Netley to Botley walk

The Solent Way and the River Swanick with sea views, marinas and mudflats

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Sat, 27-Aug-22 Saturday Walk Botley to Netley - Manor Farm, the Strawberry Trail, Burlesdon, the River Hamble & Southampton Water [swimming walk]
Sat, 17-Jul-21 Saturday Walk Botley to Netley - The River Hamble - a swim in a cove - marinas, a ferry crossing to Hamble, then along the beach of Southampton Water to Netley 16 hot and sunny
Wed, 18-Jul-18 Wednesday Walk: Botley to Netley - Southampton Water and the River Hamble [swimming walk] 7 Cloudy till late afternoon then sunny
Thu, 13-Jul-17 Southampton Water and the River Hamble - for a Swim 7 sun and cloud
Wed, 14-Sep-16 Wednesday Walk: Book 1, Walk 3 (R) - Botley to Netley 9 sky clear and little wind
Sat, 10-May-14 Netley to Botley 4
Sat, 16-Jun-12 Netley to Botley
Sat, 11-Jun-11 Netley to Botley
Sat, 05-Jun-10 Netley to Botley
Sun, 02-Aug-09 Netley to Botley
Sat, 17-Jan-09 Netley to Botley
Sat, 17-May-08 Netley to Botley
Sat, 20-Jan-07 Netley to Botley
Sat, 27-Aug-22
Saturday Walk Botley to Netley - Manor Farm, the Strawberry Trail, Burlesdon, the River Hamble & Southampton Water [swimming walk]
Book 1 Walk 3 (R) - Botley to Netley

Length: 15.2 km (9.5 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10
London Waterloo: 09-09 hrs Southwestern service to Portsmouth Harbour Woking 09-34 hrs, Basingstoke 10-00 hrs Winchester 10-19 hrs Does NOT stop at Clapham Junction
Arrive Botley: 10-38 hrs
Clapham Junctioners: 09-12 hrs Southwestern service from Waterloo to Weymouth
Arrive Winchester: 10-04 hrs Change trains
Leave Winchester: 10-19 hrs Southwestern service to Portsmouth Harbour (as above)
Arrive Botley: 10-38 hrs
Return

Netley to Waterloo: 02 mins past the hour changing at Fareham
18 mins past the hour changing at Southampton Central

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Netley
This walk works well in either direction (Netley to Botley, or Botley to Netley) but in recent times we have tackled the walk in reverse, which works better for swimmers.
The slightly early departure from London allows for a more leisurely morning. Swimmers should have plenty of time for a dip in a cove before lunch, then have lunch in Burlesdon, before enjoying the walk along the causeway to the ferry.
Setting out from Botley railway station, you have to negotiate a bit of road walking but once through the town you are soon in countryside and woods. You continue past Manor Farm and Country Park to follow The Strawberry Trail through woodland down to a number of coves to the River Hamble. Select one of these for your first swim today. On then to Burlesdon for lunch - options include Harper's Steakhouse aka the Navigator pub, and the Boat House Cafe within Premier Swanwick Marina.
You now enjoy a relaxing walk along the causeway to the River Hamble, through mudflats, for 3 km. You then take the Warsash Ferry - a vision in shocking pink - across the River to the village of Hamble. From here you cross Hamble Common to the coastline, to follow the shoreline of Southampton Water all the way to Netley. You can have a final swim here, or go for tea in the Cedar Tea Rooms in Netley Park, or do both, before making for Netley railway station for your journey home.
This walk seldom disappoints and is especially enjoyable if the sun shines today.
T=1.3
Walk Directions are here: L=1.3
  • 10-Aug-22

    My sister lives in Netley, maybe she can provide tea and cakes.

