About River Hamble Country Park
Whether you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of a historic shipwreck, experience a mindful moment in the outdoors or you’re after a fun activity for little ones to enjoy, River Hamble Country Park’s 356 acre woodland has something for you. Let the fresh air and stunning surroundings of Southampton’s hidden gem envelop you as you explore, play and relax.
With woodland, riverside and open space, River Hamble Country Park has a wide variety of environments to explore. So, you can take a gentle ramble in the countryside or hop on your bike and race along a trail and enjoy the beauty of Hampshire’s countryside.
Wander around River Hamble’s stunning and immersive woodland where, if you look closely, you may be lucky enough to spot some of the local wildlife. From skylarks to reptiles, River Hamble is home to a variety of different creatures.
No matter what time of year you visit, you’re sure to be wowed by the vibrant wildflowers and plants that change from season to season. Visitors are also welcome to bring their four-legged friends who’ll love discovering the ancient forest, running through the open fields and taking a dip in the river.
The park is working to preserve nature’s beauty and combat climate change through their café, The Barn. A selection of eco-friendly materials were incorporated into the structure, including timber taken from the park itself.
The Barn’s electricity and heating runs using solar power that is generated by 90 roof solar panels, ensuring that every step has been taken to protect the environment. Pop in to discover more about the Barn’s climate friendly design and ethos.
During your day of exploration of the woodlands, you may notice some of the historical remains of the HMS Cricket. Here, crews from the 1944 D-day landings lived and took part in regular training. Over 100 buildings once stood here, housing up to 2,500 men, including accommodation, a hospital and even a cinema.
The Grace Dieu
During medieval times, the impressive Grace Dieu stood as one of the biggest vessels of the time. Despite only making one journey before being destroyed by a lightning strike, the Grace Dieu was an incredible example of construction in the 1400s. Amazingly, you can still see the wreckage of this famous vessel.
Sculptor Richard Janes designed the natural play area at Barnfield to incorporate elements of the Grace Dieu. He was inspired by the form of the triple clunker hull of the ship and used three overlapping planks to recreate this piece of local history.
Guests are welcome to explore a trail leading to the pontoon where they’ll find a selection of QR codes that dive a little deeper into the history of the Grace Dieu.
Food and drink
Stop by the Barn, the brand-new eco-friendly visitor centre and café, for a spot of lunch. Enjoy perfect pastries and delicious cakes, as well as a selection of thirst-quenching drinks, as you learn more about its climate-friendly status.
Browse the menu and plan your visit today.
Within the park, you’ll also find Manor Farm, a traditional farmyard where there’s something for every member of the family. Tickets are available from the visitor centre.
Manor Farm is home to a variety of different animals from inquisitive alpacas to cuddly bunnies, with new arrivals every year. Guests even have the opportunity to meet and greet many of these beautiful creatures. But that’s not all! There are also indoor and outdoor play areas, daily activities and authentic buildings to explore. A visit to Manor Farm is the ideal day out for guests of all ages.
Park opening hours
Nov to Feb: 8:30am to 5pm
Mar to Apr: 8:30am to 7:30pm
May to Aug: 8:30am to 8:30pm
Sept to Oct: 8:30am to 7:30pm
The Barn opening hours
Nov to Mar: 10am to 4pm
Apr to Oct: 10am to 4pm
Parking charges apply
Up to 1 hour: £2.50
Up to 2 hours: £4.50
Up to 4 hours: £6
Full day: £7