Henley Royal Regatta is one of the most prestigious events in the UK boating calendar, but if you are planning a ‘maiden voyage’ to Henley, there some useful tips to take on board.
Every well-heeled visitor’s favourite event to be ‘seen at’, Henley hosts 200 races over 5 days with some of the world’s top rowers and sailors taking part from all over the world.
Interestingly enough, the Henley ‘dress code’ states that dresses and skirts should be of modest length. Few younger ladies, however leave anything to the imagination and with a choice of fifteen bars and restaurants to choose from, Henley is as much about having fun as it is about boating!
This colourful summer event sees some of the world’s finest sailors and oarsmen take part in a series of races along the famous River Thames.
If you are planning your first visit to Henley Royal Regatta our top tips include:
Henley Regatta or not, this is England. The weather can turn on a tuppence so even if you start the day in blazing sunshine, by lunchtime you could be caught in a downpour. Take a rainproof coat or jacket and have your brollies at the ready, just in case.
On the other hand, if the sun has got its hat on, unless you are in the Regatta Enclosure or Steward’s Enclosure, or hiding under a floppy hat, use plenty of sun cream and keep hydrated. There is little shade when the sun is at its brightest.
Be careful not to drink too much alcohol. There is nothing worse than a day of heavy drinking in the sunshine to make you feel ill. Stay sober to avoid sleeping by the river or even stumbling into it.
Take Cash. Most of the bars, restaurants and shops accept major credit and debit cards but there is no cash machine on site so if you are unable to pay by card you face a long walk into Henley town centre to the nearest ATM machine.
High heels for the ladies and loafers without socks for the men are very much ‘de rigueur’ at Henley, but be aware that seats are few and far between and the river banks are uneven, narrow and crowded. For comfort ladies are advised to wear some ‘not so high’ shoes and men may want to wear in shoes before attending the Regatta.
Pre-book your Henley picnic. Most visitors enjoy riverside picnics, but to avoid the queues when you arrive you can pre-book your hamper to be delivered to your reserved parking, picnic spot or your boat mooring. If you are bringing your own picnic, make sure you arrive early to bag a space.
Bring binoculars. If you are planning to watch any of the races, take a pair of binoculars as following the action for more than a couple of hundred metres can be difficult.
You can print out a list of the races before you arrive and save money on a programme, while planning your itinerary for the day.
If you are looking for accommodation in Henley for the Henley Royal Regatta, 2017 take a look at our apartments, houses, studios and mansions near to the event. It is advisable to book early for Henley as accommodation books out quickly from one year to the next.
“There have been several good attempts to revive the popularity of the straw hat, all without success. It is better left to elegant fishmongers, and Harrovians.” – Sir Hardy Amies, The ABC of Men’s Fashion – 1964