The River Thames offers a wealth of exciting events that cater to boat owners and those interested in purchasing a boat. From traditional boat races to music festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned boater or new to the water, these events promise unforgettable experiences filled with adventure, culture, and entertainment. Here’s our top Thames events for 2023.

Top 2023 Boat Events

The Boat Race
Val Wyatt Sales Weekend
Royal Windsor Horse Show
Let’s Rock The Moor-Cookham
Royal Ascot
Henley Royal Regatta
Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
Thames Traditional Boat Festival
Royal Swan Upping
Wargrave & Shiplake Regatta
Rewind Festival
Reading Festival

The Boat Race – 26th March

The historic Boat Race is a must-see event. Taking place on the 26th of March, this prestigious rowing competition showcases the talents of the students from the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Join the throngs of spectators on the riverbanks and cheer on your favourite team! Oxford won by just over two lengths in 2022, ending a run of three straight Cambridge victories. Who will win in 2023?

Val Wyatt Sales Weekend – 22nd and 23rd April

Future boat owners can “test drive” a number of the most sought after models in the marketplace at Val Wyatt Marine in Wargrave this April. The two-day sales event will provide the chance for visitors to purchase a boat ready for the 2023 season. There will be a large range of stock boats available during the weekend, but used boats will also be on show and awaiting new homes. Meanwhile, a number of exhibitors will be on-hand to provide a snapshot of their products and services too.

Royal Windsor Horse Show – 11th to the 14th May

The Royal Windsor Horse Show, taking place from the 11th to the 14th of May, offers an incredible spectacle of international jumping and dressage. Moor along the River Thames, you can enjoy this world class line-up of equestrian events, all set against the stunning backdrop of Windsor Castle.

Pub in the Park- Marlow – 18th to the 21st May

Combine your love of boating and food at the Pub in the Park event in Marlow, taking place from the 18th to the 21st of May. This unique gastronomic experience offers boat owners the chance to sample delicious dishes from top chefs – including Tom Kerridge – while enjoying live music and entertainment along the picturesque banks of the River Thames. Music acts include Sam Ryder, UB40, The Jacksons and Sugababes.

Let’s Rock The Moor- Cookham – 20th May

For a day filled with nostalgic tunes, head to Cookham on the 20th of May for Let’s Rock The Moor. This family-friendly festival showcases the best of the 80s, featuring iconic bands and artists like Kim Wilde, OMD and The Boomtown Rats. Moor your boat nearby and dance the day away to your favourite classic hits.

Marlow Town Regatta & Festival- 10th and 11th June

After a fun-packed Pub in the Park, head back to the Buckinghamshire town for the Marlow Town Regatta & Festival, happening on the 10th and 11th of June. This weekend will be filled with rowing races, entertainment, and food. This historic event, which dates back to 1855, will allow you to immerse yourself in the local boating culture while enjoying a festival atmosphere.

Royal Ascot- 20th to the 24th June

Experience the glamour and excitement of the world-famous Royal Ascot from the 20th to the 24th of June. This prestigious horse racing event is a great occasion for boat owners to dress up in their finest attire, enjoy a glass of champagne, and watch the world’s finest horses in action.

Henley Royal Regatta- 27th June to the 2nd July

The Henley Royal Regatta, taking place from the 27th of June to the 2nd of July, is one of the highlights of the British summer season. This renowned rowing event attracts top international competitors and provides a fantastic social atmosphere for boat owners. Enjoy the races and mingle with fellow enthusiasts on the banks of the River Thames.

Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival – 4th to the 9th July

The Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, running from the 4th to the 9th of July, is a must-visit for keen gardeners. Marvel at the stunning floral displays and innovative garden designs. Meanwhile, this prestigious horticultural event offers the perfect opportunity to gather inspiration for your own on-board garden!

Henley Festival- 5th to the 9th July

Experience the unique blend of music, art, and culture at the Henley Music Festival, taking place from the 5th to the 9th of July. With a diverse line-up of artists and performers – including Rag’n’Bone Man and Westlife – this event caters to a wide range of musical tastes. Moor your boat near the festival site and soak up the vibrant atmosphere while enjoying the live performances.

Thames Traditional Boat Festival – 14th to the 16th July

Celebrate the rich maritime heritage of the River Thames at the Thames Traditional Boat Festival, held from the 14th to the 16th of July in Henley. This event showcases a variety of classic and vintage boats, including steam launches, wooden motorboats, and sailboats. Immerse yourself in the history and craftsmanship of these beautiful vessels while connecting with like-minded enthusiasts.

Royal Swan Upping- 17th to the 21st July

Witness a centuries-old tradition during the Royal Swan Upping, taking place from the 17th to the 21st of July. This annual event involves the counting and marking of swans on the River Thames to ensure their conservation and welfare.

Wargrave & Shiplake Regatta- 4th and 5th August

A home from home for us at Val Wyatt Marine! Join fellow boat enthusiasts at The Wargrave & Shiplake Regatta on the 4th and 5th of August. This friendly and competitive event features a variety of rowing races for all ages and abilities. Soak up the fun and excitement from the comfort of your boat as you cheer on the participants and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

Rewind Festival – 18th to the 20th August

Take a trip down memory lane at the Rewind Festival, happening in Henley from the 18th to the 20th of August. This 80s-themed event is a favourite among boat owners, offering a fantastic line-up of iconic bands and artists from the era. This year’s event features Tony Hadley, Squeeze and Martin Kemp. Moor your vessel near the festival grounds and immerse yourself in the nostalgic atmosphere, complete with music, fancy dress, and plenty of dancing.

Reading Festival – 25th to the 27th August

Round off the summer with the famous Reading Festival, taking place from the 25th to the 27th of August. This renowned music event features a diverse line-up of artists, spanning various genres such as rock, indie, and electronic music. 2023 headliners include Billy Eilish, Sam Fender and The Killers.

With such an incredible array of events happening along the River Thames in 2023, boat owners and prospective buyers have plenty of opportunities to get out and about. From prestigious rowing events to lively music festivals, there’s something for everyone to experience and create lasting memories on the water.