11 Jun 2015

More time by the river


Henley-on-Thames is well known for the annual Music Festival and Henley Royal Regatta. Henley Regatta (founded in 1839) is one of the major social events of the summer season. It's a town that we know well as we lived a few miles away on the Berkshire side of Henley until we moved nearer to Reading - a pleasant town to shop in, take the children to after-school activities, meet friends and enjoy riverside walks.

After we had visited Ewelme we decided to spend a few hours in Henley before we drove on to stay with our daughter.  It was market day with stalls set up in the market place. There are many small shops of interest to browse in, but we headed for the river where we could just sit and relax for an hour or two and enjoy the scene. We sat on the decking terrace of The Angel On the Bridge pub.


Friday Street





Hart Street and Henley Bridge



View of The Angel - we were sitting over the water.  Being a week day it was not quite so busy.


We could see rowers out on a training session and the Regatta Enclosure with the dressing tents, marquees and viewing stands that had already been erected for the Regatta which will be taking place in the first week of July.



The Leander Club (above) was founded in 1818 and has produced champion oarsmen and women and has a membership that includes Olympic medallists and those who have contributed to the sporting achievements that have been gained in British rowing competitions.


The wide river affords a good stretch of water for the rowing event.  The course starts from Temple Island (in the distance on this view above) and finishes at a point near to Henley Bridge and Phyllis Court Club. The races take place over five days and it's an opportunity for international crews to take part in this prestigious event.


On the other side of Henley Bridge there are the moorings for individual boats and for river cruisers. There's a park, the River and Rowing Museum, meadows and a stretch of the Thames Path National Trail which would take you on a mainly riverside walk from Henley-on-Thames, through Shiplake, Sonning and then to Reading.

The Henley Regatta Head Quarters







Henley Thameside Promenade and Moorings.

We had had a good breakfast at our B and B so we just sat by the river in the sunshine before driving on to Caversham to tend the family graves in the cemetery before going back on the Henley Road to avoid heavy traffic on one of the bridges into Reading, passing through the pretty village of Sonning-on Thames. I've written about Sonning here and here and several other times since it's one of my favourite riverside villages in this area.


Wisteria in Sonning-on-Thames


30 comments:

  1. you have a lot of really beautiful photos today. i love the first one because the buildings point to the church and the door photo is gorgeous. my favorite is the bridge and the lamp post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Henley is a regular winner of the Britain in Bloom competition initiated by the British Tourist Board and organised by the Royal Horticultural Society. It encourages communities to clean up and green up their local area so places such as this town look attractive with all the flowers that are displayed in the streets.

      Delete
  2. I think it's so relaxing being beside water, and especially is such picturesque surroundings. Henley on Thames looks lovely, such beautiful buildings and I love the name of the street, Friday Street.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were fortunate to be able to sit close to the water on that day and it was very relaxing. Our daughter was there on Saturday and she said the town was very busy and that the same spot was crowded. It's a popular town to visit. I've found out more about Friday street with its half-timbered houses. It's thought that there were medieval fish ponds at its east end and the street might have been named for the supply of fish in them. (Friday was the day when folk fasted. They could not eat meat, but the Church did allow fish).

      Delete
  3. Good Morning Linda, You have captured the feel of sitting by the river watching all the activity. I knew nothing of rowing until I read a book recently called The Boys in the Boat about the history of the U.S. rowing team from Seattle, WA who won the 1936 Olympics in Germany - a very interesting sport. And I love the bridge. However, I think my favorite picture here is not by the river but the side of the brick building with the hanging flowers and that massive old wood door. It looks like it has stood the test of time very well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many old buildings in these towns from different periods, medieval to Georgian, Victorian and some modern. That's what makes these places interesting. The half timbered houses with brick and flint stone walls are very attractive especially when there are roses or other flowers climbing up them.

      Delete
  4. These are truly magnificent! I love the angles of the bridges and the wisteria is sumptuous. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love wisteria and it's looking good just now on these old buildings. I've had a wisteria for three years now and I'm dreaming of the day when it will look like the above photos!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful pictures. Looks like you had lovely warm weather for your trip. Love the wisteria!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. We did have good weather on our trip, especially that particular day which was my birthday. In fact we're still enjoying sunny weather and making the most of it.

      Delete
  6. I was all set to go to Henley last weekend, and then couldn't go. So your lovely pictures are showing me what I missed. And make me resolve to schedule in another time to go. I think it would be a bit too busy during the Regatta though. It's wonderful to go up and down the river, I always think, in a boat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regatta week will be busy. It's an enjoyable event with a good atmosphere, but you need to plan in advance and perhaps stay in a B and B overnight. It's better to go by train as the roads into the town get congested. Our daughter goes as she can view the rowing from Phyllis Court Club lawns. She and a friend have also taken The New Orleans Boat evening cruise on the river with dinner and jazz band included.

      Delete
  7. It is a very picturesque and interesting place isn't it. xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, that Wisteria!!! It's such a soft and glorious contrast to the hard-edged architectural blocks of buildings! Lovely post, Linda :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. You inspire me to take little jaunts around here. We have a weekly newspaper feature called "The Gypsy Road Trip" that brings to attention various Ohio towns and museums and other features. I often cut them out and now that I'm retired I hope to follow up by visiting those sites.
    Beautiful buildings and landscape as always. I love the picture of The Angel---quite quaint! I also like that little covered boat. The tour boat reminded me of our river tour boats although the ones that tour the Mississippi are designed for overnights. I've always wanted to go on one of those!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many possibilities for you now that you have retired and have the time to follow your interests. I'm looking forward to hearing about the places you visit, Beth. It's an exciting time and I'm very happy for you :)

      Delete
  10. What a lovely place to enjoy viewing the sights, strolling, and soaking in the surroundings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A riverside walk and a sit down by the water was relaxing.

      Delete
  11. What a heavenly river, a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by! It should be fun watching the regatta! I just love that beamed shop and the wooden door with the climbing roses, what a rustic village....gorgeous!xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me, the River Thames, the Kennet, the Loddon are special and I love the boating scene where I grew up.

      Delete
  12. A perfect day to go... quiet and gorgeous weather. I know Henley well, it's a beautiful town. I only ever saw the regatta from a distance but attended the Festival one year, it was brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a lovely setting for a music festival and there's nothing better than a picnic and listening to music on a warm summer evening. Let's hope we have a good summer for all outdoor events!

      Delete
  13. Hi - I've just come across from Jo's blog.
    What a lovely post ... haven't visited Henley for a good number of years. Doesn't the Wisteria look lovely on your photo's taken at Sonning-on-Thames.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to hear from you again. Henley is one of my favourite towns on the stretch of the River Thames that I know where I used to live and I miss the area a lot. Wisteria has been gorgeous this year and I was pleased to see these very old tree vines in full bloom.

      Delete
  14. Lovely! You know how entranced I always am with how old the buildings are around you but that antique store (I think the sign above the door says Tudor House) looks incredibly old!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we hadn't been more interested in getting down to the riverside I would have gone into the shop where there were interesting antiques on display. It's fascinating to see buildings from different periods in time in one street.

      Delete
  15. What a beautiful place. Love all the great pictures. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Martha. I hope you have a very peaceful week also :)

      Delete