Date of Visit: December 2020
Henley Four Oaks is part of the national portfolio of Caravan & Motorhome Club sites and is exclusive to members, though you can join on site. It is based very conveniently for Henley on Thames and is a level 15-20 minutes’ walk into the town. The site is level and access good, please see Site Arrival video. There are 81 pitches, a mixture of hardstanding and grass pitches. The site is situated on a main road and there is some road noise to be expected particularly during the day. There are bus stops within five minutes’ walk with Arriva buses running between Reading and High Wycombe. We visited in December 2020, just prior to Christmas and it was incredibly quiet with only a handful of outfits on site. The wardens were helpful and pleasant when we spoke with them.
There are several service points throughout and a motorhome service point. There is one shower/facilities block. Due to current COVID-19 rules, the site prefers you to use your own facilities. Reception and information room is at the entrance and there is a barrier key fob system in use. There is a small children’s play area at one end of the site and a small dog walk area at the other end. The usual Club WiFi is available and is listed as Gold. TV reception, however, is listed as poor. Mobile signal worked well, obviously dependent upon your provider.
Review of site pitch
The hardstanding pitches are of a good size and level. However, drainage is a problem in several areas. EHU bollards also offer TV booster points if required. The pitches are spaced out amongst the trees on the site. Service points are distributed throughout the site meaning no long treks to use them.
Around and about
Although the site is near Henley on Thames and therefore, a wide range of places to visit, it does not feel hemmed in and has more of a countryside feel.
Henley on Thames is, of course, the nearest town. A good place to start is www.visit-henley.com
The town is very picturesque and boasts a range of independent shops, good restaurants to suit all budgets, cafes etc. It is also home to the annual Henley Regatta, www.hrr.co.uk A world famous event on the River Thames which is to one side of the town and also marks the boundary between Oxfordshire, (Henley) and Buckinghamshire, (Marlow etc). If you are planning on staying on the site at the time of the Regatta, you would be well advised to book well in advance.
The first lock we visited on this trip is called Marsh Lock and is a wooden structure of some considerable length enabling excellent view of the river. This is wheelchair accessible.
One way of finding out about the town and its history is to complete a fun, all ages and abilities Treasure Trail . We completed one whilst we were there and it takes about 2 hours.
Marlow is a lovely Georgian market town about 20 minutes’ drive from the site. www.marlowguide.co.uk A notable feature is the plethora of small independent shops selling a wide range of goods on the high street. We found a lovely independent coffee shop, ‘Burgers of Marlow’ situated closed to the bridge over the river and were able to sit outside, don’t be put off by the name it is really good coffee, perfect for a very cold day when we visited. It is handily placed for parking and crossing the bridge to walk by the river. On the same side, you can walk and visit, Marlow Lock. This lock, along with a good number along this stretch of the river are used to help control the flow and pressure in the water. This is accessible to everyone including wheelchair users. Each one is different, and the settings and housing nearby are well worth taking the time to walk too. In sunnier weather, a picnic would be a lovely thing to do.
There are two further locks in the vicinity, Hurley, and Temple Locks. If it has been raining, waterproof shoes are a must as it can get quite muddy and slippy. Further information can be found on these and all the others, including useful maps at www.visitthames.co.uk/about-the-river/river-thames-locks
For those who like a traditional ale from a local brewery, The Marlow Brewery, www.rebellionbeer.co.uk comes highly recommended. Ample parking and a Drive Thru facility is available at the time of COVID concerns. There is also a shop on site.
The nearest Garden Centre to the site is Toad Hall Garden Centre, a 5-minute drive from the site or a 10-minute walk. www.toadhallgardencentre.co.uk
The area also has a considerable number of National Trust properties in the area, several which were unfortunately closed at the time of our visit. We were, however, fortunate to find two lovely places to visit. At the time of writing, pre-booking is essential.
Cliveden NT – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden This site is close to Maidenhead and an easy run from the site. Cliveden was the ancestral home of Dukes and has been a presence on site since 16th century. More recently it was the home of the famous Astor family and was a key player in the Profumo Affair in the 1960s. The actual building is now a hotel and not open to the public, you can however, visit the extensive gardens and there is a lovely café on site as well.
Basildon Park NT – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park This NT venue is slightly further afield being closer to Reading. The day that we visited was glorious with winter sunshine and clear blue skies. Here it is possible to do a limited tour of the property and, as it was in the run up to Christmas, the house had been decorated beautifully. There are a couple of tea rooms available as well as plentiful walks.
A well-situated site with plenty of attractions close by. It would however benefit from some remedial work to improve the drainage around the site and pitches. The location is one of its main attractions, particularly during the Henley Regatta, advance booking is essential!!