Sat, 17-Jul-21
Saturday Walk Botley to Netley - The River Hamble - a swim in a cove - marinas, a ferry crossing to Hamble, then along the beach of Southampton Water to Netley
Book 1, Walk 3 (R) - Botley to Netley

Length: 15.2 km (9.5 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10
London Waterloo: 10-09 hrs SouthWest train service to Portsmouth Harbour (does NOT stop at Clapham Junction ) Woking: 10-34 hrs Winchester: 11-19 hrs
Arrive Botley: 11-38 hrs
Clapham Junctioners: 10-12 hrs SouthWest train service to Weymouth
Arrive Winchester: 11-04 hrs Change trains
Leave Winchester: 11-19 hrs - on Portsmouth Harbour train - as above
Arrive Botley: 11-38 hrs
Return

Netley to Waterloo via Fareham: 02 mins past the hour
Netley to Waterloo via Southampton Central: 18 mins past the hour
Both journeys just over 2 hours
Rail ticket: buy a day return to Netley
Covid-19 Compliance: [until 19 July 2021] please note the current guidance on this website and observe social distancing. You should all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purpose. You can either pre-register for this walk (not essential ) by e-mailing me at swc-marcus@walkingclub.org.uk or, if you prefer, please write your name, e-mail address and contact 'phone number on a small piece of paper for handing to me on the train or when we assemble at walk start. Thank you.
This is a seaside walk with a difference. In the morning, after walking along the road from the railway station to the centre of Botley, you cross fields before dropping down by Manor Farm and Country Park then woods on the Strawberry Trail to reach a number of coves on the River Hamble. Swimmers might like to try one of these for a pre-lunch dip. Picnickers can then pick a spot nearby for their lunch. Then its on along the edge of woodland and over fields to Lower Swanwick near Burlesdon, where those seeking a pub lunch have a choice. The Navigator pub (Harpers Steakhouse) is popular, but the Marina Cafe in the Premier Swanwick Marina is also good - as is Bistro 8 Bar and restaurant in the Universal Marina, which you come to circa 25 mins after the Navigator.
You next have a relaxing, flat 3 km walk on a causeway next to the River Hamble, passing moored yachts and marinas along the way. You come to a small shelter in colour shocking pink. This is the waiting place for the Warshash Ferry - also a vision in shocking pink. Make sure you get to the shelter [!] by latest 4 pm for the last crossing today on this ferry of the River Hamble to the quaint village of Hamble. You next cross Hamble Common to come out onto the beach to Southampton Water. You now walk along the beach (or if you prefer, along the woodland trail to its right ) for some 2 kms until you come to Netley and the Royal Victoria Country Park. Walk up through the park to its Cedar Tea Rooms (Cafe in the Park), your tea stop. From here its about 20 minutes to Netley railway station.
This walk seldom, if ever, gets posted on a Saturday in either direction, let alone in reverse, but on a Summer's day, if we are lucky with the weather, I think you will enjoy it.
Recommended - the long(ish) train journeys are worth it !
T=1.3
Walk Directions are here: L=1.3
  • 04-Jul-21

    Despite its short length this walk has always filled the day very adequately when we have done it as a midweek walk. The swim in the tidal cove of the Hamble River is....interesting - a real wild swim with a difference. I have also swum in Southampton Water from the beach in Netley Park: a surprisingly tranquil place for a dip. I am not sure I would put my face underwater in either spot, however.

  • 12-Jul-21

    There are some good pubs in Hamble and Netley. I know the area quite well, Gavin

  • 17-Jul-21

    This turned out to be a canny choice of walk. No doubt on this hot and sunny day trains to the coast were rammed. But the slow train to Portsmouth that we used both out and back was an exception. So we enjoyed a nice trip to the sea without the staycation crowds.

    I am told to say 16 on this walk, though one got an earlier train and was not seen all day. Many of the rest were new to this walk. One advantage of doing it in the reverse direction is that the fairly ordinary bits are done first: interest builds to a positively Mediterranean section along Southampton Water at the end.

    I was a bit sceptical about swimming in the Hamble River, since the tide was quite low, but we arrived at the cove to find it in full beach mode, with families, paddle boarders, and even an ice cream boat. I have never seen an ice cream boat before and was fascinated by the logistics (how do you control a paddle board while holding an ice cream?) and the economics (how many days does it operate each year? What does the boat do on other days? Where did it head for upriver?)

