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The upper reaches of the Hamble are a jewel to explore on a lazy summer day, with the wind rustling through the reeds, swans glide serenely on calm waters as you dip your toes over the side into cool waters.  It sounds beautiful and it’s all accessible from Fairthorne Manor, a unique riverside setting for your water adventures to launch your own craft or hire one from our wide ranging fleet.

Tide Times

Due to Fairthorne’s location on the sheltered upper Hamble, access is tidal. Self launch is available most days year round, with craft hire available to enjoy at weekends from spring to early autumn.  For the latest updates on weekly launch and hire times, follow our Facebook page. 



Parking & Access

Once you have admitted at reception on the driveway, car parking is available right beside the water; if the waterside car park is full more spaces are available on the main field.  Once parked, we kindly request to not wander around the rest of the site and remain by the water before and after your session.  This is to ensure the safety of children using the site at all times.


Cool down on a warm summer’s day with a cold drink or an ice lolly from Paddlers’ Rest, located right at the water’s edge and open during craft hire sessions. For your convenience we only accept card/digital payments here.


Toilets are available for river users on entry to the site at Family Park reception; other toilet and shower blocks during the main summer holidays are reserved for children on YMCA 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 and has no vehicle access, so dinghies are limited to 6m in length and maximum 10hp.

Boy on stand up paddle board

Craft Hire

The calm waters are perfect for gentle paddles in one of our craft. Hire from the following range of craft by the hour (max. 5 hours) which includes a buoyancy aid and paddle 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)
  • Kata Kanu – maximum 6 paddlers, with space for 2 non-paddling small guests in the middle section.

Craft hires are subject to availability – see the Craft Hire Agreement below for more information.

Staff are available at the river to ensure those hiring equipment are suitably briefed.

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 (we do 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 at Paddler’s Rest separately (subject to availability).


Prices & booking

Bookings can be made in advance – visit the book now button below to make your reservation.

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