02 Aug Destination Henley
Henley is famous for the Royal Regatta with rowers from around the world competing in an event that started in 1839. This little town on the banks of the Thames, is however much more than a five-day event.
Getting to Henley by River Cruise
On of the most popular private cruises we offer, Reading to Henley by water is a tranquil affair taking four locks and some of the most idyllic countryside The Thames has to offer. The beauty really starts at Sonning, where, after exiting the lock, Sonning Bridge looms in front of you around the first corner and there is no doubting that it is a tight squeeze for a passenger boat but also one of the most beautiful and iconic bridges in the area. The next two reaches that you pass through are usually only seen on foot, unspoilt and certainly well away from human habitation. Pass through Shiplake lock and the landscape changes with large houses dotted along the banks in between islands bends and moorings.
The view of Henley as you arrive by water probably looks little different to how it appeared a hundred or more years ago; the roof tops of Henley, church spire and bridge all in front of you. Pass through the bridge and you are in Royal Regatta territory. We recommend cruising down to Temple Island complete with 18th century folly originally designed as a fishing lodge and now sitting in splendour amidst Thames countryside.
Our top Henley visit
Arrive by boat on the private landing stage just outside Henley River and Rowing Museum and take an afternoon in this award winning attraction that is forever changing and evolving. Three permanent galleries guide you through the river, Henley and Wind in The Willows and run along side five changing exhibitions all based around the river. It is well worth checking the ‘what’s on’ link on the museum website. Our tip, during the school holidays this summer you can join Paddington Bear and his friends in an interactive exhibition from the British Library.
Henley upon Thames is an upmarket market town with royal connections so you won’t be surprised to hear that it is full of small boutiques and street-side cafe’s. This is not to say it has got above itself, the home of Brakespear brewery, Henley is literally packed with small pubs, it feels like there’s one every street corner. all full of character but don’t miss out on the mix of dining on offer, from Michelin star to great fish & chips, all with a river view.
Henley is as perfect for a wedding as an afternoon out for cream tea, really good for giving overseas guests a chance to experience the Thames at its best. This is also a great one way trip with the train station near the landing stages and room for a coach pick up. Just don’t forget your camera!