The River Hamble has several stunning walks but one of the best is from Warsash and can include a ride in the famous pink ferry.
River Hamble Warsash Walk
Passage Lane, Warsash, Southampton, Hampshire SO31 9FR
There’s three main routes along this path…
- Straight up to Universal Marina and back (you could also extend this up to Lower Swanick too if you fancied). [Short – approximately 60-90 mins]
- Up along the river and then right and up the hill into Wendlehome Nature Reserve. This then connects you to Holly Hill National Nature Reserve to explore. [Medium – approximately 2-3 hours]
- A loop around the Hamble Valley. Along the river, to Lower Swanick, across to Bursledon, down through Hamble and hop on the ferry back to Warsash. [Long – set aside your day and start early, upwards of 3 hours]
This path is easily added into plenty of walks around the area. But, the three above are the most popular and offer short, medium and long length routes.
If you’re not familiar with the area and want to walk the big loop around the Hamble Valley, please take a map.
While the initial part of the path along is very clear, the rest might require some guidance. This applies for the pathway from Universal Marina up through lower Swanick, Bursledon and Hamble.
It would also be wise to check when and if the Pink Ferry is running. I’ve spent many a day being stuck on one side of the river because I haven’t checked the ferry times!
Walk Along The River
To start the walk from the car park, head right, down past the toilets and immediately onto the coastal path.
This walk from Warsash up the River Hamble is Hampshire coastline at its very best. When the skies are blue and the sun is shining you really could be anywhere listening to the clink of the moored boats.
This spot makes you feel free. Either side of the path is water, you can smell the salt in the air and you’re surrounded by nature. There are beautiful coastal birds hopping around the wetlands, ship wrecks popping out of the sea and more often than not, the wind in your hair. Warsash, Hamble and Bursledon are quaint and really do show off the more beautiful side of the area.
The paths are relatively flat until you hit the nature reserve that connects up to Holly Hill, or Bursledon and Hamble.
If you’re just planning on walking by the river as far as Universal Marina, it’s flat as a pancake.
Just before Universal Marina you’ll see a field of donkeys. Head up to the fence to the little yellow donation box to read their story and say hello.
The Pink Hamble Ferry
Ah, the infamous Pink Ferry on the River Hamble, the colourful connection between Hamble and Warsash for walkers and cyclists.
You’ll need cash for this, bikes are a little extra and dogs and parrots, yes parrots ride for free! 🦜
The most up to date details can be found on the Hamble Ferry website.
I took these on a dawn walk I did, it was only just 6am when I took these pictures.
The River Hamble obviously isn’t a destination in the same way a park or nature reserve is. As a result facilities are found in the villages dotted around the walk.
- The path is rough gravel and trails, and unfortunately there’s no accessible alternative.
- Public toilets can be found at the starting point in the Passage Lane car park.
- Stretches of this walk can be in accessible at high tide or if there has been considerable rainfall.
- If you walk five minutes up to central Warash, you’ll find a corner shop, a fish and chip shop and an Indian.
- There’s a pub called the Rising Sun one minute from the car park. The pub allows you to take your drink out and sit on the decking by the water.
- If you walk round to Hamble you’ll find plenty of pubs and a corner shop in the village.
Walks around the River Hamble
The River Hamble is undoubtedly a favourite spot of mine and I hope you’ll love it too.
You don’t need a map for the Warsash to Universal Marina leg of this route because it’s a straight path.
The only official looking guide I can find for this first leg is the Fareham Council website.
For the other, longer routes, if you’re not familiar with the area you’ll need a map.
Have you discovered the route along the River Hamble yet? Let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this, take a look at these other great places to visit in Hampshire…