River and Rowing Museum

Museums London
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River and Rowing Museum

Designed by David Chipperfield Architects to reflect the style of local boathouses and barns, Henley’s family-friendly museum explores the history of the Thames, the sport of rowing and the community of Henley-on-Thames and makes a good out-of-town jaunt. The rowing gallery has video footage of races from 1897 onwards, including what is believed to be the first cinematic show reel and a recording of the 1936 Olympics race won by the GB team and watched by Hitler.

A virtual reality exhibit allows visitors to experience the cox’s view of a race, but the top attraction is probably the Sydney IV boat in which Steve Redgrave won his fifth Olympic gold medal in 2000 – visitors apparently never fail to comment on the size of the rowers’ shoes, which are still in the boat.

A permanent exhibition on the ‘Wind in the Willows’ portrays Kenneth’s Grahame’s story (and costs extra).


Venue name: River and Rowing Museum
Address: Mill Meadows
Opening hours: Sep 1-Apr 30 10am-5pm, May 1-Aug 31 10am-5.30pm daily
Transport: Rail: Henley-on-Thames rail
Price: £8.50, £6.50 concs & 4-16 year-olds, £22.50-£34 family; tickets valid for 12 months
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