Living in Hamble
What is life like in Hamble
Hamble, or Hamble-le-Rice to give it its full title, is a small and quiet village located on Hampshire's south coast, tucked between the larger towns and cities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester. As such, it is a hit with the many people who work in these locations but prefer to live somewhere more peaceful and easy on the eye.
The village is found at the mouth of the River Hamble, with the Solent in one direction and the New Forest in the other. Of course, this makes Hamble incredibly popular with those who love to live by the coast.
It is very much a boating and yachting community, with people coming from far and wide at weekends and in the holidays to take to the water.
Despite its semi-rural location, Hamble still has a number of amenities that make it a convenient place to live. It has managed to retain its unique charm and character over the years, even though it has grown steadily and is just a few miles from large urban settlements.
It is one of several villages in the Hamble Valley, which has been dubbed the Strawberry Coast and is renowned for its excellent walking trails, beaches and wildlife.
Over the years, Hamble has been known as several things, including Hamelea, Hammel and Ham-en-le-Rice. Today, it is most commonly referred to as Hamble, although its official name is Hamble-le-Rice.
A settlement in the area existed as early as the Iron Age, as the site of a hillfort from this period still stands to the south of the village. A defensive structure that dates back to the days of King Henry VIII, known as St Andrews Castle, is also in evidence.
Although Hamble is a village, it has links to a small number of famous people. For instance, general manager of the Great Central Railway Sir Sam Fey was born there, while author of Left for Dead Nick Ward is another well-known resident.
Entertainment, sport and days out
Many of the entertainment options in Hamble revolve around the water or the countryside. People who enjoy sailing, rafting, walking, swimming, running, camping and many other outdoor activities will never be stuck for something to fill their spare time.
The village market is a great way to spend some time and takes place every Friday morning, while some people may be interested in the local flower club or the Hamble Sewing Circle.
A day on the beach is another wonderful way to spend some time, with the south-east enjoying plenty of sizzling summer days each year.
The Pink Ferry heads from Hamble's marina to Warsash each day, providing an enjoyable way to travel in an iconic vessel. There are plenty of nice places to eat and drink in Warsash, so a trip there is always great fun.
Those who have a spare few minutes might wish to check out the gold post box placed in the village in honour of Dani King, who is local to Hamble and won gold at the London Olympics in a team cycling event.
Alternatively, residents can make the short journey to Portsmouth, Southampton, Fareham or Winchester for cinema, bowling, amusements and other leisure facilities.
Portsmouth's famous Historic Dockyard is a fascinating place for a day out, while the nearby Spinnaker Tower provides a bird's-eye view of the city. In Southampton, the Mayflower Theatre is the ideal venue for those who love nothing more than to catch the latest production.
Another idea is to catch the ferry to the nearby Isle of Wight, where golden sandy beaches and dramatic coastlines are in plentiful supply.
Eating, drinking & shopping
With three marinas and numerous quaint streets, there are some idyllic settings for a meal available to people in Hamble. Banana Wharf and River Rat Cellar and Kitchen are some of the establishments that are well worth visiting.
Several marine-based shops are located in Hamble, while the village also has a small number of independent stores. In the wider Hamble Valley, residents will be able to visit boutique outlets in Botley, covering areas such as fashion, toys and health and beauty. Nearby Bishop’s Waltham is also renowned for its homeware and crafts.
Looking slightly further afield, Portsmouth, Southampton and Fareham all boast modern shopping centres with a large number of high street chains in place.
Schools & healthcare
Hamble Primary School is the ideal place for youngsters to begin their education. It opened in 1953 so has more than 70 years of experience in preparing children for their futures. It has been extensively modernised in recent years so that it can maintain its high standards.
Another option for those who are slightly older is Hamble Community Sports College, which promises to help every student to develop and pursue excellence in all areas of life.
Nearby Southampton is well served by medical facilities, including Southampton General Hospital. In Hamble itself, the Blackthorn Medical Centre will provide everyday care and routine procedures.
Hamble is ideally located for those who will rely on either road or rail. It is just a short drive from Junction 8 of the M27, the main motorway running along the south coast. This allows people to reach Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth quickly, while it is also easy to pick up the M3 and head straight into London.
The village also has its own train station, which offers direct services to Southampton taking around 20 minutes. Direct journeys to Portsmouth are available and take approximately 35 minutes.
Southampton has its own international airport, from where major airlines including Flybe run routes to the continent.