Henley-on-Thames is a pretty little market town situated on the River Thames in the corner of Oxfordshire. Probably most well-known for the world famous Henley Royal Regatta which takes place every summer, Henley is a hive of festivals, culture, shopping and fine dining. Only an hour west of London and close to the M4 and M40 it’s a great spot for a weekend away with lots of places to visit, quiet villages with gastro pubs and some of the best mountain biking in the Chilterns.
The market town of Henley-on-Thames
As the home of the Royal Regatta and the Leander Club, one of the world’s oldest rowing clubs, the River Thames is a dominant feature of town life. Hire a boat or take a trip along the river with Hobbs of Henley, enjoy a stroll along the Thames Path or have a picnic in one of the many parks lining the banks.
As well as the many regattas, the town also hosts a number of arts and music festivals throughout the year including the Henley Festival every July. As a town who knows how to throw a good party, there’s an excellent selection of accommodation, restaurants, bars and pubs and first class shopping to be had, all radiating out from the market square. More information is available from the Tourist Information Centre in the Town Hall or on the Visit-Henley.com website.
Places to see and things to do in Henley-on-Thames
Dating back to the 12th century, Henley has over 300 buildings ‘of special architectural or historical interest’ including St Mary’s Church, the Town Hall and Henley Bridge. For rowing enthusiasts there’s the River and Rowing Museum by the river or it’s a short ride out to the Maharajah’s Well, Stonor Park or the National Trust’s Greys Court with Nuffield Place a bit further away.
Once the home of the Brakspear Brewery, Lovibonds is based in the town centre and the Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery uses the steep sided slopes of the stunning Hambleden Valley for wine production. The whole area is a foodie heaven with delicatessens, delightful cafes, award winning gastro pubs and fine restaurants based in the town and out among the many beautiful little villages.
Just for cyclists – what to do and where to ride
The Chilterns Cycleway passes through the town centre using the one way system. As Henley Bridge is one of the only river crossings in the area, the town centre and main roads can be busy, but once out in the countryside the lanes are quiet. National Cycle Network routes 4 and 5 can both be joined close to the town by following signs to the Cycleway. The Hambleden Valley and the area between Fawley, Nettlebed and Sonning have some of the best bridleways and byways in the Chilterns. We have on and off-road route suggestions on our Cycle Routes page.
Bike shops in Henley-on-Thames
Henley Cycles is in the centre of town just a few minutes’ walk from the train station. They offer repairs, spares, sales and bike hire. Athlete Service has a small range of parts, accessories and clothing and provide bike servicing and fitting.
Map of Henley-on-Thames and surrounding area
Cycle routes around Henley-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire and South Bucks
(as shown on map above)
- The Henley Looop (burgundy) – 18 mile road route into the Hambleden Valley.
- MTB/Off-road route (aqua) – 21 mile off-road route using quiet lanes, bridleways and byways. Suitable for a range of abilities.
- Lovibonds Brewery Loop (orange) – 20 mile road route from the centre of Henley through Bix and Stoke Row
- National Cycle Network route 4 (blue) – 15 mile signposted section from Maidenhead to Reading
- Chilterns Cycleway (brown) – 175 mile signposted cycle touring route around the Chilterns AONB
- Chilterns Cycleway link (light brown) – 9 mile signposted route to Twyford train station
How to get to Henley-on-Thames
By train: There are regular train services from Twyford station
By bus: For public transport and bus information, take a look at Traveline.info
By car: Henley has excellent road links
Find out more about visiting Henley-on-Thames using the following websites: