As we move around to the estuary area known as Southampton Water, the entrance to the estuary is dominated by the oil refinery at Fawley, the largest such facility in the United Kingdom. But moving up the estuary to Hythe, the shoreline is once again given over to leisure pursuits. One of the favourite activities at Hythe is to stand and watch the enormous cruise ships passing by, having left their terminals at nearby Southampton Docks. Meanwhile for the seriously well-heeled, there is a Marina with berths for expensive yachts, as well as a ‘village’ with waterside dwellings, restaurants, shops and bars. Properties in the marina can be had for upwards of £450,000 at the time of writing. It is no doubt an attractive place to live, since as well as the delights of the waterside on the one hand, on the other there is the New Forest right on the doorstep, which comes right up to the outer reaches of the town.
In 2003, Hythe made the national news when a 700-tonne dredger collided with the pier serving the ferry which connects Hythe with Southampton, splitting it in two and resulting in repairs costing £308,000. The following year, the captain of the dredger was jailed for eight months, having been found to be two and a half times over the drink drive-limit. The only thing to be thankful for about this sorry episode is that the ferry was not disembarking people at the time: shortly before the incident, 235 people had come off the ferry, on their way home from a football match.
For events in Hythe see here.
Map of the area.
photo © 2007 Ian Parkes | more info (via: Wylio)