Sunday, 20 February 2011

The River Itchen

 I tend to bang on rather about how lovely it is round here on the south coast of England, with Chichester Harbour, the River Hamble and the Isle of Wight and everything, so yesterday was a total change.
Langstone Cutters took Gladys to meet a bunch of people from Hamble River Rowing to row up the River Itchen.
Now, for most of its length the Itchen is indeed very lovely. It is a noted trout stream burbling gently through chalk downland. But when it reaches Southampton it gets very urban and gritty.
Someone said something about how horrible it all is, and Steve riposted: "How can you say that, with this wonderful view of the allotments?" Then he looked over his shoulder and spotted the vast piles of rusting garbage at a scrap metal quay. "Just when I thought it couldn't get better....," he muttered.
The main picture, supplied by Hamble River Rowing stalwart Andy Cunningham, captures the ambience. That's Gladys at the extreme right.
And here she is again, moving away from the slipway after lunch. Lunch was a surprise. We went to the Junction Inn on the recommendation of Port na Storm blogger Graham Neil, expecting not much from a pub stuck between the railway and the river. But it was great - a superb selection of real ales and a home cooked menu at very reasonable prices.
The prize for most attractive boat on the river goes to Myfanwy, a Swallowboats Osprey owned by Glyn Ffoulkes.


Patrick Hay said...

I remember when that bridge wasn't there and you had to queue up for a chain ferry!

Graham Neil said...

Hi Chris, I'm glad my choice of pubs didn't disappoint, even if the surroundings left a bit to be desired. The river gets a lot better just up round the bend under the railway bridge.

I'll let you buy me that pint some other time.


Chris Partridge said...

Hi Graham,
It's true the river gets a lot greener further up, and one does pass the rather nice premises of the St Denys Sailing and Rowing Club, but it unfortunately also takes one right under the flightpath of Southampton Airport.
However, nothing in this post is to be interpreted as implying we didn't have a brilliant time. We will be back!