Reading Circular River Walk
This circular walk takes in a number of waterways including the River Thames, the River Kennet and the Kennet and Avon Canal. You'll also visit the pretty Forbury Gardens, Reading Abbey and the historically significant Holy Brook.
The walk starts near the train station on Reading Bridge, with views of Caversham on the opposite side of the river. You then follow the Thames path east, passing King's Meadow Park and the large Tesco.
After about a mile you come to the River Kennet where you turn south west towards Blake's Lock. Next to the lock is the Riverside Museum which tells the story of Reading's two rivers. Exhibits include a gypsy caravan, a medieval mill wheel, turbine machinery, and seasonal art exhibits.
Shortly after you come to Highbridge Wharf where you cross the river and turn north to the Holy Brook. The brook is a channel of the River Kennet parts of which are thought to have been created in mediaeval times by the monks of Reading Abbey to supply water mills and fish ponds.
The brook takes you towards the ruins of Reading Abbey, founded by Henry I in 1121. You'll also pass the ruined former watermill of Abbey Mill on this section of the walk.
The route then meanders into the attractive Forbury Gardens. Here you will find pretty flower beds, an attractive fountain and the noteworthy Maiwand Lion. The statue was erected in 1886 to commemorate the loss of 286 soldiers at the Battle of Maiwand in Afghanistan in 1880.
Soon after the walk finishes back at Reading Bridge, near the train station.
It's easy to extend your riverside walking in the area by picking up the long distance Thames Path or the Kennet and Avon Canal Walk. Heading west along the Thames will take you to the attractive Mapledurham House and the town of Pangbourne.
Heading north east takes you to Sonning and Wargrave.