The Museum opened in 1998 to celebrate the River, the international sport of Rowing and the town of Henley on Thames. From 2004 a fourth permanent gallery, the enormously popular Wind in the Willows exhibition, was added. In 2017, following a successful crowdfunding campaign in partnership with the Art Fund, the John Piper gallery was opened, celebrating the life and work of this internationally renowned artist. Working closely with organisations in the local area, the Museum has recently opened a Community Gallery which showcases a wide variety of local projects. Running a lively programme of temporary and visiting exhibitions, the Museum works with partners such as the National Portrait Gallery, the V&A and the Hayward Gallery in London. The Museum offers a broad calendar of activities including lectures, children’s workshops and family events. Twice shortlisted for Family Friendly Museum of the Year, the Museum is a registered educational charity. The dedicated education centre runs innovative education programmes and the Museum welcomes over 20,000 children and adults who take part in a variety of fund and inspiring learning events and workshops. Situated alongside the river in Henley on Thames, the building, designed by the acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield, was designated Royal Fine Arts Commission Building of the Year in 1999. The oak, glass and steel design combines the influence of local boathouses and Oxfordshire barns with a strong modernist approach and was described by him as a ‘resolution between convention and invention’. A registered charity, the Museum depends upon private donations, business sponsorship, grants from trust and foundations, admission charges and the support of our benefactors, donors and friends. The museum has delightful café with a terrace overlooking Mill Meadows, and a shop specialising in children’s books and games, fashion and craft.
Find us at...
- River and Rowing Museum
- Mill Meadows
- Henley on Thames
- RG9 1BF
Our family-friendly offer
Explore the galleries with our free backpacks, get creative with our activity trolley full of free colouring, crafts and Museum trails for all ages. Children can enjoy dressing up in replica Regatta costume or having a go at rowing on our Row Together interactive exhibit. Activities are regularly updated so there is always something new to do! Don’t miss our new Discover Hands-On space where you can build your own Henley, perform a play in our puppet theatre, shop in the bakery and grocers, explore the objects, smells and sounds of Henley’s past or enjoy a tall tale in the story corner! We have a dedicated buggy park space, next to the lift to the first floor galleries, and a range of seating available throughout the Museum. The Museum has baby changing facilities in both ground floor and first floor toilets Our café offers a range of children’s options, provides highchairs, bottle warming and free drinking water for guests. .
Read more at River & Rowing Museum
The River & Rowing Museum is one of the U.K’s leading independent museums. Housed in an award-winning building on the banks of the river, the museum explores the River Thames, the international sport of rowing and the town of Henley. The galleries include interactive displays as well as internationally-significant collections, including the family-friendly ‘Wind in the Willows’ gallery and a permanent display of the work of artist John Piper. In addition, the Museum hosts a lively programme of temporary and visiting exhibitions, working with partners such as the National Portrait Gallery, the V&A and the Hayward Gallery in London. Working closely with organisations in our area, the Museum has recently opened a Community Gallery which showcases a wide variety of local projects. The Museum is located in Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, just a few minutes level access from Henley on Thames Railway Station. The Museum has its own 100 space car park with plentiful parking for visitors with mobility impairments. Use of the car park is free for Museum goers. The Museum is accessible for wheelchair users with ramps into the building from the car park at the rear or from the river-side. There is level access once inside the building to the Reception Desk, and a lift to the first floor.