The village of Hamble lies 5 miles southeast of the city of
Southampton in Hampshire between Southampton Water and the Hamble
River. Hamble, officially known as Hamble-le-Rice, began as a village
on a rise (or "rice", small hill) above the River Hamble.
The older part of the village is centred around the priory church of St. Andrew with all of the older buildings clustered between it and the river Hamble. In that older part of the village are to be found three sailing clubs, several pubs and restaurants.
The village is basically a support infrastructure for yachting - almost all of the industry is boat related apart from the traditional aircraft related work at the Hamble Aviation plant (since the ?1920's when it was A.V.Roe's). That's why there are so many restaurants [ShopZone]!
When the yachting season is on, car parking near to the sailing
clubs and the three marinas becomes a bit crazy.
Cowes Week represents the 'bulge' but there's also a Hamble Week this year - a small carnival, sailing regatta and other events this year held in 1997 to selebrate the 40th Anniversary of Warsash Sailing Club .
The weather let down 1998 and we were winning races by having more reefing points than our competition on the water.
The sailing side is very much biased towards yachting, although the local clubs sail dinghies, the tidal current flow and the large numbers of moored and moving yachts make a dinghy sail into an experience especially for the inexperienced.
It is not too difficult, just you have to use every inch of available water, and make sure you know what the tide is doing. If the tide is in the last hour of ebb, forget it.
Hotly detested proposals to tidy up the river have been put forward which might put yachts on pontoons and clear more open space in the river. The trouble is that there would be a series of choke-points along the river as the pontoons would constrict navigation more in some places.
The Hamble River features the Foxer dinghy class which is a more
restrained approach than most modern single handed sailing. Very
competitive sailing but you must not sit out (class rule!) but rather,
you must stay inside the gunwhale while racing.
The Foxer class racing on the river provides a colourful sight with red black and white striped sails, being out and about most Sunday mornings through the year. They occasionally depart on cruises in company around the "world" outside the river.
The local lifeboat is run by Hamble Rescue.
All through the winter (December to March) the village seems empty.
There is Hamble Common between Hamble and Southampton Water, with
access from the Green in Hamble and School Lane/Copse Lane. Nearby
there is the Royal Victoria Country Park (road access from Netley) with
footpaths from Hamble. The old airfield is not accessible to the public
but is owned by a developer who wants to build on it once they can work
out a way to avoid having to e.g. build a new road from the M27 to
service it. Now it has been found that because houses would cover
over gravel beds, it has to become a gravel pit then a landfill site
before houses go there.
The local firestation is manned by retained firefighters. They provided me with this web page, describing their work, which I have put here
As far as general environment is concerned : because the village is
on a peninsula the traffic in and out can become a bit critical during
the rush hour, the congestion adding 10-15 minutes onto a journey. Once
up Hamble Lane (allegedly one of the busiest B-roads in the country,
then you are on the M27 with Heathrow Airport as little as 75 minutes
away via the M3 (at 0515 in the morning).
In general, traffic is nothing like the solid crawls of London. A bottleneck and then you can maintain the speed limit.
There is a 24 hour service, Phipps. Also Marilyns Cars now at
There is a filling station at Tescos up Hamble Lane. Picador Motors dont sell fuel any more they sell cheap GM cars with mega expensive spares. Turning left at the Windhover roundabout on the A3024 back towards Southampton leads you to Hamble Motors new site where they sell and repair Peugeot cars.
There is a Shell garage in Sholing but this is expensive and there
is local suspicion about using a credit card near some of their
If you miss the last train and bus, and are feeling a little the worse for wear, it is possible to walk from the Kaos nightclub in Southampton to Hamble (6 miles) in 90 minutes. Youll need a torch as the direct route goes through the Royal Victoria Country Park at Netley.
There's a railway halt at Hamble but the trains go to Southampton and Fareham, not directly to Eastleigh. More trains stop at Netley (about 2 miles away) with footpath from Hamble on the same line.
A bus service runs hourly or half hourly into Southampton (5 miles away, bus via winding route : 30 to 45 minutes)
There are less frequent bus services to Eastleigh via the Airport to the north of Southampton.
As already mentioned, Heathrow Airport is fairly easy to reach from
the Southampton area.
Southampton Airport is 20 mins by road. Flights to the Channel Islands, UK Regional Airports, Amsterdam and Paris (I know there are more destinations but I cannot remember them)
Bournemouth International Airport is about 50 mins away via the M27 to the west. This airport is still expanding having been upgraded for heavy aircraft in 1996, with a runway extension. Charter flights and scheduled services operate from here.
The most negative thing I can think of is that there is Fawley oil refinery 2 miles across Southampton Water and occasionally it smells sulphrous. We are assured officially that this is harmless, but I know that sulphur dioxide makes me sneeeze ....
The price of property is usually higher in Hamble than nearby ... if I remember what the Estate gent said to me when we moved:
If it is in Hamble, add 5%;
Aron Fielder's Hamble Web page : a little web
page about Hamble
Hamble Tea Rooms has a Web site Here
A commercial web site by Carl Pender is at Hamble Le Rice Interactive
The river Hamble gets a mention on the Hampshire County Council hantsweb in : Solent information The river Hamble also is mentioned on super.net in: Welcome to the Itchen and Hamble Valley, which features a small picture of the view from Hamble Quay looking to the North.
A nice site on TS Mercury by RIchard Briggs is here
And here's whats happening to the old ship .... HMS Gannet