Walk from Swanwick to Warsash
Trust volunteer Richard Wyatt, has produced this excellent series of short audio guides/podcasts to be enjoyed as you walk along the River Hamble. The files can be freely downloaded (see below) and listened to on an MP3 player. Richard's commentary, with occasional snippets from Trust staff, provides fascinating insights into the history of the area and tells the story behind some of the vessels that have been abandoned on the River Hamble's foreshore.
The commentary starts at the benches and small green near the public slipway at Swanwick shore (Ordnance Survey Grid Reference SU 49570 09218, nearest Post Code SO31 7EF). There is very limited car parking near this spot, particularly at weekends; free parking is available at Bursledon railway station, which is about three-quarters of a mile to the west. From the station, return to the main road, then cross the bridge over the river, past the entrance to Premier marina and turn right into Swanwick Shore Road. By bus, FirstBus services 4, 4A and X4 between Southampton and Fareham pass along the main road (A27).
The walk is flat and follows the edge of the river. There is however a bridge on the route, with half a dozen steps on each side. Duyring spring high tides (not the season, but the name given to tides that are higher than average), some parts of the path may be underwater, but we would always recommend you try to visit when the tide is low - many more of the wrecks are visible.
The commentaries were made on-site on a particularly windy day, so you will hear some background noises like the wind in the trees and the lapping of waves amongst others. At a normal walking pace, the walk should take about one and a quarter hours, including listening to the commentary. There are 13 listening points, totalling about 28 minutes of audio. Swanwick shore to Warsash is about two and a quarter miles.
After completing the walk, you have several options. Your chauffeur, helicopter or private yacht can pick you up from Warsash. If you left a car at Bursledon or Swanwick, you could simply retrace your steps, or take FirstBus 4 or 4A back to Lower Swanwick. But you could also take the Pink Ferry across to Hamble (it runs all year round). From there, bus number 6 can take you to Southampton. A further alternative is to use the footpaths up the western side of the river back to Bursledon. This follows part of the Strawberry Trail, which is marked on the information board near the ferry, but we'd recommend using an Ordnance Survey map to find the footpaths.
Before you leave home:
Listening to the mp3 files
You can listen to the audio tour on your computer (or from a phone browser!) by using the player below.
To save the mp3 files onto your MP3 player (so you can listen to them as you do the walk):