Saturday, 7 May 2011


There are many eccentric traditions in Britain, including a lot of unusual sporting events. One of these takes place each year near Hamble, a village on the River Hamble, just off Southampton Water. The event is a cricket match between the local Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club in Cowes which takes place annually on a sandbank called Brambles Bank in the middle of the Solent which once a year, when the tides are just right, dries out enough for such an activity to take place. Occasionally, however, the conditions fail to cooperate, as happened in 2008, when the cricketers found themselves playing with a foot of water splashing around them.

From Hamble there is a ferry across to Warsash, which is home to a Maritime Academy, as well as having a sailing club. A coastal path 4 miles long leads from here to Hill Head, taking in the Hook Nature Reserve, which is frequented by birds such as oystercatchers, shelducks, linnets and meadow pipits. Hill Head is a former haunt of smugglers. To the east of Warsash is Titchfield Abbey, a ruined 13th century abbey with a four-storey Tudor gatehouse, owned by English Heritage.

Map of the area.

Photo by Ghouston, via Wikimedia Commons

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