Towns and villages
Many people start their exploration of the area by getting to know the region’s market towns and villages. Henley-on-Thames draws people from far and wide each summer for its famous Royal Regatta and the Festival of Music and Arts. Clustered on the edge of the River Thames, the small town is made up of historic streets and greenery-backed riverside walks with independent artisanal shops and inviting drinking and dining spots, as well as points of interest such as the Old Fire Station Gallery and River & Rowing Museum. You can follow the Henley Ale Trail and get out onto the water by hiring a boat or joining a scheduled riverboat trip. Hambleden Valley is three miles from Henley and the setting for several of the idyllic villages featured in films and TV series such as Midsomer Murders. Watlington in Oxfordshire is another site made famous by the detective drama — the Ridgeway National Trail and Oxfordshire Way are just half a mile from here and there are a number of speciality shops selling produce such as cheese and wine to drop into.