River walks in Henley on Thames are firmly on my list of things to do in Oxfordshire. It’s a really pretty section of the river Thames that is suitable for all ages, with riverside pathways and plenty of places to sit, picnic, green space to play and public toilets. There are riverside cafes too. So, there are free things to do in Henley, especially if you like being outdoors. So, if you like beautiful walks, picnics by a river or sitting watching the boats go by, this post will show you exactly where you should be.
There is something therapeutic about sparkling water. Nature on water is even better. The addition of sunshine has folk happily mingling in an almost zen like state.
Charlotte and I arrived early and head to the river just off the bridge. We were meeting Emma and Chloe, cherished close family females.
Looking for the riverside cafe rendezvous we were struck at the beauty of river walks in Henley on Thames.
Ducks or geese in sparkling water are always lovely.
They race towards you whenever you pause at the waters edge.
There was a lot of boat washing and polishing going on. Make hay while the sunshines.
Naturally there are places to hire out boats of all shapes and sizes.
Colourful little boats looking ready for a race.
Water loving willow trees grace the edges. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love a willow tree.
Long boats add a timeless feel.
Sometimes you have to stop, just breath and take it all in.
I love looking at other peoples houses. Here, the river is their driveway.
Heading off again expecting the cafe to come into sight any turn now.
No Emma or Chloe, but we did spot a swan chasing away the noisy geese.
And a Basset Hound on a boat.
Some boat dogs took shade under the trees.
The cafe never appeared, so I asked a local, who directed me back to the starting point!
Finally! Hot but happy we met the girls, hugged and carried on as if we only saw each other 5 minutes ago, as sisters and cousins do.
There was some catching up to be done.
And cake was ordered.
We decided on a carrot cake, a tiffin bar, some lemon drizzle and a scrummy raspberry chocolate parfait.
I might have ordered some chocolate truffles too. These were the size of golf balls!
We stopped at The Chocolate cafe, it is just set back from the river, hence why we missed it, near to the old Henley bridge.
Energy restored, we head back up the river.
Meeting more cute locals.
Spotting potential riverside homes. Us girls gotta dream!
This ones for sale!
This walk takes you from Henley bridge (next to the church) to this long old wooden bridge.
The river is always splitting around small islands, which are made into someones home or garden space.
Up ’til now the riverside paths have been suitable for pram, bike, heel and hoof.
Nearly there berries.
We reached the lock. These are always fun places to watch.
There were shouts and activity from every boat as the water was rising. Young boys were eager to jump on land and tie the ropes.
Further along a large family in a number of boats were also trying to coordinate their activity.
We headed back talking about whether we should do a family boat outing. Being a bit of a wimp, I nod wide eyed, seeing myself in the biggest blown up life-jacket man can create.
Bottom line is anything with these guys is ok with me. Family look out for each other so I’ll be in safe hands.
Other riverside blog posts
Riverlight, Bourne End – riverside restaurant
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