Henley Bridge and The Angel Pub
“Take a breath of fresh air” in Henley, away from the bustle of everyday pressures yet remarkably accessible.
The town is well-known for its rowing tradition which its unique river location has fostered over the past 150 years. Henley is particularly proud of its men and women athletes who excelled themselves in the eyes of the world at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. But Henley is not just about rowing.
Henley offers a wide range of attractions whether you simply want to take a quiet trip on the river, visit the art galleries, visit historic houses, enjoy the River & Rowing Museum, rummage through antiques, browse fashion shops, or simply stroll, eat and drink in relaxing surroundings.
It really is a year-round destination.
Henley-on-Thames is a pretty riverside market town on one of the most beautiful stretches of the River Thames, in gently wooded, rolling countryside. It is an hour west of London making it ideal for a short side-trip or a long weekend away from the madding crowd.
With a population of some 10,000 it supports the many small, attractive villages in the countryside around. The town’s prosperity goes back to the 12th century as river trade developed because of its position.
Today there is a comfortable mix of architectural styles spanning the centuries with many interesting features for the historian, some of which are [conveniently] hidden in the church and local pubs.
The Tourist Information Centre itself is a fine example of painstaking restoration to preserve the details of one of Henley’s older buildings.
There are delightful small villages and country houses hidden in the folds of the surrounding hills, yet easily accessible by car if you are mildly adventurous. Of course the constituency also includes the historic town of Thame further north. Thame is ideally situated to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Thames and Chilterns area. The Town has its own Local Nature Reserve (Cuttle Brook) where a quiet walk and, perhaps, a picnic can be enjoyed. There are many public footpaths (including the Chiltern Hills with the Ridgeway Path and the Oxfordshire Way) where outstanding views of the surrounding area can be enjoyed. You might get pleasantly lost, but only until the track you’ve found meets up with a more obvious lane or road with signposts. Villages locally are used for major films and TV productions, and you may recognise a fleeting image here and there. The local pub will usually have press clippings on the wall to remind people.
There are many peaceful scenic spots for a quiet stroll or picnic: it’s hard to realise that you’re so near London.
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Henley on Thames; May; two thousand and five
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