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
: 10-09 hrs Portsmouth Harbour service: Basingstoke: 11-00 hrs Does NOT stop at CJ
: 11-38 hrs Clapham Junctioners
: 10-12 hrs Weymouth service from Waterloo
: 10-47 hrs Change trains
: 11-00 hrs on Portsmouth Harbour service as above Return
: 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.
Walk Directions here L=1.3