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The upper reaches of the Hamble are a jewel to explore on a lazy summer day, where the wind rustles through the reeds, the swans glide serenely on calm waters and you can dip your toes over the side into the cooling waters.  It sounds beautiful and it’s all accessible from Fairthorne Manor.  You can now access this unique riverside setting for your adventure either by launching your own craft or by hiring one of our stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, or canoes.

 Following your feedback, we have introduced a new online booking system to make the booking process much faster for everyone.  Please click here to book your self-launch or hire slot.

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Tide Times

As we are a long way up river, access is limited to when there is sufficient tide available.  As a general rule, self launch is available most days with craft hire available at weekends during the warmer months.  Please see the pinned post at the top of our Facebook page for the latest access times, including any changes we need to make due to weather conditions.

Please ensure if you are using the river during the week that you stay on the river bank once parked and do not wander about the site.  We will review this arrangement regularly and will remove weekday access if necessary.

View January Timetable

View February Timetable

View March Timetable 

Car parking is available on a first come and right beside the water; if the waterside car park is full more space is available on our main field. Our staff are available at the river to ensure those hiring equipment are suitably briefed.

Covid 19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of measures are in place so please follow the instructions of YMCA staff.  These measures include card only payments, social distancing at point of hire, handover of equipment protocols, checking in on the Test & Trace app and cleaning processes.  Toilets are available for river users on entry to the site at our Family Park; our other toilet and shower blocks during the main summer holidays are reserved for children on our Daycamp programmes.

Canoe Adventure

Launch your Own Craft

Launch your own kayak, canoe, stand up paddleboard or small dinghy for just £5.50 per craft per visit.  Launch is from our pontoon and the slipway.  The slipway is relatively steep for dinghies with no vehicle access, so dinghies are limited to 6m and maximum 10hp.

River Launch guide

Site map

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Boy on stand up paddle board

Craft Hire

The calm waters are perfect for gentle paddles in a canoe, sit on kayak or stand up paddleboard.  Hire out the following range of craft by the hour (max. 5 hours) which includes a buoyancy aid per user:

  • SUP – 1 adult or 1 adult & 1 small child
  • Sit on top kayak – single or doubles
  • Open canoes – combination of 2 adults/2 children, 1 adult/3 children, 3 adults/1 child, 3 adults (4 adults not permitted)

As we have a limited number of craft, hires are subject to availability.  See our River hire agreement below for more information.

Craft hire agreement

jess and maxine full size pic

What to wear & bring

If you’re hiring our craft please remember to bring a towel. At certain times of the year the water is cold so a wetsuit is advisable if you have one (YMCA does not provide wetsuits). Footwear must be fixed at the rear; flipflops and crocs are not permitted. Please ensure all mobile phones, keys and other personal possessions are not taken out onto the water. YMCA does not provide any waterproof bags with your hire, but can be hired separately subject to availability.  Please speak to reception when organising your hire.


Prices & booking

Bookings are now  being taken in advance!  click here to access our new booking system. Dates will be released around 6 weeks in advance.


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