Walks, tours and routes

Contained in Reading or stretching much further afield, Reading has a great choice of tours, walks and routes to explore. 

Reading town centre is best explored on foot. It is a 2-minute walk from the railway station to the town centre to the south or the River Thames to the north. And there are lots of historic sites and nature to enjoy in and around the town.

Reading is also excellently located (and connected) and is a great base to explore the region. It is on a number of national and international trail routes such as the Thames Path, the Great West Way and St James Way.

Explore Reading town centre on foot

Reading Abbey Ruins RBC 398 webThe town centre and its Abbey Ruins are a compact area and easily explored on foot. To explore under your own steam, pick up a town centre map or Reading Abbey Ruins self guided walk map from Reading Museum. 

Reading has a new Banksy. 'Create Escape' appeared on the wall of Reading Prison in March 2021. Find it with our handy map.

You could also join a regular walking tour with Terry's Reading Walkabouts or book Graham Horn, a Blue Badge Guide to take you round Reading (and the wider area if you wish). Graham has filmed a 2 minute introduction Reading history here>>>

Reading Museum volunteers also provide group tours of Reading Abbey Ruins, booked in advance


Special interest tours

foxtalbotWilliam Henry Fox Talbot and Nicholas Henneman came to Reading to establish the world's first commercial photographic studio here! Operating between 1844 and 1847, “The Reading Establishment” as Henneman and Talbots joint venture became known, produced “Calotypes” (often called “Talbot-types” as the process was Talbot’s invention). Find out more and follow the trail>>>



Reading music charity, Readipop, have developed 4 self guided walking trails examining Reading's cultural history relating to music, cinema, literature and photography. Find out more>>>


Interested in hidden nature in and around Reading, take a look at our videos produced for Heritage Open Days 2020 or download one of Reading Tree Warden's walks>>> 


Take to the river

ThamesRiverCruise webThames River Cruise offer a range of circular river cruises and themed cruises from their Caversham pier in central Reading.

Choose from a 45, 60 or 90 minute circular cruise or afternoon or Sunday lunch on the river, jazz evenings  or sundowner cruises. 

The Canal and River Trust have a Reading town walk linked to the Kennet & Avon Canal.




Explore beyond Reading

  • Visit Thames, in partnership with GWR, have devised a walk linked to train services. From Reading to Shiplake is a 7 mile walk along the Thames Path starting and finishing at a station to create a circular route.
  • Reading is a major destination on the Great West Way, a national tourism route which stretches from London to Bristol. 
  • For cyclists, Reading is a good stop over on the new King Alfred's Way cycle route. Reading is also on Sustrans routes Map King Alfreds Way and other trails with legend4,5 and 23. 
  • The St James Way, one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, starts in Reading at St James' Church and runs to Southampton and then picks up the route again from Coruna in Galicia as part of the Camino Ingles). 
  • The Thames Path National Trail goes right through Reading. Reading has the longest Thames river frontage of any local authority along its winding route.

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