Although often known as Hamble, the official name of the village is Hamble-le-Rice. It is best known for being an aircraft training centre during the Second World War for aircraft including the Spitfire, the Lancaster and the Wellington.

Today, it is a popular yachting centre with numerous marinas - the village and the River featured in the 1980s BBC television series Howards' Way. A small passenger ferry service links Hamble with the village of Warsash on the south bank of the River Hamble.

To the south of the village, lies the site of an Iron Age promontory hillfort, Hamble Common Camp. Also, there is the remains of the defensive structure dating to the reign of King Henry VIII. Known as St Andrews castle. Investigations suggest that it consisted of a rectangular structure fronted by a gun-platform with a semi-circular layout. It was protected by a moat with a further two gun-platforms mounted on the Counterscarp and was intact as late as the early 17th century.