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    Reading might be one of the largest towns in the UK, but its surrounding countryside remains an incredible draw. Featuring a wide array of exquisite walking trails that offer visitors views of idyllic landscapes and native wildlife, the region has become hugely popular with those who want to escape the big city for a day or 2.

    Visitors to Reading can find superb walks to undertake, both within the town and throughout the expansive Royal Berkshire countryside. From former estates to dense woodland paths, these are Reading's most popular walking trails.

    1

    Prospect Park

    Experience Reading's sprawling woodland

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    Prospect Park is Reading's largest green space, offering miles of walking trails and woodland adventures. Featuring top-notch views across the Kennet Valley, the centrepiece of the park is Mansion House, a stately 18th-century regency house. You’ll also come across a picturesque pond that's alive with an eclectic variety of wildlife.

    Popular throughout the year, Prospect Park offers many trails that are suitable for the whole family. There are also great sports facilities like rugby grounds, basketball courts and table tennis. Meanwhile, the mature oak woodland called The Rookery provides a sanctuary for some adorable creatures.

    Atrašanās vieta: Liebenrood Rd, Reading RG30 2ND, UK

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    2

    Waterloo Meadows

    Make your way through dense grassland and relax among wildflowers

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    Waterloo Meadows runs alongside the famous River Kennet and is only a short stroll away from the town centre. The lush landscape offers some excellent walking paths that lead through thick grasslands and out into the wildflower meadows.

    You’ll find vibrant poppies, daises and perennials of all varieties, making Waterloo Meadows an excellent place to spend a morning or afternoon. As you make your way down along the river, you'll be welcomed by alders, willows, and a plethora of local animal species.

    Atrašanās vieta: Elgar Road/Rose Kiln Lane, Reading RG2 0BN, UK

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    3

    Clayfield Copse

    Tour Oxfordshire and wander through Reading's first nature reserve

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    Clayfield Copse is located a couple of miles outside Reading's town centre, taking you into the countryside of Oxfordshire. This local nature reserve was established in 1991 and features everything from wildflower meadows and thick woodland to sporting fields and even a skatepark.

    Follow along the windy pathway that snakes between the trees. If you decide to bring along the dog, Clayfield Copse is a great place to let them off-leash and enjoy the gardens. There's also a wonderful sculpture trail to admire.

    Atrašanās vieta: Caversham Park Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 6RT, UK

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    Fotoattēla avots: Nathan Harvey (CC BY-SA 4.0) apstrādāts

    4

    Englemere Pond Nature Reserve

    Complete these scenic circular walks and rest by a natural lake

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    The Englemere Pond Nature Reserve is one of the most scenic places for a walk in Reading. It’s renowned for its circular walks that conveniently begin and end at its car park, going around a shallow acidic lake in the process. Spread across almost 70 acres of verdant landscapes, this nature reserve is an exceptional place to come and experience some much-needed peace and quiet.

    The 2 main circular walks on offer, the Woodpecker Trail and the Dragonfly Trail, take 20 and 40 minutes respectively to complete, while the pictorial pond provides a vital habitat for wetland plants and animals. Explore the surrounding area and you quickly come across open-water marshes and plantation forests.

    Atrašanās vieta: London Rd, Winkfield Row, Ascot SL5 8AB, UK

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    Fotoattēla avots: Alan Hunt (CC BY-SA 2.0) apstrādāts

    5

    Westmorland Park

    Picnic in the pavilions and delve into the broadleaved wood

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    Located to the east of Reading's town centre, Westmoreland Park provides plenty of opportunities to take part in recreational activities or go looking for wildlife. There's a collection of lovely pavilions and play areas alongside a maze of walking paths, while kids can enjoy numerous play areas and hidden woodland sculptures.

    Westmorland Park also has a balancing pond that was originally created to capture excess rainwater. Meanwhile, Hayley Green Wood's broadleaved setting makes for a peaceful scene with birds chirping high up in the trees. The park has also been awarded a prestigious Green Flag Award for its outstanding quality.

