Things to Do
Henley enjoys many major events during the course of the year which can be found on the Events section, but even when these aren’t on there is plenty to do, below are a few suggestions with more details and ideas to be found in What to Do.
Walking & History Tour of Henley
Henley is easy to walk around so a self-guided tour is an simple option. But to help you, download the leaflet and map to discover the history of the town’s buildings in this fascinating and easy walk around historic Henley.
If you want to delve further take a guided tour with Henley-on-Thames Heritage, including Ghost Tours, Murders, Buildings, Men of Power and other fascinating walks.
If you would like a light-hearted "Blue Badge" guided walk around Henley-on-Thames, where a whole range of topics are covered in addition to local history, such as culture, art, local legend, music and sport, the whys and wherefores of rowing and dress-codes, places to eat, shop, food to taste and new crafts to try, choose Bobbie Blue Badge, guiding in Henley for 20 years.
website: www.bobbiebluebadge.co.uk tel: 07770933117
Brakspears also have a new range of walking trails from their pubs in and around Henley. Further information can be found on Pub Trails website
Walkers are Welcome
A group of local people, supported by Henley Town Council, is encouraging support for the town to join “Walkers are Welcome” (WaW) – a nationwide non-profit making Community Interest Company launched in 2007 to encourage towns and villages to be ‘welcoming to walkers’. For more information please contact Peter Stone – email@example.com / 01491 412330
The network has expanded rapidly and there are now over 100 locations across the UK that have joined this innovative community-led scheme to benefit from WaW accreditation. Discover more at www.walkersarewelcome.org.uk
The River Thames is at its most elegant as it flows under the towns beautiful 18th century stone bridge. To enjoy it in all its glory with its stunning backdrop of Chiltern Hills and teeming bird life join one of the regular summer public cruises offered by Hobbs of Henley or Salters Steamers, or pilot yourself in a small motor or rowing boat from Hobbs or Hoopers boat yards.
Visit the River & Rowing Museum
Acknowledged by The Times as one of the best 50 museums in the world and with lots to do for families, including an immersive Wind in the Willows experience much loved by children of all ages. In the award winning building by architect Sir David Chipperfield there are also fascinating displays about the river, the town of Henley and the sport of rowing, alongside special exhibitions and a fabulous café.
Browse Henley’s independent shops
As an old market town Henley is blessed with a plethora of small, quirky and independent shops. Have a look for antiques, handmade chocolates, beautiful boutiques, cards, gifts, high quality art galleries, antiquarian books plus a traditional independent bookshop all in the easily navigated historic town centre.
Discover hidden pubs
Henley once up a time had more pubs per head of population than any other town in the south east. While those days are gone the town still has many interesting public houses to choose from. Hidden in some of the smaller streets but never too far from the river or town centre are a few exceptional establishments, look out for The Anchor in Friday Street, The Row Barge in West Street or the Bird in Hand in Greys Road.
Enjoy afternoon Tea
With numerous coffee shops to choose from Henley can offer even the connoisseur something special, including traditional afternoon tea with stacked plates of sandwiches and cakes at The Hotel du Vin or The Red Lion Hotel. Or if you are after a river view while you indulge try the Chocolate Café on Riverside where it’s hard to resist the temptation of homemade cakes and chocolates.
Take part in the Henley Ale or Gin Trail
If you’re interested in a good walk while visiting interesting buildings, meeting the locals and enjoying well-crafted ale, there’s no better way of doing it than taking part in the Henley Ale Trail, run by local pub company Brakspear. Download the trail and pick up a stamp at each of the nine pubs in order to win a prize.
Relax by the riverside
Henley is lucky to have extensive parkland adjacent to the River Thames, the more formal Mill Meadows and next door the unspoilt Marsh Meadows. Both are great spots for a picnic and to watch the world go by while being a short walk from Marsh Lock, which is always a great place to watch boats (and people!). In the summer the bandstand in Mill Meadows often has a band playing while deckchairs can be hired from the tourist information centre next to the newly refurbished public toilets.
Follow in the footsteps of Midsomer’s Inspector Barnaby
The long running TV series Midsomer Murders (known as Barnaby in much of the rest of the world) has used Henley on numerous occasions as a film location, there was even a Midsomer Regatta filmed during Henley Regatta one year. In 2017, they recorded another episode that included the ‘Causton Rugby Team’ filmed at Henley Rugby Club. It’s easy to visit the locations used for filming with the help of the town’s Midsomer walking trail and if you’re lucky you’ll end up pouring a pint in The Argyll where Inspector Barnaby has a plaque at the bar.
Wine Tasting at Fairmile Vineyard
Visit one of Fairmile Vineyard’s public open days, or for parties of six or more, book a private tour & tasting. What finer experience than sipping chilled bubbly overlooking the vineyard it came from? Meet the owners, and enjoy the fabulous views from the top of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Rewind Festival South 2022
Temple Island Meadows, Henley on Thames, RG9 3DB
Date(s): 19/08/2022 - 21/08/2022
Time:12:00 am - 12:00 am
The Henley Regatta for the disabled 2022
Phyllis Court, Phyllis Court Drive, Henley on Thames, RG9 2HT
Henley Farm and Country Show 2022
The Henley Showground, Hambledon, Nr Henley on Thames, RG9 3AS
Date(s): 10/09/2022 - 10/09/2022
Time:08:30 am - 05:00 pm
Henley Literary Festival 2022
Various places around the town, Henley on Thames, RG9 2AQ
Date(s): 01/10/2022 - 09/10/2022
Time:12:00 am - 12:00 am
Pizza Night at the Farm Kitchen - Swiss Farm
Swiss Farm, Marlow Road, Henley on Thames, RG9 2HY
Date(s): 22/09/2021 - 31/12/2022
Time:05:00 pm - 08:00 pm
The Farmers Market takes place in Henley Market Place the 2nd Saturday, 4th Thursday and 5th Sunday (if there be one) of the month.
Every Thursday the Charter Market can be found in the Market Place.