The Eaton Diary of London    2002  

Henley

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Saturday, January 19, 2002

Guided tour of Henley.

Our 2001 pictorial calendar of UK featured a delightful river scene with a classic bridge and pub for the month of September. One day during September, Mark and Andrea were visiting our flat and Mark commented on the picture adding that he was born and grew up in that area. It was Henley-on-Thames, and since this is the site of annual Head of the River Regatta, we wanted to visit. So today Mark and Andrea took us on a guided tour.

Our first official stop was morning tea out in the countryside in a quaint old pub, "The Highwayman". (I say 'official stop' because we had some 'unofficial' ones with car trouble, but that only added to the excitement of the day.) Their slogan said "No finer place to be waylaid" and I'd have to agree. Refreshingly quiet and peaceful, and beautifully restored and renovated with B & B facilities and just oozing atmosphere - an ideal place for a weekend retreat from the hustle and bustle of London. I suspect many a yarn has been told in this old pub, but content for now with a hot cuppa, we drove on to Henley.

Coming into the city itself, we passed the mansion and extensive grounds of the late George Harrison. All we saw were the high security walls and barbed wire, and the three imposing gate houses, at the back, middle and front entrances to the estate. Such security was obviously essential because it was at this property that an intruder stabbed and almost killed Harrison in 1999. It's sad that the story of this one who claimed the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, could be marked by such tragedy and despair, and without the real love, peace and freedom that his music yearned for. 

We headed to the "Angel" - the pub by the old bridge on our calendar. This old bridge was completed in 1786, and this area of the Thames has been hosting the annual the Royal Head of the River Regatta since 1839. We enjoyed a meal looking out over the River.

 

Angel On-Thames Highwayman

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Copyright 2002 H Grant Eaton  Contact: granteaton@usa.net