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.
**New for 2021** 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.
As we are so far upriver, access is limited to when there is sufficient tide available. Throughout April, launch of your own craft is available when tide permits and we will start to offer hire of YMCA craft from May onwards. 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 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.
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.
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. We now have toilets available for river users – please speak to a staff member about which ones are available during your visit.
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.
The calm waters are perfect for gentle paddles in a canoe, sit on kayak or stand up paddleboard with hirers permitted to travel up river towards Botley. 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.
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.