Book campsites near Glebe Campsite during Henley Regatta
Bozedown BoltholesHenley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, South East England
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Rolling Fields GlampingDidcot, Oxfordshire, South East England
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Glebe Campsite during Henley Regatta
The 27th weekend of the year sees the annual Henley Regatta take place. Since 1839, the double-barrelled brigade have congregated at this scenic stretch of the Thames to watch the world's greatest racing crews battle it out for the coveted Grand Challenge Cup – although it's just as much about the Pimm's and strawberries than it is cheering on the coxswain. For those of you not initiated, think of this five day festival as the Glastonbury of world rowing... albeit a conspicuously more upmarket affair with not a dreadlocked, bongo-playing Leveller's fan in sight. And despite the proximity to water, we'll wager you'll leave Henley considerably drier than you would down in notoriously rain-sodden Somerset!
The Glebe Campsite's Temple Island Meadows spot sits in a stunning meadow on the Berkshire banks of the Thames. This is the racing side, so when the starting pistol bangs, the lucky Glebe campers are treated to unrivalled views of the main action just a short stroll away. With capacity for up to 5,000 campers, this sprawling site comprises informal, flat, grassy pitches suitable for both tents and campervans. For those looking to... ahem... really push the boat out, look no further than the WOW bell and Pillow tents. These pre-erected, furnished cosy canvas abodes take the fuss out of pitching up and the WOW's are ideal for groups. Facilities are more than adequate with proper showers, immaculately-clean flush loos, and a whole host of stellar places to eat and drink, including the River Restaurant & Champagne Bar curated by the exclusive Mosimann's.
So whether or not you don the straw boaters and stripey blazers, there's a relaxed attitude to life at this site – camping is, after all, one of life's great levellers. Whatever floats your boat.
Capacity for up to 5000 campers. Individual shower cubicles ('Showers on the Run') that have individual cubicles with piped music through to them. Wash basins. Regularly cleaned flush loos. No electrical hook ups or laundry facilities. Gas cylinders and camping stoves are not permitted but small disposable BBQs will be permitted for use in the designated area.
Tents, campervans, groups – yes. Dogs, children under 5 – no. Glampers have the WOW and Pillow Tents. Cars are not allowed in the camping areas, but there is car parking facilities just a short walk away. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
There's more to well-heeled Henley-on-Thames than just the annual regatta. Friday Street and New Street boast a whole host of independent boutiques and artisan food producers. Pop your head in The Old Fire Station, a beautifully renovated gallery space that exhibits some fine work from local artists. The town's River and Rowing Museum (01491 415600) is well worth a visit for boat brigade. Kids will love the museum's 3-D exhibit on The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame's seminal children's book was said to have been inspired by the nearby Cookham to Pangbourne stretch of the Thames. Further afield lies Oxford's dreaming spires, the quintessentially English Cotswolds, and the magnificent Blenheim Palace (01993 810500), birthplace of one Winston Churchill. Hang around after the regatta for the Henley Festival (9th - 14th July), this year featuring Joss Stone, Bryan Ferry and Burt Bacharach – on a floating stage!
Food & Drink
There's plenty of onsite places to eat and drink including The Barn Bar, Food Court, The River Restaurant by Mosimanns, and The Start Summer Bistro. Campers may also bring their own food and drinks to the campsite. Stroll into Henley for a whole host of places to dine including The Crooked Billet (01491 681048) – reputedly Britain's first gastropub. A little outside in Shiplake, Orwells (01189 403673) serves up refined cuisine inlcuding a lunchtime tapas menu and decadent tasting menu. The Olde Belle (01628 825881) at Hurley and The Flowerpot (01491 574721) near Aston are both full of old world charm) and easily walkable from the campsite.
1st July – 7th July 2014. Gates are open from 9am, Campers can enter the site from midday until 9am of the last day they have booked.
From M4: Leave the M4 at Junction 8/9. Take the A404(M) towards 'Henley' & 'Marlow'. Leave A404M at the 2nd junction signposted 'Henley', 'A4130'. Turn left at the give way and go straight over at the roundabout, again signposted 'Henley' onto the A4130.
From M40: Leave the M40 at Junction 4. Take the A404(M) towards 'Marlow'. At the first roundabout go straight over towards 'Henley' and 'Maidenhead'. Take the next junction, signposted 'Henley', 'A4130'. Turn right at the roundabout, again signposted 'Henley' onto the A4130.
From A4130: Follow A4130 (approx 6 miles) until you see a petrol station on your right. Shortly afterwards turn right into Remenham Church Lane, and follow the signs to Gate A Temple Island Meadows.
From Henley town centre: Go over Henley Bridge towards 'Maidenhead'. At top of hill, turn left into Remenham Church Lane, and follow the signs to Gate A Temple Island Meadows.
Pillow offer coach trips from London to Henley. Trains run frequently to Henley from London Paddington and a special timetable is implemented by First Great Western for the duration of the Regatta. There is a riverbus which runs from Henley Station (by Hobbs of Henley) to Temple Island Meadows. For further information, please download the timetable (pdf) or visit the First Great Western website.
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