The UK’s largest boat festival is returning to Henley this summer, with three days dedicated to celebrating the best of British boatbuilding and craftsmanship. On show will be the largest display of traditional boats in Europe, including the fleet of Dunkirk “Little Ships”, Her Majesty’s Rowbarge “Gloriana”, WW1 air display, a selection of military vehicles and vintage cars. Many of the boats on show welcome visitors on board, and guests can hop aboard the oldest passenger steam afloat for a quick cruise down the river.
Alongside this, there will be plenty of food and drink available, including popular local pub The Crooked Billet, headed up by Paul Clerehugh. There’s also a market place, selling everything from clothes to children’s toys to boating accessories, a Punch and Judy show, and music from London-based band The Covered.
The Thames Traditional Boat Festival is held every year two weeks after Henley Royal Regatta. It was established in 1978 “to encourage the restoration, maintenance and use of traditionally built craft”, following the demise of many unpowered and neglected craft floating along the Thames. Over the years, the festival – initially known as ‘The Trad’ – grew as different boat clubs became involved, but the emphasis has always been on the preservation of beautiful boats.
Visit tradboatfestival.com for more information
Fawley Meadows, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2LY
19 – 21 July 2019
Tickets from £13 for a day ticket, £22 for the weekend. Children under 12 go free, tickets for children aged 12-17 from £4. Buy tickets via tradboatfestival.com