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Eldon Square - Reading's First Conservation Area

Reading Walks Festival

Meeting at Reading Station, you will be guided round the eastern edge of the town centre to the area known by locals as "˜The Village".

Reading's first conservation area comprises a seventeenth century house, grand villas from the 1830s of Bath stone and more modest red brick Victorian terraces. The area was developed around the time of the railway's arrival in Reading and although mainly residential with shops, churches and public houses also contained many small businesses.

Famous connections include poet Arthur Rimbaud who taught French and wrote most of "Illuminations" at 165 King's Road and William Henry Fox-Talbot (or his assistant Nicolas Henneman) who photographed the houses of Eldon Square.

The area has two pubs where refreshment is possible at the end of the walk but if you decide to return to the town centre the route passes by Reading Abbey and the Forbury Gardens to the end at the Queen Victoria statue in the centre.

Walk difficulty level: EASY

4km - approx 1-2 hours. Flat. 

  • Not suitable for children
  • Narrow streets with narrow or no pavements and uneven cobbles will make it difficult for wheelchairs and buggies. 
  • Getting to and from Eldon Square will be at medium pace.
  • The steepest part of the route is from Chestnut Walk back up to the Forbury Gardens/town centre at the end of the walk.

Maximum Number of Participants: 12

You'll need:

  • Sensible shoes (preferably walking boots)
  • Water

About the route

Start/End points

Start point is by the television advertising screen in front of the Three Guineas at Reading Station (RG1 1LY). what3words famed.claps.cups

End point 1 The Lyndhurst public house 88 Queen's Road, RG1 4DG.

End point 2 Queen Victoria. End point is Queen Victoria Statue, Town Hall Square (nearest postcode RG11QH). what3wordsforms.funded.owners. Queen Victoria Statue is very close to the station but Friar Street and Blagrave Street are also served directly by some Reading buses.

Getting there and back

Reading Station is served directly by mainline rail services and most Reading buses.

There are a number of buses inbound to the town centre that stop at the Eldon Road bus stop at the junction of Eldon Road and King's Road (we will pass it during the walk) including Purple 17. All go to the town centre but only Orange 13 and 14 go back to Reading Station.

Will there be access to toilets on the walk?

At the end


Before returning to the town centre participants could stop at either of the conservation areas pubs, The Retreat or The Lyndhurst (also has food). If returning to the town centre there are many other refreshment options.


About your guide

Evelyn Williams is chair of Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee. The committee are currently reviewing the appraisal for this conservation area. Other members of the committee who know the area well are expected to join the walk.

Reading Walks Festival

Reading Walks Festival

This walk is part of the inaugural Reading Walks Festival. We are delighted to share over 40 walks with you over the five days of the festival, bringing alive the stories, heritage and landscapes of Reading and the surrounding countryside through a series of guided walks.