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