If I say, ‘ Think Pink’, what do you think of?

Barbie, The Pink Panther, the Pink Ladies of Grease fame? Yes to all of those and here’s one to add to the list; the little pink ferry that chugs cheerfully between the riverside villages of Hamble and Warsash in Hampshire.

Things Helen Loves, Pink boat in Hamble, Hampshire. Bright pink boat on the river with a small cabin for the sailor.

The Little Pink Ferry

The Hamble to Warsash ferry has been sailing people the quarter mile or so across the river since 1493. Once an important link on the route between Southampton and Portsmouth, the sailing remains popular with locals and visitors alike. Cyclists and walkers in particular use the ferry to link up the ‘Hamble Ramble’, a six mile circular route broken up by the river.

The ferry service and the stone built shelter on the Warsash shore have become iconic for being unapologetically and gloriously pink, but it wasn’t always so.

The two boats that carry up to twelve passengers across the water are called Emily and Claire and they used to be white. They were given a pretty pink glow up to raise the profile of the service. Despite complaints at the time, the pink boats are now such a part of the community, there’d likely be an uproar if they tried to change them back.

The ferry operates daily 10.00-16.00. There is no timetable, it’s an on demand service. Simply wait at the waters edge and you’ll be taken across. Fares are Β£2.50 per adult, Β£2.00 per child, dogs sail for free. All fares are one way.


The waterside village of Hamble is historic and pretty, the sort of place that conjures up thoughts of stories about smugglers and Famous Five style summer adventures.

There’s the curiously named Gun House, with stained glass, carved faces and cannons set in the ground.

Or how about Riverbank House, seems to have taken style inspiration from a galleon?

It’s not all history and whimsical wanderings; Hamble is home to plenty of places to eat and drink. It’s also still a yachting hub, with plenty of modern craft moored up. None quite so lovely as the pink ferry though.

If you aren’t visiting Hamble as part of a longer walking route and prefer to drive directly there, find inexpensive parking at Hamble Foreshore. Use postcode SO31 4JB.


In Warsash, the ferry deposits and collects passengers at the pink ferry shelter. In a landscape of greens, greys and blues it can’t really be missed.

This side of the river has a wilder feel, wetlands and countryside. Intriguingly, also the occasional remains of a shipwreck.

The Hamble to Warsash ferry is a grand day out in itself, but if you want to extend the day with a bit of walking, the Hamble Ramble route we used is available on All Trails.

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy reading about a coastal walk at Hurst Castle.

Helen x

16 thoughts

  1. This looks a marvellous day out. And this (on the whole) pink-refuser would love a trip on that ferry!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      The ferry ride is a lot of fun, not to be missed if your ever in the area.

  2. I have visited and loved Hamble but I’m not familiar with Warash. I’m not usually a fan of pink but the ferry boat and ferry shelter bought a smile to my face. I spotted the Wolf and I think Zeph would enjoy the Hamble Ramble, too!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It’s a very dog friendly place, the Wolf doesn’t lend himself to the whole pretty pink vibe, but he did enjoy being by the river.

  3. I’ve never been to either Hamble or Warsash – looks a great option for a future visit to the area (and a ride on the pink ferry a must, of course!)

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It makes a lovely day trip, Sarah. And not too far for you.

  4. I love the pink ferry boats and pink shelter. So quirky and of course photogenic. Great idea to paint them, they certainly stand out! X

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I think it has paid off , the service was busy all the time we were about. Guess it’s a good year to be pink, with all the Barbie-mania!

  5. I’ve visited Hamble but it was so long ago I have vague recollections of the village and feel quite certain that there wasn’t a bright pink ferry in those days. I can recall struggling to find somewhere to park and having a bar meal but that’s about all so it was so nice to read this post to tempt me back sometime.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I think the splash of pink is a fairly recent thing Marion, but it’s certainly done the trick in raising the profile of the service.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I love the pink, it was a bold move to paint the boats such a colour but it works!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Isn’t it? No idea if it’s a historical feature or current owners whimsy. Fabulous either way!

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