Taster Session FAQs

How can I get to the Museum?

The Museum has a large car park and is clearly signed with brown signs when you get to Henley on Thames.   Alternatively, the Museum is 5 minutes’ walk from the train station.  There is further information on finding us here.

What time should I arrive?

Please arrive 5 minutes before the start of the class to sign in. Our front of house team will be happy to direct you to the session on arrival in the Museum foyer.

How long do the taster sessions last?

The sessions are between 30 and 45 minutes.   The beginner sessions (40 minutes) include a section on learning the correct technique on the indoor rowing machine, followed by a shorter class.  The intermediate sessions (30 minutes) and challenge sessions (45 minutes) are aimed at those who have already completed instruction in the correct technique and want to have a longer workout.

Who is doing the training?

Our trainers are all fitness trainers or club coaches, all now accredited Go Row Indoor instructors following recent training with British Rowing’s Master Trainer, Kate Belcher. However, you don’t have to be an expert – we especially welcome beginners who have never sat on a rowing machine before!

What should I wear?

You should wear leggings or shorts and a fitted top.  Looser clothing can get caught in the indoor rowing machine.   Please wear suitable footwear, trainers are fine.

Do I need to bring anything?

Bring lots of water and a willingness to get involved!

What does the session include? 

The taster sessions are Go Row Indoor classes which are fun, sociable group exercise classes that combine indoor rowing and circuit-based exercises.  All classes will include a warm-up and cool down.

Is there a maximum age?

Indoor rowing is suitable for all ages and abilities, from 11 years upwards.

I’m not very fit.  Does that matter?

No!  The taster sessions are suitable for all abilities, body types and fitness levels.  Indoor rowing is a low impact activity that avoids damage to the joints.  You are also in control of the intensity and speed.  It is your responsibility to determine whether you are fit and healthy enough to take part.  Participation is strictly voluntary and at your own risk.

How much does it cost?

The taster sessions are free!  You can make a day of it and visit the Museum after your taster session, incluiding our rowing collection which is unmatched anywhere else in the world.

How do I book my taster session?

To book your FREE place on a Tokyo on Thames taster session or enter the Indoor Row Competition, call Helen Cook on 01491 415 607 or go to https://www.rrm.co.uk/about/community/

Why is the museum doing this?

You might imagine that a visit to the museum is just concerned with a passive appreciation of rowing’s heritage and the achievements of a small number of outstanding athletes. Think again! Whilst also celebrating Olympic Year, Tokyo on Thames is about inviting the local community to come together and have a go. See another side of the Museum as you get active and try your hand at indoor rowing. Participants will combine the distance they row to cover the distance between Henley and Tokyo. How far you row is up to you: 1,000m, 2,000m, 5,000m, a half marathon – it’s all about completing your own personal challenge. Limited edition Tokyo on Thames / River & Rowing Museum medals will be available to purchase via Row the Distance, so everyone can be a medal winner this summer.

Can I volunteer to help?

We’re also looking for volunteers to support Tokyo on Thames, helping participants and making sure the events run smoothly. Email helen.cook@rrm.co.uk if you would like to volunteer.

Once I’ve completed a taster session, how do I sign up for the Tokyo on Thames competition?

To enter the Indoor Row Competition, call Helen Cook on 01491 415 607 or go to https://www.rrm.co.uk/about/community/

When does the competition take place?

The Tokyo on Thames project culminates in a weekend of competitions at the River & Rowing Museum for teams of four indoor rowers: Adults Indoor Row competition Saturday 11 July; Youth (12 – 18yrs) Indoor Row competition Sunday 12 July. Compete with your friends and colleagues in a series of fun team events, and even use the opportunity to raise money for your chosen charity.

Can I enter a team?

Yes – teams of four indoor rowers can compete in either the Adults Indoor Row competition Saturday 11 July or the Youth (12 – 18yrs) Indoor Row competition Sunday 12 July. Compete with your friends and colleagues in a series of fun team events, and even use the opportunity to raise money for your chosen charity.

What about the Corona Virus?

There have been no changes to Museum operations as a result of the Coronavirus other than increasing the levels and frequency of cleaning across our facilities and public areas. We would ask visitors to the Museum to adhere to Public Health England advice to assist with stopping the spread of the virus. We continue to closely review the advice from Public Health England who assess the UK risk as moderate.