Reading Rambling Club is a friendly independent walking club which has been enjoying the local countryside for over 80 years.
Our local walks range between three and twelve miles, and we also venture further afield for long days out, weekends away and holidays abroad.
Our walks take us all around Reading including the Chilterns, Berkshire Downs and the Ridgeway as well as further afield into West Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
The Club puts on local walks every weekend and where possible on both Saturdays and Sundays.
All the walks are led by a leader who will guide you along footpaths and bridleways through the countryside and the length of walks range between six and twelve miles.
There is usually a morning refreshment stop on all walks and on longer walks a further stop for walkers to eat their packed lunch.
Reading is well-placed with access to attractive and varied walking all around. There is a great choice of hillier walks across rolling countryside with sweeping views and more level walks for example along the River Thames and canals. There are also pretty and historic villages and woodlands to enjoy along the way.
In addition we organise walks every Wednesday, these too are led by experienced members and are taken at a more relaxed pace with distances between three and eight miles.
All walks include at least one stop for refreshments or just to enjoy the view. We sometimes use public transport to get to the start of a walk. Apart from local walks, London walks are very popular taking in parks and gardens north and south of the Thames, while exploring places of interest en route such as the Thames Barrier, Greenwich Observatory and Hampstead Heath. An annual coach trip is arranged for visits to places of interest. Over recent years we have had a varied programme of visits including Hatfield House, Slimbridge, Chartwell and Arundel.
We also spend three weekends away each year, two or three nights in the spring & autumn where trips typically leave on a Saturday morning and return early the following week. This enables two to three full walking days plus half-day walks on both travelling days. In the summer the weekend is extended to four nights and sometimes a one-week holiday. Cars are shared and accommodation and meals are arranged in local hotels and B&Bs. The walks are either guided or self-led. Past trips have included the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, Exmoor, the Peak District and the Isle of Wight.
We also organise several social events including an annual dinner in the spring and walks followed by lunch in the summer and at Christmas.
See the Walks Programme for details of planned walks and events.
No, we are an independent club although we are affiliated to the RA as well as other outdoor organisations.
You are welcome to try out one or more of the walks with no charge. If you wish to join there is an annual fee, currently £8 single, £12 for couple.
Almost always in beautiful countryside incorporating parts of The Chilterns, Ridgeway Path , Thames Path, Kennet Canal or Finchampstead Ridges as well as villages of South Oxfordshire and West Berkshire . Minimum amount of tarmac. Most will be within 10 miles of Reading.
We walk at weekends and midweek (Wed) providing a mix of shorter walks at 3 to 5 miles, medium as 6 to 9 miles and long walks as 10 to 12 miles. The walk programme will always give the estimated distance and will highlight whether flat or hilly.
Always advisable to have walking shoes or boots, some additional clothing to cater for changeable weather plus a drink and snack to eat along the way. A small rucksack or "bumbag" will usually suffice.
On a lead or under close control. Advisable to call the walk leader to ensure that dogs are allowed on the paths being planned. General answer is yes.
Our leaders ensure that no-one struggles to keep up. In the main the shorter the walk, the more leisurely the pace. We can accommodate different speeds by splitting the group. If you have any concerns make the leader aware at the start.
The Walks Programme will specify the time and precise location with a Grid Reference, Post Code and general description of where to park etc. The time is the start time, so it is helpful to get there a few minutes early. Any delays, call the leader on their mobile phone.
Average number is about 12 but can be as low as 6 and 20 is considered a large crowd!
Anyone who is interested in walking is welcome to join us on up to three walks (but not bookable events, sorry) before becoming a member. You are advised to bring suitable waterproofs and footwear plus a snack and drink. If you have any queries, please go to the Contact Us page.
How Did It Begin?
In 1931 Miss Gwen Padbury, a teacher who had moved to Reading from Sheffield, placed a small-ad in the local newspaper asking if HF and CHA members and others would be interested in helping form a Saturday rambling club in Reading. Seventeen people responded and fourteen of those met at the Cunning Man pub, Burghfield Bridge, on Saturday 7th February 1931. They walked to the Three Firs, Mortimer (no M4 in those days) where they enjoyed tea and afterwards convened a meeting where Reading Rambling Club was formed. Since that day Reading Rambling Club has organised many walks and events and even discovered an old abandoned road.