitable for people and horses!), and a small set of steps leading into Forbury Gardens at the end of the walk. Dogs should be kept under control along the route looking out for fishermen, cyclists, joggers and heavy road traffic in places. However, there is also the opportunity to visit two museums along the way that are not accessible for dogs. Approximate time 2 hours.
The walk starts outside of Reading Town Hall which now houses the Museum of Reading and is situated on Blagrave Street. There are several car parks near by including the Forbury Retail Park situated on Kenavon Drive, which is free and a short walk away. The postcode of the Town Hall is RG1 1QH
|Town Hall to the River Thames|
Start point: 51.4566 lat, -0.9704 long
Start by the Queen Victoria statue in Blagrave Street. With your back to the Town Hall which was completed in 1897, turn right and pass by the Tourist Information Centre and Museum. Cross Valpy street and then turn right into Forbury Road. Continue along the road until you reach the roundabout with the Rising Sun pub on your right. Turn left here and pass underneath the railway bridge. When you reach the pedestrian lights, cross the road and continue walking towards the river crossing Napier Road. When you reach the river bridge go down the steps onto the river path.
|Along the Thames to the Boat Yard|
Start point: 51.4607 lat, -0.9678 long
Turn right walking away from the bridge heading downstream with the river on your left.
|Towards the Kennet Mouth|
Start point: 51.4625 lat, -0.9591 long
Continue along the Thames Path. There are some places here where dogs can swim but some of the banks are above deep water so please keep children and dogs under control. As you walk along the path you will pass by canal boats, derelict boats and luxury homes on the opposite bank
|Along the towpath to Blakes Lock|
Start point: 51.4592 lat, -0.9499 long
Turn right at the waymark along the bank and cross the Kennet via the Horseshoe Bridge which, is a timber-clad iron bridge constructed in 1891 to allow horses to cross the canal. Turn left and walk under Brunel’s railway bridge with the Kennet on your right. You are now entering one of the old industrial areas of Reading with the working remains of the gas works including a large gasometer on the opposite bank used for storing gas at night to meet the peak morning demand. This part of the canal has been in use since the 13th Century allowing goods to be taken to and from Reading Abbey.
|Onto Kings Road|
Start point: 51.4561 lat, -0.9545 long
Pass by Blake’s Lock next to which is a museum that tells the story of Reading’s two rivers. Go along the towpath past the weir and the flats overlooking both sides of the canal until you reach a bridge over the canal. Climb the steps here leaving the canal and join King’s Road. The River Kennet is often referred to as part of the navigable Kennet and Avon Canal running from the River Thames to Bristol and Bath.
|Reading Gaol and Forbury Gardens|
Start point: 51.4547 lat, -0.9606 long
Turn right along Kings Road and follow the path round past the old Huntley and Palmers biscuit factory. Cross the road and turn right in front of the building called St James Wharf along the Forbury Road towards Reading Gaol. Turn left at Chestnut walk in front of the gaol which is most famous for housing Oscar Wilde who languished there for 18 months between 1895 and 1897. On his release from gaol he wrote the famous poem The Ballard of Reading Gaol.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author Richard and may not be reproduced without permission.
Nice walk, lived in Reading for 20+Years didn't realise you could walk so much riverside paths!
|By ServeanSell on 22 Sep 2013|
A lovely walk, which reveals a hidden Reading - a historical town and one with all kinds of waterways.
|By thomasjellis on 26 Jun 2015|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 03 Dec 2011
Henry West memorial - killed in a whirlwind aged 24
|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 30 Oct 2014
Huntley & Palmers Biscuit Factory (Dinner Hour)
Valentine's - postcard"
My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!