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Henley – the best of the Home Counties

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Knight Frank
London and Country specialist property buying agents
10 May 2016  |   Nick Mead


Henley-on-Thames is arguably one of the gems of the Home Counties but in many ways has one foot in cosmopolitan London and another in the rolling landscape that typically represents the British countryside. Within easy reach of the town, the Hambleden Valley in particular offers fabulous walking and challenging cycling, both on road and cross country.

The Henley area has more to offer than just the beautiful countryside and the river Thames however, it is within easy reach of the M4 and M40, making it a viable option for London commuters. There is however a lack of a mainline station meaning that it escapes the feeling of being within the commuter belt. However, the impending opening of Crossrail (Maidenhead and Reading) in 2018/19 may make a daily commute a reality.

If there was a checklist of requirements for buyers then Henley has it all and more. Highly regarded independent schools in the area include Rupert House, Shiplake College, Queen Anne’s School in Caversham, Moulsford and the Oratory schools. There are buses to and from many of the schools in and around Oxford such as The Dragon, St Edwards, Headington, Abingdon School and St Helen and St Katherine’s. Buyers choosing the Buckinghamshire side of town can even slip into the excellent grammar school system.

Unquestionably Henley is most famous for its annual Royal Regatta which brings hoards of visitors to the town and marks the beginning of a summer season of local events. For those wanting a more sophisticated evening then The Henley Festival provides five days celebrating music and the arts, while those wanting to relive the spirit of the 1980s can venture to the Rewind Festival just down the river in late August.

Rowing is high on the list of local activities with Henley Rowing Club providing beginners courses for adults and juniors in the autumn and spring. The town also has a thriving rugby and cricket club. Furthermore, the Hambleden Horse Trials take place in early May and the Henley Agricultural Show in early September.

Henley also has some fantastic shopping with a great range of independent shops and all the favourites, including the all-important Waitrose. There is a cinema, theatre, and an eclectic range of bars and restaurants from Hotel du Vin, Lock Fyne and Shaun Dickens at the Boathouse to the old favourites like Pizza Express, Strada and Café Rouge. For those venturing further afield there is an endless choice of great country pubs all competing to produce the best Sunday roast.

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