Hamble River Heritage Lottery Fund Project

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled a programme of recording and investigation of the remains of watercraft and other maritime infrastructure on the River Hamble. The Hamble River logboat was discovered in 1888 during the construction of a new boathouse on the estate of the Fairthorne Manor, at the junction of the Hamble River and Curbridge Creek. The logboat measures 4m long by 0.76m wide and is formed from a single oak tree. The discovery of the logboat was reported in the Hampshire Chronicle in 1888 in the following way:

“An archaeological discovery of the greatest interest has been made this week in the tidal river Hamble. At the point of junction of the Curbridge Creek with the river, some considerable distance above the still existing wreck of the Danish man-of-war, a boat house is being built and in order to make sufficient waterway the workmen removed the mud and alluvial soil. Something hard was encountered and, thanks to one of the workmen having an intelligent taste for antiquities, the obstruction was carefully uncovered, and proved to be a portion of a possible pre-historic canoe, certainly pre-Roman. It is a few feet higher up the river than the old Roman hardway or landing place, and was evidently sunk close on shore.”

The boat is now kept in the SeaCity Museum Store. HWTMA has begun to investigate the history of the logboat and most importantly to find out the date of the vessel as a way to guide further research. The vessel is made from oak and is therefore suitable to be dated using dendrochronology. Funding for this was provided by the Roman Research Trust and was carried out by Nigel Nayling of Lampeter University.

Riverside Tales – Get Down to the River Hamble

For those who prefer to stay on dry land there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants along the length of the river where you can watch the world go by. It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned sailor or a laid back landlubber, the Hamble River is the place to be.

There’s the famous Jolly Sailor pub – immortalised in BBC TV’s Howard’s Way in the 1980s – and well worth a visit for Sunday lunch or a quick pint.

Banana Wharf bar and restaurant at Port Hamble marina is the perfect spot to meet, eat and drink by the water. The exciting menu mirrors the flagship Ocean Village restaurant blending tropical and oriental dishes with great seafood, traditional favourites, pizza, pasta and a fabulous breakfast selection.

While the Bugle is a Grade II listed village inn with an AA rosette for dining and an entry in Michelin’s Eating Out in Pubs guide.

Voted the best Yachting Bar in Europe in 2011, the King & Queen in Hamble is affectionately known as the Rum Pub because it has such an impressive selection of the sunshine drink.

The Boat House at Swanwick Marina offers everything from freshly prepared sandwiches, panini’s, pizzas, salads and grills during the day with an ever changing bistro menu on Friday & Saturday evenings. Stop by for a coffee and enjoy stunning views of the river.

The double tides, deep water and ease of access to the Solent make The River Hamble ideal for sailing – from weekend excursions or as a departure point for destinations further afield.


Events and regattas

Hamble River events take place throughout the year and attract yachtsmen and racing enthusiasts throughout the sailing world who use the river Hamble as a base when competing; these include Hamble Week, the Hamble Winter & Spring Series, Bursledon Regatta and national World Series competitions. The eccentric Brambles Cricket Match has taken place in the middle of the Solent for the past 50 years. As the tide reveals a 200-metre long sandbank, members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and Isle of Wight’s Island Sailing Club dash out in cricket whites to play a frantic 40 minute game before the bank sinks back under the sea!

Hamble is home of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) www.rya.org.uk the UK’s national body for all forms of boating including sailing, motor-boating, powerboat racing, personal watercraft and windsurfing, and offers a range of courses, open days, clubs and schools.

Berthing on the River Hamble

The Harbour Authority operates pontoon and pile visitors’ berthing. Short stay berths for the landing or embarking of crew, passengers and stores is available at Warsash and Hamble quays. Landing by dinghy is also permissible at the public hards at Bursledon, Swanwick and Hamble foreshore and Warsash.Available at several marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs (contactable on VHF CH.80) and advance booking is advisable. The popular and historic Jolly Sailor public house also has a jetty for the use of its customers arriving on smaller vessels.


Getting around the River Hamble

The pink Hamble-Warsash ferry operates all year round and has done since the reign of King Henry VII (Read more here about the Martime History of the River Hamble) carrying foot and bicycle passengers across the river between Warsash Hard and Hamble Pontoon. The ferry has always carried a maximum 12 passengers and today provides a taxi service covering the whole of the river.

Useful contacts, free literature, information and websites

River Hamble Handbook & Directory
Business directory and information for river users
01480 570046

For full details of visitor facilities on the west bank including: Port Hamble Marina, Hamble Point Marina
023 8045 7155.

For Universal Marina, between Warsash and Swanwick
01489 574272

For Swanwick Marina, on the east bank
01489 885000.

‘Guide to the River Hamble’ leaflet plus the rules and bye-laws governing the River Hamble
01489 576387 or call into the Hamble Harbour Master’s office in Shore Road, Warsash.

Hamble River taxi or Hamble-Warsash ferry
023 8045 4512, 07720 438402 or VHF channel 77

Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Courses, clubs and schools
0845 345 0400


Hamble River Sailing Clubs 

Royal Air Force Yacht Club, Hamble
023 8045 2208

Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble
023 8045 0300

Hamble River Sailing Club, Hamble
023 8045 2070

Warsash Sailing Club, Warsash
01489 583575

Events & Activities

Bramble’s cricket match in the Solent
Royal Southern Yacht Club Secretary,
023 8045 0301

Southampton Water Activities Centre
023 8022 5525




A catch on the River

Line fishing can be enjoyed on the River Hamble, restricted only by the right of access. Please remember to be courteous and if fishing of jetties or pontooning, do get permission first and move 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 (01489 576387).


History Being Uncovered on the River Hamble

The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archeology (HWTMA) have been investigating the maritime archeology of the Hamble River for several years. Wrecks, wharfs, jetties, shipbuilding sites, oyster beds and bridges.