    There was some reluctance about swimming here (this is a tidal estuary and the water was a bit brown and bitty...) but I went in and five joined me. The water was gorgeous and so was the setting once you were out on the water. Only a fair bit of boat traffic prevented me from swimming to the far bank.

    Two non-swimmers went for pub lunches, I am told (in different establishments!) and our walk poster went to meet friends. Others picnicked. We swimmers didn’t get to the pub till 2pm and anxious not to miss the last ferry, carried on without stopping. All the others had sandwiches anyway and I managed to get some sausage rolls from a kiosk.

    The stretch along the lower Hamble was lovely, with sea lavender among the flowers. We neatly filled a 12 passenger capacity crossing on the little pink boat - it makes it feel like a proper holiday if you have a boat trip - and on the far side stopped for ice cream and tea at the cafe. (Only the English understand how refreshing tea is on a hot day.)

    We then had the lovely walk through the woods and out past the oil storage facility and up the beach of Southampton Water. You may laugh, but in the drenching sunshine and with its pine tree backing it really did feel Mediterranean. The beach was busier than I have ever seen it - families, kids in the water, jetskiers, sailing boats.

    Three of us swam here. Again, brown seaweedy water near the shore, but lovely once you were out in it, with the view of the park and Netley Chapel one way and distant cruise liners moored in the other. The water temperature was perfect. I could have stayed in forever but was aware those watching my bags wanted to move on.

    Some went for the train quite soon (perhaps also hoping for the cafe, which is closed for redevelopment into a restaurant), while we swimmers took longer. But we all ended up on the 18.02 train. The swimmers did a trek into throbbing downtown Netley (a parade of shops) to get beers and salty snacks for the train. We had a jolly chatty ride home via Fareham on not at all busy trains, and stepped off at Waterloo with that happy glowing feeling of having made good use of the day.

Wed, 18-Jul-18
Wednesday Walk: Botley to Netley - Southampton Water and the River Hamble [swimming walk]
Book 1, Walk 3(R) - Botley to Netley

Length: 15.2 km (9.5 miles) Option to extend to Sholing (adds 3.4 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

London Waterloo: 10-09 hrs Portsmouth Harbour service: Basingstoke: 11-00 hrs Does NOT stop at CJ
Arrive Botley: 11-38 hrs

Clapham Junctioners: 10-12 hrs Weymouth service from Waterloo
Arrive Basingstoke: 10-47 hrs Change trains
Leave Basingstoke: 11-00 hrs on Portsmouth Harbour service as above

Return

Netley to Waterloo: 17-02 [via Fareham ( F)]; 17-18 [via Southampton Central (SC)]; 17-51(SC); 18-02 (F); 18-18 (SC); 19-02 (F), 19-18 (SC)

Rail ticket: Buy a day return to Netley any route permitted.


This Book 1 walk works well in both directions, but in recent times rail timetables have made it preferable to do the walk "backwards", which we will be doing today.
After a short(ish) walk from the railway station along the road into Botley, the route soon takes you over fields to Manor Farm with its visitor centre and cafe. From there you head down through woods on the meandering Strawberry Trail, with the River Hamble below you, passing a number of coves along the way. Swimmers: bring your cossies as two of the coves make for a pleasant swim. Non-swimmers (me) keep going to Burlesdon and Lower Swanwick where we stop for lunch at the Navigator pub, much improved since its days when called the Spinnaker (tel: 01489-572123). If there are more than 4 of you requiring luncheon, best 'phone ahead. Your e.t.a 13-10 hrs - a bit later for swimmers.
After lunch you have a delightful, relaxing walk alongside the River Hamble, and once through Universal Marina, you have mud flats on your left and boat moorings and marinas to your right. After some 3 kms you take the Warsash Ferry to cross the River to the village of Hamble. You cannot miss the ferry - or its shelter on the eastern side of the River - as both are visions in shocking pink.
In Hamble you can stop for a cuppa if you wish before heading over Hamble Common to the waters edge. You now walk along the stony beach to Southampton Water all the way to Netley (although you can take a woodland path parallel to and above the beach if you find walking along it hard-going).
In Netley you walk up through the Royal Victoria Country Park to its main cafe for tea. Netley Chapel in the Park is still undergoing major restoration work, and has not yet re-opened to visitors. From the cafe allow fifteen minutes to Netley railway station, for your service back to London, either via Fareham or Southampton Central..
If the weather is kind to you today, you should enjoy this seaside-outing-with-a-difference.
T=1.3
Walk Directions here L=1.3
  • 27-Jun-18

