Canoes and kayaks
Canoes and kayaks are regularly used on most parts of the river. The RHHA advises canoes to stay out of the main channel, and there is plenty of water closer to the banks at all states of tide below the M27 bridge, where the river carries the most boat traffic.
The most popular area for canoeists is above the M27 bridge where there are very few boats, and the river is quiet and very natural with a few inlets to explore, as well as a pub at the end of the Curbridge arm - the Horse and Jockey. The Botley arm is a little longer. You can only access the two arms of the Upper Hamble at high water and a couple of hours either side. The ebb tide is very strong so most people prefer to launch from the public slipways at Lower Swanwick or Bursledon (both just off the A27) and head up on the flood tide and return on the ebb. Towards the mouth of the river there are public slipways at Warsash and Hamble.
As with any water-based activity please ensure the following
- Get an accurate and up-to-date weather forecast.
- Check tide tables and the accessibility of your recovery site.
- Find out about by-laws and local hazards.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you are expected back.
- Wear an appropriate, well-fitted buoyancy aid or life-jacket.
- Have some means of calling for help.