Life is busy, and whether you’re up early, at your desk late or caught in meetings there never seem to be enough hours in the day. When working from home, there are chores and housework which eat into breaks and, in the office, there are colleagues to catch up with and activities and socials to get involved in.
It's little wonder that we are all feeling busier and slightly more harassed than ever before! And that’s why we’re huge advocates of taking a walk at lunch time. Stretching your legs offers a great excuse to build some eco therapy or green therapy into your day. Trees and nature make us feel better, and being alongside water has a calming effect on our senses. While we walk, our brains start to work faster taking in the multitude of sensory prompts around us; the sights, sounds, a boat gently meandering along the river, the wind in our hair. Our nervous systems relax, we become calmer, happier and more creative - even in as little as 20 minutes.
Here in Reading town centre, we’re especially lucky with the lunchtime loops we can take to experience all these benefits. From The Blade try these lunchtime adventures!
· Walk up the road under the Abbey Gateway (where Jane Austin once attended The Abbey School) and into the beautiful Forbury Gardens. Turn right and take the path down to a tunnel leading into Reading Abbey Ruins. Enjoy the 900-year-old ruins as you pass through to the Kennet and Avon Canal heading left along Chestnut Walk. From here there are many different walks you can take; one of our favourites is to turn right, cross the road towards the 121 Building / Reading Plasma Donation Centre (one of only three in England) and pick up the canal again, passing Chocolate Island, and leaving behind the old Gas Works Social Club. Go left over the bridge, head towards the residential area and pick up the path behind Decathlon. There’s a pathway that takes you left alongside the retail park and then right under a tunnel that leads through to Napier Road. Cross the zebra crossing and head left before shortly turning right to head along a pathway to the River Thames. Once at the Thames follow the pathway to the left along the river. Pass the lock and turn left at Thames Lido to walk back towards Forbury Gardens and The Bade.
· Head to Queens Road Car Park and take a left along the Kennet and Avon canal passing the old Huntley and Palmer factory and the wonderful Fisherman Cottage Pub. You can cross at the pedestrian bridge and return along the other side passing the Turbine Gallery at The Bell and Dragon.
· Behind The Blade is the ancient waterway – the Holy Brook Nook. Follow this beautiful brook to the library, where it goes under the town centre and can be picked up again over at The Holy Brook Nook, which runs alongside the IDR, Inner Distribution Road. It’s an oasis of calm and beauty, where a number of community projects are based - growing food for families and special wildflowers. There are historical information boards and a stunning mural too.
Walk Works have teamed up with the Abbey Quarter BIDto offer a Wednesday Wellness Walk each week at 12:30pm from the Market Place (RG12DE). With over 18 different routes Caroline and Liz lead groups from the towncenter for a perfect 40 minute walk. Anyone working at The Blade is welcome tojoin in – to find out more visit https://bit.ly/3ShEciJ