    I be on Holiday in Devon when some of yous do the Walk on the day. While Botley Brings me back Memories when I went Away with the School a long time ago. And we stayed at the Y.M.C.A Fairthorne Manor.

  • Marion
    17-Jul-18

    Swimmers should bring their reef shoes as the pebbles are quite painful without! Could I suggest a posting of the Bournemouth and Studland Bay walk where the sand is clean and beautiful for swimming. Just got back from 3 days on the beach in wall to wall sunshine with a refreshing breeze and warm seas.

  • 18-Jul-18

    7 Cloudy till late afternoon then sunny . There were even spots of rain in the morning, which luckily did not come to anything because no one had brought waterproofs.

    We quickly split into two groups - two fast walkers, five slightly less fast. We five did the Hamble River route and even though it was low tide and the water looked a bit .... weedy.... two of us swam across the estuary at the prescribed swimming spot.

    A nice lunch in the Navigator - passing the fast walkers leaving as we arrived - and then down the Hamble Estuary under brightening but not yet sunny skies. We caught the 3.30 ferry, not realising the 3.50 was the last, and had tea on the upper deck of the cafe on the far side.

    A now sunny walk through the woods and up the beach along Southampton Water. Two of us swam when we got to Victoria Park and then we all hoofed it to get the 6.18 train. Unluckily this was cancelled. Luckily we were in time for the 5.51. Unluckily at Southampton all the Waterloo trains were delayed. Yours truly bailed out here to get a local train for a family visit. Hope the others got home eventually

  • 20-Jul-18

    The two fast walkers had tea at the Cafe in Victoria Park and ploughed on to Sholing, in time for the 17.22 to Southampton. The connection, the 18.00 fast train to London, then couldn't leave the platform as the front part of that platform was still blocked by the 17.55 stopping service, awaiting relief train crew. So after some lengthy deliberations, our train then pulled back out the station to beyond the points and then travelled through the station along the westbound platform 4, half an hour late, and with the stopping service still marooned on platform 1A. What can go wrong, will go wrong...

Thu, 13-Jul-17
Southampton Water and the River Hamble - for a Swim
Book 1, Walk 3 (R) - Botley to Netley

Length: 15.2 km (9.5 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

London Waterloo: 10-09 hrs (Portsmouth Harbour service) Woking 10-35 hrs Basingstoke 11-00 hrs
Arrive Botley: 11-38 hrs

Clapham Junctioners: CJ: 10-12 hrs (Weymouth service)
Arrive Basingstoke: 10-47 hrs
Leave Basingstoke: 11-00 hrs - on Portsmouth Harbour train as above.

Return: Netley to Waterloo: 02 mins past the hour via Fareham, and 18 mins past the hour via Southampton Central (plus 17-49 hrs). Journey time, both - just over 2 hrs.

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Netley. Make use of South-West trains promotional offer: £ 26 return. Senior railcard holders with travel passes - the price is circa £ 20

We gave this Book 1 walk a spin in reverse last year and it worked quite well - so here it is again ! The original posting date has been brought forward by a week to take advantage of the train operator's fares promotion (last day 14 July), so hopefully the outing will be a bit more affordable than usual for our younger walkers.

The walk is easy and relaxing. Woods in the morning, with lovely coves offering opportunities for a swim, so do bring your cossies with you. Lunch is taken at the Navigator pub in Lower Swanwick, and then we set out on a walk beside the River Hamble along its causeway and banks. We then catch the Warsash Ferry to the western side of the Hamble, on through Hamble Common and then we walk along the beach to Netley, for tea at the cafe in the Royal Victoria Park. Those who feel like adding a few extra miles to today's walk can take the pleasant extension to Sholing.

