The river's location makes it ideal for weekend excursions into the Solent or as a departure point for destinations further afield. If you do not own your own vessel then you can still take in the sights and sounds of the river on board the River Bus which operates during the summer months between Hamble and Manor Farm Country Park.
The river is not just a sailing Mecca, it is a nationally an internationally important site for nature conservation and a birdwatchers' paradise. Riverside walks or simply watching the world go by are popular pastimes.
The river runs through the picturesque villages of Bishop's Waltham, Botley and not forgetting the village of Hamble where the river enters into the Southampton Water. Bishop's Waltham is a delightful village with traditional and specialist shopping and excellent pub lunches. Botley is a small market town full of charm where you can visit the market square, the market hall and Botley Mills. The village of Hamble, officially known as Hamble-le-Rice, has a great history including its contribution to the D-Day landings during the Second World War and well worth a visit - if not just to view some of the magnificent vessels that are moored.
In the 14th century Hamble was a more important trading centre than Portsmouth with great ships being built in the marinas including The Elephant and Nelson's flagship in the battle of Copenhagen which was captained by Jane Austen's brother.