    Atrašanās vieta: Westmorland Dr, Warfield, Bracknell RG42 3QP, UK

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    Fotoattēla avots: Alan Hunt (CC BY-SA 2.0) apstrādāts

    6

    Fobney Island Nature Reserve

    A restored natural landscape surrounded by Reading's rivers

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    The Fobney Island Nature Reserve was opened in 2013, having seen collaboration between local environmental groups and the local council to establish a tranquil setting in Reading. The wetland reserve is just south of the town centre, positioned between the River Kennet and the Kennet & Avon Canal.

    The goal behind the project was to attract more wildlife to the area. It's safe to say they achieved that target as studies have found more than 100 bird species calling the island home, while voles and otters have also settled in. Head along to this budding island and experience it for yourself.

    Atrašanās vieta: Island Road, Reading RG2 0RP, UK

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    Fotoattēla avots: Christine Johnstone (CC BY-SA 2.0) apstrādāts

    7

    Thames Valley Park Nature Reserve

    Look for native wildlife in this untamed section of Reading's countryside

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    The Thames Valley Park Nature Reserve spans over 80 acres of incredible wetlands. Running along the much-loved River Thames as it continues onwards to London, this parkland is sought after by everyone, from running clubs and cyclists to model aeroplane builders.

    It's also an enchanting location to go for a walk on a sunny day, as there are seemingly endless grasslands overflowing with bright wildflowers, while numerous ponds are lined with reeds and native plant life. You can find upwards of 40 different species of birds. Make your way out onto the varied pontoons and viewing platforms to see Reading's countryside at its best.

    Atrašanās vieta: Thames Valley Park Drive, Reading RG6 1PU, UK

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    Fotoattēla avots: Simon Mortimer (CC BY-SA 2.0) apstrādāts

    8

    Maiden Erlegh Local Nature Reserve

    Hike through this historic woodland and enjoy its calming waterfront

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    The Maiden Erlegh Local Nature Reserve can be found on the outskirts of Reading, featuring historic oak woodland that dates back to the 16th century. In particular, this place teems with incredible native plant species, including bluebells and wood anemones that flower throughout spring.

    Elsewhere in the nature reserve is an age-old lake that supports the surrounding wetlands. Set within the lake are 2 small islands, which have become popular resting spots for a variety of local birds. After you've finished your walk through the reserve, the lake provides a great place to calmly fish or lie in the grass and read a book.

    Atrašanās vieta: Earley, Berkshire, RG6 5QJ, UK

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    Fotoattēla avots: Rob Motha (CC BY-SA 2.0) apstrādāts

    9

    Wokefield Common Nature Reserve

    Find your peaceful place among pine trees and heathland

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    Wokefield Common is a great place for a serene walk as several winding paths dip beneath towering pine trees. Recognised as a Wildlife Heritage Site, the broadleaf woodland and dense heathland areas are home to around 75 species of birds and mammals, including rabbits, hedgehogs, and muntjac deer.

    You’ll also find countless lush gullies as you follow the trails. These remain easy-to-navigate as you come across several small ponds where you can take a break and soak up the beautiful English countryside. Wokefield Common is approximately 7 miles outside the centre of Reading.

    Atrašanās vieta: Goring Ln, Reading RG7 3JB, UK

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    Fotoattēla avots: Nathan Harvey (CC BY-SA 4.0) apstrādāts

    10

    Sulham Wood

    Wander through the untouched countryside

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    Sulham Wood offers some fascinating walks that traverse through the green countryside. Here, you'll find a wide array of paths to take, as they move between open fields and deep woodland featuring yew trees and bluebells. As you make your way through the area, you'll also pass by numerous active properties with sheep and other farm animals.

    Back towards the town of Sulham, there are several historical landmarks to visit. A must-see the 13th-century Church of St Nicholas, located close to the equally impressive Sulham House. You also can't miss The Greyhound at Tidmarsh, a 12th-century thatch inn that serves top-notch lunch and afternoon tea.

    Atrašanās vieta: Sulham Wood, West Berkshire, RG8 8DX, UK

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    Fotoattēla avots: BabelStone (CC BY 3.0) apstrādāts

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