Henley Royal Regatta
Presided over - and often attended by - the Royal Family, Henley's famous annual regatta attracts international crews and even Olympic champions, making it a must-see event in the sporting calendar.
The south Oxfordshire town of Henley-on-Thames is the setting for one of the world's most prestigious rowing events, held over five days (Wednesday to Sunday) in late June/early July.
Dating back to 1839, when the mayor and townspeople put it on as part of a fair, the Henley regatta now consists of head-to-head knockout races over a one-mile 550-yard (2.11-km) course (112 m longer than the international standard). The most long-standing, and celebrated, race is the Grand Challenge Cup for Men's Eights, awarded since the regatta's inception and open to all established amateur male crews.
Races can be watched by the general public from various points along the Berkshire (towpath) side of the Thames. The Stewards' Enclosure, at the end of the course and the location for the awards ceremony on the final day, is limited in access to the Stewards (former rowers who organise the regatta), and members of the enclosure and their guests; the waiting list for membership is years-long. The enclosure has covered grandstands, a bandstand, a marquee with a restaurant, bars and rolling lawns, and strictly enforces a dress code.
The Regatta Enclosure just downstream is open to all by admission fee, as is Remenham Farm on both sides of the river at the first half of the course.
Ladies wishing to enter the Stewards' Enclosure must ensure their hemline is below the knee and be aware that trousers are not permitted. Bare shoulders are fine and hat wearing is not obligatory, but is encouraged. Remember that high-heeled shoes will sink into the grassy banks. Men should wear lounge suits, or rowing blazers or jackets and flannels, and a tie or cravat.