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The Henley Royal Regatta

The Henley Royal Regatta, held the first week in July, is one of the country's premier racing events. For a close-up view from the Stewards' Enclosure, you'll need a guest badge, only obtainable through a member -- in other words, you have to know someone to obtain special privileges. However, admission to the Regatta Enclosure is open to all. Entry fees are £30 to £100. Information is available by writing to the Secretary, Henley Royal Regatta, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 2LY (tel. 01491/572153; www.hrr.co.uk).

During the annual 5-day event, up to 100 races are organized each day, with starts scheduled as frequently as every 5 minutes. This event is open only to all-male crews of up to nine at a time. In late June, rowing events for women are held at the 3-day Henley Women's Regatta.

If you want to float on the waters of the Thames yourself, stop by the town's largest and oldest outfitter, Hobbs & Sons, Ltd., Station Road Boathouse (tel. 01491/572035; www.hobbs-of-henley.com), established in 1870. Open daily from April to October from 8:30am to 5:30pm, Hobbs has an armada of watercraft, including rowboats that rent for £10 to £13 per hour. Motorboats can be rented for £25 to £50 per hour. Prices include fuel. On the premises, a chandlery shop sells virtually anything a boat crew could need, as well as T-shirts and boaters' hats.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.