For those who like seaside walks and a swim with some nice variety along the way (woods) you should really enjoy today's walk. The long(ish) train journeys are worth it.
T=1.3
Walk directions here: L=1.3




  • Marion
    07-Jul-17

    This swimming walk offers several opportunities both in the river Hamble and in Southampton water when the tide is right but bring your swim shoes/reef shoes as its very stony underfoot. If its a hot sunny day sunglasses and hats essential as you are walking towards the sun most of the time. It was great last year and 3 swims were enjoyed. Make the most of the tea stop which has plenty of refreshments as theres nothing at Netley station at the finish.

  • 12-Jul-17

    Is it possible to buy the £13 ticket at the ticket office/machines tomorrow morning?

  • 12-Jul-17

    You can buy the £13 tickets from the machines at Waterloo certainly. Select "SWT services only" and it automatically gives you the special offer

  • 13-Jul-17

    7 on this walk, on a day of sun and cloud . The cloud was inland, the sun more on the coast, so it got sunnier as the day went on, culminating in a glorious golden finish along Southampton Water, which with its pine-fringed coast felt a bit like a Greek island.

    In the morning fields (one full of ground skimming swallows) and woods brought us to the upper reaches of the Hamble Estuary. Two of us swam here and at least two swam vicariously - that is to say, they did not swim but seemed keen to see us do so. Despite an incoming tide one could swim quite a way out before the current started to pull you up river.

    A briskly served lunch in the Navigator, rubbing shoulders with the Hamble River yacht set, a walk through boatyards with their interesting operations, then down the lovely Hamble Estuary at high tide. The pink ferry took six of us across it and we very politely waited in the cafe on the far side (big staff, disorganised service: they were no longer doing hot food but made a meal out of serving tea and cakes) for the seventh to get the next ferry. One of the group shared her memories of her childhood in Hamble village.

    Then what for me is always the highlight: a walk up the beach of Southampton Water In the sparkling afternoon sun. Interesting shingle flowers and two of us (the same two) had an idyllic swim from the beach of Victoria Park as a Chinese container ship glided placidly by. A third walker watched our bags, for which thanks.

    The other four headed straight for the train I presume and so missed the final treat, which was the majestic Queen Mary 2, the only transatlantic liner, the largest liner ever built, slipping its moorings and gliding down Southampton Water to the sea. Inbound from New York that morning, outbound for the Norwegian fjords. I am not a cruising person but just for a moment I wished I was going with her.

    Instead we got the 6.18 train.

  • Anonymous
    15-Jul-17

    Hi, please would someone post this walk on a Saturday before the end of Summer. I was so envious but can't walk on Thursdays. Thanks, Debra

Wed, 14-Sep-16
Wednesday Walk: Book 1, Walk 3 (R) - Botley to Netley
Southampton Water and the River Hamble. Sea Views, Marinas, Coves and Woods.

Book 1, Walk 3 (R) - Botley to Netley
Length: 14.5 km (9 miles)
Toughness: 1 out of 10

London Waterloo: 10-09 hrs . Portsmouth Harbour train (does not stop at Clapham Junction)
Arrive Botley: 11-38 hrs

(Clapham Junctioners: take the Weymouth train from CJ at 10-12. Arrive Basingstoke 10-47 hrs and change onto the Portsmouth Harbour train leaving Basingstoke at 11-00 hrs)

Return: Netley to London Waterloo: 02 mins past the hour changing at Fareham, and 18 mins past the hour changing at Southampton Central (journey time 2hrs 5 mins).

Rail ticket: suggest a day return to Netley all routes permitted. If you do not possess a travel card check with the ticket office - it may be cost effective to buy an all zones travel card and then an onwards day return to Netley all routes permitted.

