What is the dress code for Henley Regatta and where can you park?
Every year, hundreds of thousands of spectators flock to the Henley Royal Regatta in their finest dresses to watch the races unfold. But for some ticket holders, the formal dress code is strictly mandatory.
The rowing event, which took place on Berkshire border, in the neighboring town of Henley-on-Thames since 1839, has enforced a strict dress code for those watching from the stewards’ enclosure since the 1970s.
The Commissioners’ Enclosure is open to members of the enclosure and their guests. The regatta’s website states: “Women are required to wear dresses or skirts with a below-the-knee hem, or jackets or blazers with slacks or pantsuits. Although it is not compulsory, it is customary for women to wear hats.
Read more: Henley Royal Regatta 2021 allows women to wear trousers for the first time in the event’s 182-year history
He continues: “Gentlemen are required to wear lounge suits, or jackets or blazers with trousers, together with a tie or, if you prefer, a tie.”
He adds that “no shorts, leggings, tracksuits or jeans” should be worn by anyone.
But if you’d rather be free to wear whatever you want, the race regatta precinct has no dress code. Of course, those watching from the towpath are also free to dress as formally or casually as they wish.
The regatta’s website explains: “Although there is no dress code on the regatta grounds and the atmosphere is informal and relaxed, many embrace the spirit of the event by wearing club blazers and other rowing apparel.”
It was only last year that the Henley Royal Regatta waived the ban on women’s trousers. This allowed them to wear a formal dress code similar to the men’s for the first time in the event’s history.
The dress code update was finally made after Oxford student and University Women’s Boat Club member Georgina Grant, 23, started a petition which garnered 1,680 signatures. She also requested that the dress code be genderless.
Where can I park for the Henley Regatta?
Parking elsewhere than in the official event car parks can be difficult because Henley-on-Thames fills up with more than 300,000 for the six-day sporting event which kicked off on June 25 this year.
Parking next to the towpath to watch the action unfold can cost up to £270 for a single day. Find more information about the Henley Regatta website .
Information on more affordable official car parks, costing between £25 and £35 for the day, is also available on the website . Pre-booked parking tickets can no longer be purchased online while the event is ongoing but can be purchased the same day at the parking gate (subject to availability). The official car parks are open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed at night.
If you don’t plan to use the official car parks, you may have trouble finding a space on the day. A traffic order is in place to facilitate traffic in the city, you can find more information here .