Henley-on-Thames dates from the 12th century and it has a lovely town centre that is a pleasant spot to wander. The town’s oldest building is The Old Bell pub, which dates from 1325.
The River Thames has played an integral part in the town’s history and rowing plays a big part in the local culture. There are several prestigious rowing clubs in town including the Henley, Leander, Phyllis Court and Upper Thames Rowing Clubs.
The town is also home to the annual Henley Royal Regatta, one of the world’s most well-known rowing events. The Henley Regatta lasts for five days, starting on a Wednesday and ending on the first weekend in July.
Other important rowing events are also held here have included The Boat Race (the annual race between teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities) that was held here from 1977 until 2014. The Boat Race is now held on The Championship Course in London.
The henley shirt is named after the town, primarily because the shirt was part of the traditional rowing club uniform.
If you’re not lucky enough to be in town during the Henley Regatta, you can learn more about it at Henley’s excellent River and Rowing Museum.
Henley-on-Thames is easy to get to by rail and bus.
Henley-on-Thames railway station lies at the end of a branch line that runs to Twyford on the Great Western Main Line where you can change for trains to London Paddington and Reading. The train is the quickest way to London.
Thames Travel’s bus route X38 connects Henley with Reading and Oxford with bus services running every hour. The bus is the easiest and cheapest way to get to Oxford but the train is around 20 minutes quicker even accounting for changing at Twyford and Reading.