The Netley to Botley walk does not get many outings, due to the journey time and cost of travel, and best I know this is the first posting of this walk "backwards" - or in reverse. Why in reverse today? Possible because I am awkward and known in the SWC for doing walks in reverse, but also it should make a lovely outing today in reverse direction if the weather is nice - and it's probably the last chance to do this walk in summer conditions this year. The cost of the rail ticket is not cheap (sorry -we missed the SWT offer) but as a one off - why not treat yourself !

From Manor Farm we will take the Strawberry Trail route down through woods toward the river passing some pretty coves on the way before heading for Bursledon and lunch at the Navigator Pub. After lunch we have a relaxing, 3 km walk along the causeway beside the River Hamble, passing by marinas, a boat yard and mudflats before taking the Warsash Ferry (a vision in shocking pink) across the river to Hamble. Then it's over Hamble Common and through its woodland before we take a 2 km walk along the beach beside Southampton Water, turning right into Royal Victoria Park and Netley Chapel, with a cafe in the Park for tea, Netley railway station for your journey home is nearby.

Swimmers: bring your cossies with you as there are swimming options in the coves along the Strawberry trail or near the jetty at Hamble or along Southampton Water - if the weather is nice and tide times are favourable (check the link in the website version of walk's directions).

Next week - Wednesday 21 September: SWC Walk 150 - Yalding to Sutton Valance

T=1.3

  • 13-Sep-16

    Intend going.

    ...and extending the route past Netley by countinuing along the coast, do a bit of stravaiging in Westwood Woodland Park, then back along the river, and along Itchen Way up to Sholing Station. If that is a nice route (it looks like it might be, on the map), then maybe reverse the walk for good and make it a proper length?

  • Anonymous
    13-Sep-16

    9 miles is fine esp in this heat !

  • Marion
    13-Sep-16

    Intend going and 9 miles is quite sufficient for me too.

  • Anonymous
    14-Sep-16

    There's no stopping our Thomas.

    Some say he will swim Southampton Water to Hythe and then play a round of golf at Dibden Golf Centre

    Legend!

  • Anonymous
    14-Sep-16

    Was unable to go regrettably as in court fighting against neighbours from Hell. Lovely day for a trip to the Coast.jfk

    At last had a minor victory against the criminals.

  • 15-Sep-16

    9 on this walk, which works really well in this reverse direction. Our walk poster has cleverly varied the morning route (ie the afternoon in the original direction) so that it hugs the side of the Hamble estuary - pretty woodland with glimpses of the water. One glimpse was particularly nice and given the hot sun three of us decided to "live the view" and go for a swim - a delicious dip in a tranquil arm of the sea.

    Lunch at the pub surrounded by yacht repair yards was pleasant enough and the walk down the Hamble in the bright sun was very nice too. It felt like summer would never end. Having crossed in the funky pink ferry we then gained Southampton Watwr, walked past the oil storage facility and on up the sun-drenched shingle beach. We just about got to the peaceful Royal Victoria Park in time for tea; early arrivals got tea pots, stragglers paper cups. But this is a nice tea stop when doing the walk in this direction.

    Our intrepid long distance walker then went off to pioneer an extension to the walk. The others went for the train but three of us decided to swim in Southampton Water, which looked simply idyllic in the setting sun. Slightly off-putting on closer inspection was that the water was very brown near the shore, but a bit further out it was much cleaner and the low sun on the silky surface made for a simply dreamy experience. Something to treasure in the cold grey winter.

    A long two hour train ride home. A pity there was no obvious place in Netley to buy provisions for the train.

  • Anonymous
    15-Sep-16

    Following on from Walkers prose, 5 who skipped the evening swim caught the 5:43 Southern Train to Southampton Central (delayed to 5:53). This station has the usual Mainline Station outlets offering a chance to pick up nibbles and drinks.

    Fast train (1 hour 30 mins) back to Waterloo at 6:30pm - probably the best return journey option.

    With the sky clear and little wind we glimpsed a Hot Air Balloon in the evening skies over Hampshire as we sped towards the Great Wen

    A cracking day out with plenty of variety.