WALKING is among the many simple hobbies we have been able to enjoy more of ever since lockdown, with many of us turning to a morning or evening ramble while working from home.

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A walk can be a great stress reliever, but being around pleasant scenery can also benefit our mental health, with numerous studies showing that a walk in nature has more positive effects on us than a walk around town.

Reading, although a big town, has some beautiful open spaces to enjoy a stroll.

We have rounded up the top five as voted on Trip Adviser to bring you some inspiration for your next walk - whether that's with your furry friend, family or just you seeking some well-deserved relaxation.

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1. Christchurch Meadows - 5*

Reading Chronicle:

This beautiful riverside area in Caversham boasts spacious fields, tennis courts and a bike path. A kids' paddle pool and fishing can also be enjoyed there.

The area makes for a perfect relaxing walk in one of the town's picturesque spaces.

One Trip Adviser reviewer said: "It is a huge green area and there is a big playing area for kids.

"Kids can get involved in various activities. We can enjoy the view of the river Thames with swans.

"Can have a relaxing time there or can play with your kids, either of the options are possible."

2. Balmore Walk - 5*

Reading Chronicle:

Another Caversham gem, The Woodland Trust describes Balmore Walk as providing 'good views over Reading from Early to Prospect Park', with different trees making up the small woodland.

A Trip Adviser review reads: "This is a lovely area for regular walkers, dog walkers and those taking some time out. "It's a very friendly place. There is seating throughout the area and litter bins. It's a very pleasant, natural area."

3. Bugs Bottom - 4.5*

Reading Chronicle:

Situated on the boundary of Emmer Green and Caversham Heights, the delightful area is perfect for a long stroll or a social walk.

One reviewer said: "Nice area, great for walking and relaxing.

"Favourite area for dog walks and horse rides alike.

"Some of the hills are a little steep for anyone with mobility issues."

4. Kennet & Avon Canal - 4.5*

Reading Chronicle:

At at 87 miles long, the canal links London with the Bristol Channel, and passes through some spectacular landscapes - including Reading.

A walk along the canal is a popular choice with locals, with the calming river overlooking lots of natural space, making for the perfect setting on a summer day.

One reviewer said: "What a beautiful canal walk it far from the town!

"No words can say, but just stunning! So much wildlife around."

5. Caversham Court Gardens - 4.5*

Reading Chronicle:

The pretty park lies within the St Peter's conservation area, and is listed as Grade II in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

An impressed reviewer said: "Over the years, the grounds have been beautifully restored.

"It is a very relaxing place to be with well kept borders and some lovely old trees.

"There is a lot of history to the site, being the site of a 12th century house.

"All that remains is a 17th century gazebo, which now contains a small exhibition on the history of the site.

"A delightful spot on the River Thames. There is a small charity run kiosk selling tea, coffee and cakes."