by Janis / 1 comments - Orginally published:6th July 2018

Oh, so English

Henley-on-Thames is undoubtedly the place to go for that little fix of riverside fun and couldn’t be more quintessentially English if it tries.

Just on the border of Oxfordshire and Berkshire this historic, picturesque market town, can trace its roots back to 12th century.

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The Henley on Thames town sign, with its crest, and the names of the towns it is twinned with.
The Town sign

Where is Henley & how to get there

- By Car
If travelling from the east either take Junction 9 of the M4 motorway, or Junction 4 of the M40, onto the A404 and follow the signs to Henley.

Or from the west Junction 12 of the M4 and scoot through Reading, or Junction 6 of the M40 and again follow the signs to Henley.

- By Train
You can catch a train from London Paddington to Henley-on-Thames Station which takes around 1 hour. You'll need to change at Twyford onto the branch line.

Henley-on-Thames Markets

A little crafty
There’s even a market held every Thursday that was granted charter in the 13th century. On the Sunday that we were there, was the artisan ‘Duck Pond’ craft market, new for 2018 and held on the 4th Sunday each month in Market Place.
Henley's craft market in Market Place in front of the old town hall which now houses the Henley Information Centre
Bunting across the marketplace
Stalls lined up in Henley on Thames's market in front of the old town hall
Market day in the sun
Great for picking up those quirky gifts.
The Market in Henley on Thames's market with a sign declaring it's 'Local, ethical & sustainable shopping'
The Market at Henley-on-Thames

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A legend

Strolling down Hart St., you’ll be facing the church of St Mary the Virgin, which has a 16th-century tower.
The simple grave, decorated with flowers & pot plants, of Dusty Springfield in St Mary’s Church graveyard
Dusty Springfield's resting place
Have a little peek in the churchyard, and you’ll see a gravesite marker for the legendary singer Dusty Springfield, who lived in the town prior to her death in 1999.

Point to Note

Henley-on-Thames can become very busy; it’s a good idea to plan ahead. 

Historical Henley-on-Thames

Take a look
Go for a little wander around the lanes at the back of the church and you’ll see Chantry House. This is a beautiful medieval timbered framed building that’s Grade I listed and was built around 1400.
The bright yellow, 14th Century, timber-framed, Chantry House in Henly on Thames
Chantry House
Just nearby is an intriguing little row of Almshouses initially built in 1664, but then rebuilt in 1846. It is so peaceful around here, grab a pew, listen to the birds and just watch the world go by.

Where to stay in Henley

- Phyllis Court Club - Set in a 14th-Century manor house with beautiful gardens, set on the River Thames' edge. Free parking and a 10-minute walk to the centre of Henley

- The Row Barge Henley - A traditional pub that offers cosy rooms in a central location. It features a courtyard garden & parking is on road.

Four brick built single storey Almshouses in Church Avenue Henley on Thames
The old Almshouses

Discover more

... of historic Britain and tour its picturesque countryside, head further into the Chilterns or even beyond to the Cotswolds. You can do it all on a road trip, Rental Cars searches multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the deals that suit you the best.

Henley-on-Thames Riverside

Water is calling

Without further ado we head down to the hustle and bustle of the River Thames. The river offers such a wonderful backdrop and welcomes all kind of boaters.

The name Henley-on-Thames may be ringing bells with you, as this part of the Thames has been made famous by the annual Henley Royal Regatta.

A canal boat chugging along the River Thames prepared for the Henley Royal Regatta
A canal boat on the Thames
A number of small boats moored up at the Thames Riverside in Henley-on-Thames on a bright summers day.
The waterfront of Henley-on-Thames
Every July rowers compete for five days along the 1 mile, 550 yards (2,112 metres) course. The first Henley Regatta was held in 1839 and then gained “Royal” status in 1851 when Prince Albert became the patron.

More Info?

Why not check out the Visit Henley website?
Overlooking the Phyllis Court Club from across the river Thames at Henley-on-Thames
All ready for rowing
The prepared lanes in the River Thames ready for the Henley Royal Regatta.
Prepared for the Henley Royal Regatta

Have You?

Visited the historic town of Henley-on-Thames, leave a comment below & share your memories?

Henley Royal Regatta

The Big Event
We visited Henley the weekend prior to the big event and were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of what was to come for the Regatta week.
A close-up shot of a Lancaster bomber flying over the River Thames in preparation for the Henley Royal Regatta
A Lancaster Bomber flypast

Across the counties

Oxfordshire to Berkshire
You can’t help being drawn to Henley Bridge which straddles the Thames from Oxfordshire to Berkshire, built in 1786 and also Grade I listed. It’s from the Berkshire side that you can enjoy looking back across at Henley.
A small pleasure boat heading under the Henley Bridge in front of the The Angel on the Bridge pub in Henley on Thames
The Angel accross the Thames
On the Berkshire side of the River Thames, so not quite in Henley-on-Thames, is the Leander Rowing Club. This club was founded in 1818 and is one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world, it has a delightful view overlooking Henley opposite.
A brick-built pillar at the entrance to the Leander Rowing Club featuring the club's emblem
The Leander Rowing Club sign

If you're intrigued by Oxfordshire, a historic UK county, then why not check out  "The Little Book of Oxfordshire".  Full of facts and obscure information. It's a fun read on the region.

You won't be able to put it down.  You can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.

Henley Life

Relaxing pace
However, you don’t need to be of Olympic standard to take to the waters; you can enjoy the pleasure of boating along the Regatta course yourself.
A close-up of the row of brightly coloured motor boats for hire at Henley on Thames
Boats for hire
Or if you don’t want to take to the helm then let someone else take the strain in a larger boat and head upriver.
A paddle-steamer moored up on the River Thames at Henley
A paddle steamer on the Thames
If you haven’t brought your sea legs then take a lovely stroll along the river, there are some beautiful boats to admire.
A stylish wooden panelled motor launch moored up on the River Thames opposite the home to the Henley Royal Regatta.
A little bit of style on the Thames

Did you know?

That Henley Royal Regatta is held over five days, finishing on the first Sunday in July?

A pit stop

Now if you need a bit of refreshment pop into The Old Bell pub, dating from 1325 and believed to be the oldest building in Henley-on-Thames.
The historic Old Bell pub in the centre of Henley-on-Thames
The Old Bell pub

Would you like a little more of Henley?

We have created a little YouTube video of our time in Henley-on-Thames - why not check it out?

And why not subscribe to our YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

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  1. It’s certainly a lovely summer’s day out, even when the Royal Regatta isn’t on.

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