Friday 30 August 2019

Five reasons to visit Hamble

If there is one thing I love doing at the weekend, it's exploring more of my home city and county. We're so lucky living in Southampton as there really is so much to do here that I think some don't realise just how much. I wanted to make the most of this year and get out and see new things with Joshua and I'm so glad I've kept to it because we've made some wonderful memories which is exactly how this post has come about. 

Hamble is somewhere my family has a lot of connections, it's somewhere we visited as children and somewhere we've taken Joshua a number of times this summer. Whenever I share photos of our days here I always get asked about Hamble so I want to encourage more of you to visit and soak up this little quaint English village.

It really is quite beautiful
Hamble can be found on the tip of the Hamble Peninsula and is a popular boating destination making it especially busy in the summer months. The Square which is where I am focusing on has a beautiful English village aesthetic filled with flowers and cobbled lanes. As you follow the lane round past small cafes and eateries, you'll come to the marina teamed with boats and yachts. Apparently there can be almost 3000 at high season! 

It's an avid Instagrammers dream location for photos thanks to the pretty cottages, cute shops and flowers on every turn and that's before you even get down to the water where you can dip your toes in and enjoy an ice cream. The waterside views are pretty special so it makes for the perfect day out or short break especially in the summer time. 

The food & drink is top notch
I've been told there's twenty five places to drink in Hamble not that I've attempted it myself but there is quite a number of options available for such a small area. There's a handful of old pubs and restaurants along the water, some with pontoons so you can sail over. The King & Queen is great place for drinks with friends or a natter over food but one place we really love and go back to again and again is The Bugle. The Bugle is a beautiful Grade II-listed village inn serving delicious lunchtime choices, a seasonal a la carte as well as roast dinners which we are yet to try. This has been our go to for most of this summer and we've had excellent food and service every time. 

We really want to give Beer Grylls a try at some point which is opposite The Bugle. Down on the water there is also the option of The Beach Cafe, a great place to order ice cream or enjoy a coffee and a slice of cake. 

Jenny's Cafe also has brilliant reviews on Trip Advisor but it's somewhere we are yet to try. 

It's enriched with history
The spelling of Hamble has varied over centuries although now named Hamble le Rice, it is more commonly known as just Hamble. Mentions of the village date back to 720AD and it's been renowned as a significant maritime spot for centuries. The wreck of Grace Dieu, the largest ship built in England during the 15th century still lies in the river mud now. Fast forward to the early 1900's Hamble was propelled into aviation with a few notable famous aircraft being connected to the area as well as being the site for servicing a number of warplanes including 2575 Spitfires during the second world war. 

Down on the quay you will also discover the Maritime Art Gallery which is a treasure trove of interesting pieces.

Take a long walk 
Walking around Hamble is incredibly picturesque but it doesn't just stop there. Solent Way joins Hamble to beautiful Royal Victoria Country Park or hop on the pink ferry to Warsash and continue through to Hook and the Warsash Nature Reserve. It's also close enough to wander to Bursledon for Manor Farm or the working windmill at Old Burlesdon. Either way, if walking is your favourite past time, Hamble is a brilliant place to start. 

Get in the water
I don't just mean dipping your toes in or sitting down completely in Joshua's case but actually getting out on a boat! You could charter a boat for a luxury sailing experience or you can take part in courses at the local sailing clubs to get those qualifications to get out on the water. It's also a great location for paddle boarding which I'm dying to try. 

If getting on a boat isn't for you then you can go paddling while the tide is in, try your hand at crabbing along the pontoon or sit up in the picnic area and soak up the views. It's a pretty beautiful place to take ten minutes for yourself. 

Hamble has quickly become a place we've loved again this Summer and we can see ourselves spending many lazy afternoons in the village in the future as Joshua grows too. 

It's just such a lovely place filled with friendly people great food and of course being right on the water is a massive plus. If you're looking for somewhere to spend some time in Southampton, make Hamble your next stop.

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