Hythe adjoins the New Forest on its mid-eastern edge and sits on Southampton’s western shore. Hythe is the largest, central village in an area today known as Waterside. Find out more about Hythe’s fascinating maritime and ferrying heritage on one of the regular history walks and talks available from the village. Hythe is a departure point for ferry boat trips across to Southampton and onward to the Isle of Wight. It’s an ideal base for exploring The New Forest, Wight and Southampton. The village has a bustling shopping centre and excellent transport links.
The Victorian pier and beautiful promenade afford spectacular views across to cruise ships. Hythe still is and has long been a popular spot from which to view the world’s big super liners including the Titanic which left Southampton in 1912. Hythe also has a stunning marina, the first marina village to be built in the UK, with over 200 berths, stylish waterfront homes, bars, shops, restaurants and a boutique hotel.
Hythe’s narrow gauge electric pier train is Grade Listed and Britain’s oldest continuously working pier train. Today it is both a tourist attraction and serves as a transport connection to half hourly ferries running to Southampton. Hythe makes a great base for families and is only a short drive or beach bus ride from popular New Forest attraction Beaulieu. The Beach Bus ride is an easy way to connect to other top spots around the Forest and coast. It runs across the summer season stopping at Hythe, Lepe, Exbury for the gardens, the 18th century village of Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu and Lymington.
Hythe Ferry Services
Hythe is Anglo-Saxon for ‘landing place’ and by 1575 it appeared on Saxton’s Hampshire map as ‘Hytheferye’. The natural feature of the ‘Hythe Hard’, a large gravel bank exposed at low tide and pushing out into Southampton Water made a perfect landing point. Ferrying then has a long, rich history here, and ferry services today run from Hythe Pier to East and West Cowes on the Isle of Wight (via Southampton) or you can simply take advantage of the quick crossing over the Water to Town Quay at Southampton. Ticket fares for the Southampton crossing are really affordable, putting maritime and military museums in the city within easy reach. If you are holidaying with pets – dogs travel free on the Hythe Ferry service! For prices and sailing times visit the Hythe Ferry website for up-to-date information.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.