Why move to... Hamble, Bursledon and Netley
PUBLISHED: 16:20 02 August 2011 | UPDATED: 19:48 20 February 2013
With the sea and countryside close by, these three villages are popular with sailors, walkers and riders, but they are also ideal for commuters, says Jill Belcher...
Hamble or more correctly Hamble-le-Rice is synonymous with yachting and this lovely villages roots are firmly in the seafaring tradition. It is said that St Willibald set sail from here in 720AD for the Middle East and certainly by the 15th century it was a thriving shipbuilding centre, producing the largest ship ever built in England at that time, Henry Vs flagship, the Grace Dieu. Struck by lightning and burnt in 1439, the wreck still lies in the River Hamble and has been excavated by TVs Time Team.
Many other famous ships, including the 74-gun Elephant, captained by Jane Austens brother Frank, originated on the Hamble. Today it is home to the headquarters of the Royal Yachting Association and the village is a magnet for leisure sailors as its yacht club, marinas and moorings bring hundreds to swell its population at weekends and during the summer.
Theres also a good helping of aviation history. Author Neville Shute worked at the former airfield and mentions Hamble in several of his novels while Alan Cobham, Amy Johnson and Bert Hinkler also have links to the village.
There is plenty of Georgian architecture to admire and the village square is nothing short of gorgeous. The cobbled High Street and the views of the river and marinas from the Quay add to the appeal of this very individual location.
Hamble has a railway station, with trains getting to Southampton in as few as 20 minutes. From the village, you can stroll to Hamble Common, with its 55 acres of woodland, heathland and salt marshes, and see the remains of Iron-Age settlements, a Napoleonic gun battery and a Tudor castle.
- Choice locations for yachties
- Easy access to the M27
- Local railway stations
- Excellent variety of homes
- Countryside on the doorstep
Hambles neighbour, Bursledon, was also heavily featured, particularly the stunning locations of the riverside Jolly Sailor pub and the Elephant Boatyard. Robinson Crusoe creator Daniel Defoe worked in its shipyards in the early 18th century.
The centre of the village, with its cottages and grander homes, is a conservation area, and Bursledon also has its own railway station with trains taking just over 20 minutes to get to Southampton. From large, listed detached houses to luxurious modern properties and quaint cottages, you can choose a home to fit your lifestyle.
On the edge of Southampton Water and separated from Hamble by the wonderful Royal Victoria Country Park lies Netley, where you will find the dramatically-situated ruins of Netley Abbey, the most complete surviving Cistercian monastery in the south of England. There is a good selection of homes, from large terraced houses looking out over Southampton Water to mews properties in the former Victorian hospital to modern bungalows. Netley also has a railway station and the journey time to Southampton is less than 15 minutes. All three villages are within a few minutes drive of the M27, so it is plain sailing if you need to commute.
Both Hamble Primary School and Netley Abbey Junior School were rated good by Ofsted while Bursledon Junior School is satisfactory. Woodhill Schools at Chandlers Ford and Botley are independent schools for boys and girls from the age of 3 to 11. King Edward VI School in Southampton is a selective co-educational independent for students from age 11 to 18.
Why I love living in Hamble
Peter Halliday, group managing director of Waterside Properties, moved to Hamble in 1988 with his wife, Jan, who is a director at Southampton Airport, and cant imagine living anywhere else.
It is a fantastic place, he says. I first got to know it when my mum and dad used to bring us down on holiday from Yorkshire and I learned to sail on the River Hamble. I always had an affinity with it. We started to have children almost as soon as we moved here and it is the most fantastic village for families.
Katie, now 22 and recently graduated from Loughborough University and Jonathan, 21, a student at Exeter University, went to the local primary school and frequently return with friends to the family home in the village centre. Peter adds, A lot of people come here because they are active sailors then start to have families and settle here. Theres a good community hall, things like carols in the square at Christmas, and the yacht club of course.
In its 18 years on the south coast, Waterside has expanded considerably and now sells boats and lets as well as properties, Peter says, We dont have so much time for sailing now, but we have got a RIB and we go out and look at the racing and do rescue support on occasions.