The village has played a significant role in the country's aviation and maritime history, and there can be few villages in Britain that can boast over the centuries to have had a priory, a Norman church and a castle. Today, Hamble is one of the country's leading yachting centres.
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Duration: 1 hour
Length: 2 miles
Start point: Car park at top of hill by High Street
Public transport: First Bus Service 6 from Fareham and Southampton
Refreshments: A number of good pubs and restaurant
From the car park, cross over the road and walk down to the Quay, passing a number of Public Houses. As you descend down the hill to the waterfront you can feel the history. As the waterfront opens up in front of you, continue on round to the right and carry on long past the Pink Ferry hut.
There are number of 18th and 19th century houses on your left built using chequered brick. Nos 1 & 2 Portland House, dating from around 1550, now form a single house. Above the door is an old insurance plaque showing the house was insured against fire, in the days before a public fire service.
Continue along the Hamble foreshore, formed following reclamation work during World War II when US troops built a dock for D-Day landing craft. St John’s Hill leads you up to the village green, at the top turn left along the driveway, with the village green now on your right, turn left, then follow the footpath into the wooded area to the right of Mere House.
As you leave the woods at the corner of Avery’s Field, bear left towards the river, continue along the path beneath the oak trees close to the river on your left. Follow the path around to the right, through shrubs and trees, and then turn left towards the creek and wooden walkway. Keeping to the water’s edge make your way around the creek, skirting Hamble Common, then through a kissing gate on the right, near Hamble Point Marina. Crossing over to the car park you can see the World War II Bofors Gun facing Southampton Water, which was donated by the Ministry of Defence in 1988. Beyond the gun emplacement, the path runs between the shore and the common.
Towards the BP oil terminal and its jetty, a path branching slightly to the right leaves the waterside, coming to an open glade adjacent to BP. Continue across the clearing and join a wide path through the trees and, keeping the terminal on your left, look out for a dead tree carved into a totem pole. Follow the path, turning left into Copse Lane and then turn right at the T-junction into the High Street where you will soon see the Priory Church of St Andrew and continue back to the car park.