Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

The Town

Punts; summer on the River Thames; straw boaters; strawberries and cream – oh, and a few Olympic rowers:  if your property buyer used those words to describe a location featuring in your property search, what name would spring to mind? Chances are, it may well be Henley – or Henley-on-Thames, to give it its full name as buying agents would often describe it.


Henley lies 9 miles north east of Reading, 7 miles west of Maidenhead, and 33 miles from London. The town is in the county of Oxfordshire, and is 23 miles south east of Oxford. The M4, M40 and A404 roads are all within easy reach, and you can be at London Paddington by train in just over an hour. Slower trains take around 90 minutes.

The History

Henley-on-Thames has a long history with several royal connections. In 1179 King John granted the manor of Benson and the town and manor of Henley to Robert Harcourt in 1199. The town has been at the heart of many historical events, and during the Black Death in the 14th century, the town lost over half of its population. Today the population is below 12,000, and the town’s history is still visible. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the town gained prosperity from glass, malt, corn, and wool. Buying agents can help you find a property with a history that you’ll enjoy.

Henley Bridge, which spans the river, is a Grade I listed structure, built in 1786. It’s not the only Grade I listed building in town, however – the Chantry House is the second. Henley is consistently found to be one of the most expensive market towns in England so is an especially popular location for a property search. Hiring the services of a professional and knowledgeable property finder will help you find the right property for you, in a locale that will suit.

Leisure and Events

Henley-on-Thames is well-known on the international events circuit for the annual Henley Regatta. The event became known as the Royal Regatta when Queen Victoria’s Consort, Prince Albert, became its patron in 1851. The main regatta takes place in the summer, with 300 races. All levels of rowers take part, from newbies to Olympic participants. You’ll often catch a glimpse of award-winning teams practising their moves on the River Thames here. While the Henley Royal Regatta is internationally renowned, numerous other regattas take place during the year: rowing is very important here. Even the museum is called the River and Rowing Museum.

Rowing isn’t the only sport you can practise in Henley – there’s also sailing, as well as a football team, rugby team, cricket club and hockey. If you let your property buyer know that sport is important to you, they’ll help you find a home near the excellent facilities in town.

If sport isn’t quite your thing, then mention to your property finder that it’s arts that capture your interest. The arts are also celebrated every summer in the Henley Festival. This event celebrates the best in the UK an international music and arts, as well as being ideal for foodies. The black tie event raises funds for charity and is a great place to mooch, meander, or just hang out, for property finders and property buyers alike.


Those with an interest in business might be interested to know that the town has lent its name to the well-regarded Henley Business School, part of the nearby University of Reading, which has trained countless MBAs, DBAs, PhDs and others.  Henley College itself is a sixth form college with a solid reputation, and ask  your buying agent for more details of the wide range of educational establishments in the town, from primary schools judged outstanding by Ofsted to independent, day and boarding schools.

Celebrity Connections

Henley is and has been home to many famous people and celebrities over the years, including scientists, authors and actors. Our property buyers have even heard a rumour a rather famous TV cake-maker and personality lives locally.

Foodies’ Corner

If you’re looking for a bite to eat and a hearty beverage to wash it down, Henley-on-Thames has some excellent watering holes to suit every palate – from traditional pubs with beer gardens to Thai, Italian, vegetarian and vegan, Turkish and Mediterranean options, if you need to take a break from your property search activity.

Fun Fact

The town was used to provide filming locations for several episodes of the TV series Midsomer Murders, and you can even buy a guidebook.


James Nightingall