1. Henley Regatta
The event of the year that puts Henley on the map is Henley Regatta. Held very year and probably the best known regatta in the world, the dates for 2014 are 2-6 July. The first regatta was held in 1839 and has been held every year since, except during World War 1 and 11. Originally the regatta took place in just one afternoon but now spans 5 days and attracts thousands of visitors.
2. River and Rowing Museum
With its’ regatta history it comes as no surprise to find Henley has a River and Rowing Museum which was voted one of the Top 50 Museums in the World by the Times. There are 3 galleries for rowing, rivers and the history of Henley. There is also an exhibition of The Wind in the Willows. The museum also has temporary exhibitions throughout the year including art and photography.
3. River Trip
A trip along the river is a must. Hobbs of Henley offer 60 minute river trips as well as self-drive boats for the more adventurous. www.hobbsofhenley.co.uk Why not stop for lunch at The Angel on the Bridge which has outside dining right by the riverside. It is the only pub in Henley actually on the Thames. They also have moorings for two boats. www.theangelhenley.com. For those who prefer dry land, you can walk the Thames path from Mash Lock to Hambledon Lock.
4. Botrun Gallery
The Botrun gallery has been in Henley for over 40 years. The Gallery specialises in contemporary British fine art, including paintings, sculpture, prints and ceramics.
Henley has a good selection of unusual and independent shops, check out Friday and New Street. The Thursday market has been trading since 13th century.
6. A visit to Chiltern valley Winery & Brewery
Take a two hour tour of the winery, brewery and liqueur productions. The tour includes a 40 minute tasting. There is a shop as well so you can purchase wine to take home. They produce 11 wines, 5 beers and a selection of 12 different liqueurs.
7. Grey Court
Grey Court is a 16th century mansion and gardens now owned by The National Trust. The house was originally owned by the De Grey family but was confiscated by Henry VII who passed it to another family, the rental for the house was a red rose each midsummers day! Explore the walled gardens as well as some walks through the beech woods. Dogs are allowed in the woods on a lead.
8. Warburg Nature Reserve
Warburg nature Reserve is a great day out for all the family. It is particularly well known for its extensive reserve of orchids. They have recorded 15 species here including the Fly and Birds Nest orchid. You can also see some rare butterflies. There are guided walks available as well as picnic areas. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on a lead.
9. Nuffield Place
Nuffield Place was home to philanthropist William Morris, Lord Nuffield. The found of Morris cars and one of the richest men in the world who was exceptionally generous and gave much of his wealth away to charities and other good causes. Most of lord and lady Nuffields personal possessions remain in the house.
10. Stonor Park
Stonor Park is one of England’s oldest manor houses owned by the same family for over 850 years. Lord Camay has an extensive collection of ceramics from Japan, England, Korea and Denmark. Outside the grounds are home to Red Kites, one of Britain’s rarest birds. They share their home with buzzards, green woodpeckers and owls.