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.
The best access to the river Hamble is at high tide due to the location of our pontoon. Self launch is available most days and, during the warmer months, craft hire is available for you to enjoy the water at weekends. To get the latest updates on weekly launch and hire times, follow our Facebook page as this also includes updates on weather conditions.
On weekdays, if you are using the water, once parked up please remain by the riverside for your duration. This is to ensure the safety of the onsite nursery and visiting school children and so you can make the most out of your booked slot. Have fun and be sure to share your photos with us!
Car parking is available right beside the water; if the waterside car park is full more spaces are available on the main field.
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.
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. 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 the River hire agreement below for more information.
Staff are available at the river to ensure those hiring equipment are suitably briefed.
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.