Canoe Days Out

Hampshire - River Hamble - Lower Swanwick to Botley/Curbridge (& return)

This page was submitted by David and Rhoda Wilson (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Small turning (Swanwick Shore Road) off A27, 400m. southeast of the bridge over the Hamble at Swanwick leads to free car park and public hard.

For those with SatNav the postcode is SO31 7EF.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Direct from hard next to car park.

General Description - Head upstream keeping out of the main channel to avoid moored yachts. Once beyond the road bridge the river is quiet and almost deserted. Watch for strong currents at bend before bridge.

The upper Hamble is placid, with oak trees coming down to the water's edge giving the impression of a lake in parkland. After 1.5 miles the river forks and both branches can be explored at high tide, left to Botley (no convenient landing), right to Curbridge (pub landing stage), a total of about 6 miles if both branches explored.

The double high tide is complex to explain, but starting shortly before Southampton high water up to an hour after will find the river full of water.

Hamble Harbour Authority may levy a charge, but is unlikely to do so for canoes, or anything using the river above the A27 bridge.

Comments on this trip

15 Jul 2019
Horse Jockey is now open

Anthony Gilbert
14 Jul 2018
A great day paddeling with my son. Started right up at the source, Public slipway Botley off Church Lane. Firstly explored northward into Botley Town. Very narrow and a bit smelly but interesting nevertheless. Then back south toward the fork in the Hamble. Back northwards toward Horse and Jocky pub but decided to turn back as the tide turned and our return journey would therefore be that much harder. Saw a water vole, White Heron and a lot of large mullet fish some up to 2ft long. Lovely rural place to kayak. Give it a look in!

Mark and Neeta
10 Aug 2014
Had an epic trip from Bursledon (launched next to Chinese restaurant) up to Fairthorne Manor, back along to Curbridge, and then back to Bursledon. Us and our kids in the inflatable kayak. Beautiful scenery, extremely peaceful and really good fun. Couldn't recommend it enough!

Steve Deeming
16 Aug 2012
Just done from Botley down to Bursledon with the boy Jono (13) on the ebb....real pain finding the launch site at Botley..but worked it out in the end and finished at the dinghy hard below the Jolly Sailor..loads of what assumed to be grey mullet. Jono found a skeg on the back of his Dancer useful,,maybe a F34 SE so a bit hard going for a little one ,,,but a good time had by alll!!!

Steve James
05 Aug 2012
Paddled this trip today 05/08/12. Strong inshore wind which ensured we made the pub in about an hour only just after the water. Pub very much open and food good. River rose considerably before the tide turned. Lots of other craft and a few small boats also at the pub. Heavy going back to Swanwick due to the strong headwind and pleasure boats exceeding the 6 knot limit. Fantastic trip though.

Michael W
06 Jun 2011
We went went up with the tide on Friday (3 June). Would have been fantastic except the the wind (15 mph, gusting more) was coming straight down the river (the Bacon and Bree baguette with coleslaw and chips at the Horse and Jockey made it well worth it though!). Amazing how little development there is on this part of the river. Idyllic!

Aled Evans
02 Jun 2011
Top trip up river today. Loads of mullet basking in the sun. Horse and Jockey open again under new ownership. Very good lunch.

Simon Williams
02 May 2011
This is a fantastic part of the country and very beautiful and I am pleased to say I live here. My mate and I took to the water at about 10am 2 hours before high tide and we needed it as there was a very strong head wind all the way to the Horse and Jockey (which is now open). It was quite hard work and involved three rest stops. Quick pint at the horse (no law about on the river)and back we head but this time with tide and tail wind. Took us half the time. This river is really fantastic...

24 Apr 2011
We wil be soon travelling up this stretch of water by canoe and will post our thoughts afterwards. We're looking forward to the tranquility and the views as its many years since ive canoed it. If anyone else in the know reads this post could they please tell me who ownes what stetch of riverbanks. Thanks

Mal Grey
13 Apr 2011
A great paddle. I left Swanwick about 1 1/2 hours before high tide at Southampton, reached the top after a gentle paddle just as the tide was turning. Coming back there was very little tidal help. Going through the busy marina area with tidal flow a strong wind you need to have your wits about you.Please note the Horse Jockey is currently closed, not sure why or for how long! (April 2011)

John Cox
18 Nov 2010
An excellent paddle I followed a kingfisher up the Botley spur. Round trip from Burlesdon to Botley and return works out at 8 miles (using Google Earth as measuring stick)

David Wilson
19 Feb 2007
Update on harbour dues: Hamble Authority has dropped charges for canoes.


Hamble Harbour Board
Tide Times
Horse & Jockey

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson