There is plenty of opportunity for watching or taking part in sports and recreation pursuits in the Hamble Valley. Whether you prefer sailing on The Solent, watersports, fishing on the River Hamble or River Itchen, golf, cricket, horse-riding or taking a breath of fresh air on a walk in the countryside. Whatever your ability or level of fitness there is a host of facilities on offer.
Fancy getting wet?:
Lakeside Country Park with 60 acres of meadow and lakes and young woodland, offers canoeing, windsurfing and dinghy sailing, and is ideal for beginners. The onsite pavilion provides groups with showers and changing rooms, kitchen and a small lecture room.
The Itchen and Hamble Rivers are well known for their fishing with the River Itchen being one of the most famous chalk streams in Hampshire, set within picturesque water meadows. The Lower Itchen Fishery offers primarily brown trout and salmon fishing with season and day permits available on a pre-booking basis.
Line fishing can be enjoyed on the River Hamble, restricted only by the right of access. Please remember to be courteous and, if fishing off jetties or pontooning, do get permission first and move for boats and yachts. Pick up a copy of the Bait Collectors Code, a voluntary code of conduct available from the Harbour Masters Office at Warsash (For contact details see Useful Information)
The lakes at Lakeside Country Park also offer good coarse angling for which a day permit is required.
Why not brush up on your swing at Chandlers Ford Golf Academy with lessons or the 30 bay driving range. Choose from courses at Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Eastleigh (9 or 18 hole pay-as-you-play green) The Rose Bowl at West End (9 hole pay and play) Botley Park Hotel on the edge of Botley (18 hole green) or Fairthorne Manor Golf Club offers a short course. Beginners will benefit from the fact that no hole exceeds 300 yards in length.
Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Eastleigh provides indoor and outdoor tennis, football, badminton, squash, indoor swimming, exercise classes and a fully refurbished Kinetika gym. Hamble Sports Complex offers a newly refurbished 20 metre swimming pool along with a range of fitness classes and courses and an AstroTurf pitch suitable for hockey and football. The Hub in Bishopstoke is a sports hall and pavilion for local sports groups including Eastleigh Rugby Football Club.
A host of sporting activities for people with special needs is offered by Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Manor Farm Country Park, from canoeing and sailing to horse riding and archery.
Walking in the Hamble Valley
Walking is one of the best ways to keep healthy and active and the Hamble Valley has plenty of walking trails and routes for all abilities whether an afternoon amble or an energetic ramble! The Hamble Valley Heritage Guides run guided walks on the 15 mile, long distance Strawberry Trail during the summer months, offering exercise with snippets of historical facts and stories along the way.
A series of free Health Walks also take place across the Hamble Valley every week. The walks last about an hour and are led by a qualified volunteer walk leader. Most walks offer two routes, one covering 3 miles in the hour and the other at a more sedate pace covering 2 miles in the hour aimed at new walkers and those recovering from illness. Visit Eastleigh Borough Council’s site for more information.