This Regatta Guide from the Henley Herald is for the 180th Henley Royal Regatta, taking place from 3 July to 7 July 2019. From rowing results to car parking, shopping to late night buses and more…
The Organisers – Henley Royal Regatta
Download each day’s timetable of events, entries, results and lots of photos too at the official HRR website.
To mark the 180th anniversary the organisers have created a video charting the history of regatta which is available to view at https://youtu.be/0egTpcPrvuw
The Regatta will be live-streamed on the official HRR YouTube channel .
There has historically been much publicity about the dress code at the Regatta. If you are attending either the Stewards’ Enclosure or the Regatta Enclosure, both of which are under the control of HRR itself, you should avail yourself of their requirements by clicking on the links above. If you’re invited to a corporate hospitality event, then your host will hopefully have supplied details of the dress code but usually this is smart-ish, so suits or jackets for gents and dresses or skirt for ladies. If you are just going along the river bank, then pretty much anything goes from formal attire to extremely casual, so wear whatever you want.
If you’re driving to the Regatta it may not surprise you to know that the traffic is usually horrendous. So set off early! But you’ll still probably queue for ages. Why not come by train instead? Or just grin and bear it, and think of that nice cold Pimms awaiting you ahead…
Henley Bridge will be closed from 9.00 pm to 11.00 pm on Saturday night for the fireworks (although the re-opening time is variable – it depends on how quickly the crowds disperse to allow the road to safely re-open).
There are a number of unofficial non-HRR car parking sites in and around Henley that set-up specifically for the Regatta including Henley Cricket Club at the bottom of the A4130 coming into town from the Maidenhead direction just before the bridge i.e. you park on the pitch, and Henley Rugby Club on the Marlow Road. There are usually others in various places (like the fields along the Wargrave Road) but they come and go with the years as the landowners either want to make a quick buck and/or then can’t be bothered anymore. Prices vary but as the traffic’s that bad, good luck on cruising around to find the best deal on the day. :-(
If you want to give to charity Henley Lions operate car parking on the Fairmile and Henley Sea Cadets open their car park on the Wargrave Road.
There are council-run Pay & Display car parks in the town centre but Kings Road and Greys Road have a 3 hour restriction on the length of maximum stay during the day with a 2 hour ‘no return’ period. Southfields (off Goodall Close) has a 23 hours max stay (1 hour ‘no return’) but is usually full from early morning. And yes, there are traffic wardens who regularly check tickets. Saturday afternoon after 3 pm is free – so probably not much use to Regatta goers – but Sunday however is free all day in all council car parks… :-)
This link will take you to the Parkopedia website which has full details of the car parks. Note that the Station car park may not be available (in some years it has been closed completely) as much of it is taken over with crowd control measures because of the large number of train passengers.
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To and from Henley on Thames railway station; the station is at the end of a short branch line from Twyford on the Paddington to Reading line, and Great Western Railway usually put on lots of special trains for the Regatta period – click here to download timetable
Arriva operate buses from Reading to High Wycombe that route through Henley on a regular basis during the day and evening. Visit the Arriva website for more details.
Thames Travel operate X38 bus service connecting Oxford, Wallingford, Henley-on-Thames, Caversham and Reading, Monday to Saturday.
On Friday and Saturday night Reading Buses are again running a late night bus service, from Station Road, to Reading from 10.30pm to 2.30am, every 20 mins. £10 one way or £15 for 2 people. Click here for full details. Please note that due to low usage they will no longer be running a bus to High Wycombe.
Henley River Boats offer boat hire for small parties of up to 6 people offering excellent value when compared to larger outfits like Hobbs. People can sit comfortably around a table and enjoy their own food and drink and the sights of the river. Ideal for special occasions. For the Regatta, the cost is £240 for 2 hours – enough time to go up and down the course and enjoy some drinks and food. Pick up and drop off is near the River & Rowing Museum.
Eating and Drinking
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or a special meal there are many restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs in Henley to choose from. Pimms is the traditional Henley Regatta drink however Brakspear have launched a special Regatta Beer, Hooray Henley. Check out our Pubs and Bar Guide
A cafe supporting the Children’s Society is open at the Chantry House by St Mary’s Church from 10.30 am – 5.00 pm serving hot and cold drinks, delicious home-made cakes, lunches and cream teas. Run by volunteers, it provides an oasis of calm amid the hubbub of the Regatta and all proceeds go to supporting disadvantaged children.
Equally there are lots of food and drink outlets along the length of the rowing course once you are past the Enclosures and are heading down towards the start.
As well as the numerous shopping outlets on the riverbank along the course at Henley Royal Regatta (after the Enclosures) there are lots of lovely local shops in Henley town centre. They will all give you a warm Henley welcome.
Laurence Menswear, the No. 1 menswear shop in Henley, situated on Duke Street in the heart of town, has a great range of blazers, ties, shirts and trousers which are perfect for the Regatta – laurencemenswear.co.uk.
If you’re looking for a special hat, Liz Felix Millinery – located just down the Reading Road from Market Place – can tailor-make a beautiful design to match your outfit – see more at www.lizfelixhats.com.
These are on Saturday night and start at around 10.00-10.10 pm. The fireworks display will take place on land owned by the Fawley Court. The river tow-path along the course has historically been a popular vantage point although it does get very crowded and they will be visible from Henley Bridge. Henley Bridge will close from 9.00-11.00pm for the display.
Last year Thames Valley Police issued some advice for visitors to the Regatta. We understand that this ‘advice’ and the message from the Police is still relevant this year. In particular visitors should note Ch Supt’s comments about people bringing alcohol with them into Henley on trains and by other means of transport. We are aware that this measure has been firmly enforced over recent years for those deemed to be breaking Police guidelines.
A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is in place for the Regatta which means that the Police will have the power to ask someone to stop drinking alcohol if they are behaving, or are likely to behave, in an anti-social way. Click here to obtain a copy of the designated public place order flyer.
A team of Street Pastors (based at d:two off Market Place) will be helping those in trouble and handing out flip flops, water and lollipops.