Find and book the perfect cottage or b&b in Henley-on-Thames
Visit Henley-on-Thames: the city of the Royal Regatta
Henley-on-Thames is a stunning little riverside town, with the Thames river running right the way through it, with countless bars, cafes, and restaurants lining your way. From the River and Rowing Museum, to Greys Court (a country manor with a Tudor donkey wheel), Friar Park, independent boutique stores, and countless bed and breakfasts in Henley-on-Thames, you'll never be short for something to do, and somewhere to stay.
Best time to visit Henley-on-Thames
While the town of Henley-on-Thames is great all year round, the best time to visit is definitely during the Henley Regatta in July. Even if the high-tea social climbing, champagne society isn't quite your thing, you can still enjoy the fantastic rowing performance, sitting along the riverbanks with a picnic and bottle of cider.
How to Get to Henley-on-Thames
Thanks to its proximity with London, Henley-on-Thames is actually easily reachable. Henley Station itself joins the main Reading to London line, and there are also direct services to London Paddington during peak times, which only take 45 minutes. It's also in the direct path for the M4 motorway which runs from London to South Wales, and at only 35 miles west from Central London, it's very feasible to simply drive there. If you already find yourself on holiday in Oxford, there is a bus that gets you to Henley in about an hour.
Even visiting from outside of the UK is easy; Henley-on-Thames sits right under the flight path from Heathrow, one of the biggest airports in the world – with some of the best airport holiday rentals to boot. Get a flight in here, spend the night resting and exploring London, and then hop on an easy train and head on across to Henley-on-Thames.
Where to stay in Henley-on-Thames
Central Henley is the perfect spot to book a holiday cottage or apartment; the River Thames is right on the doorstep, providing fantastically scenic walks, and it's right in the middle of countless attractions and restaurants – such as Stonor Park. Plus, being in the centre means easy access to various buses and public transport routes, allowing easy access to the Chilterns, and various quintessentially English villages that surround Henley-on-Thames.
The best place to stay in the centre of town is Cosy Cottage Henley, a home away from home on a quiet street in town, with a traditional brick and flint exterior, and a courtyard garden that is absolutely perfect for summer BBQs.
Red Lion Hotel
Found right next to the Thames river, the Red Lion Hotel dates back to the fifteenth century and has been the resting post of three different kings of England. With many rooms overlooking the Thames river, it's definitely one of the best places to find luxury B&B accommodation in Henley.
Hotel du Vin Henley
A relatively quirky little hotel, the Hotel du Vin Henley is one for those looking for the more luxury hotel apartments during their stay. With a fantastic location right near the town centre, only 10 minutes' walk from the train station, it's a hotel that's firmly stuck to its 1812 roots with low-level lighting, wooden floors, and even iron stairways. It was also once the brewery of local firm Brakspear (until 2002), for anyone with a keen interest in the local history of beer.
Things to do in Henley-on-Thames
The Henley Royal Regatta
The famous Henley Royal Regatta almost needs no introductions, but for those left in the dark, it's an annual rowing event that takes placed in Henley-on-Thames, on the River Thames. First established in 1839, it's a serious sporting event that lasts for 5 days, pitting the best of the best rowers against each other. Plus, similar to the Derby, It's also a high-class affair and a major fixture of the social calendar – so expect a lot of champagne.
The River and Rowing Museum
A very modern affair, the River and Rowing museum is located at Mill Meadows by the River Thames, with three main themes permeating its halls: the River Thames, the international sport of rowing, and the local town of Henley-on-Thames itself. It's the best place to go if you want to understand exactly why Henley is so obsessed with rowing.
A fantastic Tudor country house near the main town, Greys Court is owned by the National trust, and the entire house and all of its gardens are open to the public. To this day, the house remains furnished as a family home, with 18th century interiors, and the gardens are full of old-fashioned roses, wisteria, and even a maze.
Henley Festival of Music and Arts
Every year, the week after the famed Henley Royal Regatta, is the Henley Festival of Music and Arts, a black tie, dressed-up arts affair celebrating everything from opera to jazz, comedy, swing, and even rock. Plus, every day of the festival a celebrate, big time artist will perform on a stage floating along the Thames river.
The park, and the manor house that sits inside it is proving the biggest attraction, has been the family home of Lord and Lady Camoys, and the Stonor family, for over 800 years. It is also home to a 13th century chapel with even older origins – it was built on the site of a pagan stone circle. Home to many family portraits, notable paintings, drawings, sculptures and more, the manor house was a sanctuary for St. Edmund Campion in 1581 – and you can witness his life through the exhibition. The park itself is home to a wide selection of walks and cycle paths, so cycle on down from your B&B apartment and explore all that Stonor Park has to offer.