6 hidden gems you really need to visit near Reading
A quick google search of ‘Things to Do’ in Reading will give you the impression that apart from shopping at The Oracle, visiting Reading Museum, or, ironically, visiting the train station (to travel somewhere else), your options are pretty limited.
I, however, after 2 years of searching for something to do with my boyfriend when he visits every other weekend, have found that this is definitely not the case, and that there are in fact, several interesting and enjoyable places to visit in and around Reading.
Here’s my quick guide to nearby “hidden gems” and top walking spots:
Beale Park, RG8 9NH.
Blooming with colour, life and creativity, Beale Park prides a collection of animal enclosures, flower beds and attractive walks which make for an enjoyable and unique day out. Entry will cost you £7 for the whole day and includes access to the animals. These include rare and endangered birds (with a walk-through aviary), an owlery, monkeys, prairie dogs, meerkats and wallabies. Check their website for opening times and days before visiting.
The Look Out, RG12 7QW.
Although home to many children-orientated features, The Look Out has a lot to offer older visitors including acres of forest and walking routes and a tree-high “look out” platform. This is one of my favourite spots for recharging and getting some much-needed fresh air. The tree-sheltered walking routes are also a sight not to be missed.
Lily Hill Park, RG12 2RX.
There are 56 acres of parkland and gardens to be explored across Lily Hill Park. This creative space- characteristed by ingenious woodland sculptures- is the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll which is that little bit different. Those who are fans of the game Pokémon Go will also be pleased to know Lily Hill Park is a hot spot for this.
Dinton Pastures, RG10 0TH.
Dinton Pastures Country Park is home to a huge stretch of grassland walks and a beautiful lake. A stroll around the lake is similar to walking around UoR’s campus, but without the hubbub of students walking between lectures, or bicycles. Dinton Pastures also has a lovely café; a wonderful place to enjoy a hot drink and panini or slice of cake after a walk.
Prospect Park, RG30 2ND.
Prospect Park hosts a just as impressive collection of trees and a small pond. Particularly gorgeous in autumn, it is the perfect walking destination all year round. It also has the added attraction of a Harvester restaurant which is one of my favorite places to eat, especially after a refreshing walk around the park.
If a chocolate café, canal walks and historical buildings sound like your type of thing, a trip to Goring should be on your adventure bucket list. Admire the boldly coloured boats and riverside homes as you take a stroll along the canal- and be sure to look out for hidden clues about the village’s lengthy heritage along the way.
Written by Taz Usher