Pick of the Pubs

Five Top Isle of Wight Pubs for British Pub Week

28 October-5 November marks national Pub Week in Great Britain. It is a week of celebrations and events that aim to get people back into local pubs. As a great autumnal destination, visitors to the Isle of Wight are spoilt for choice with so many country inns, coastal watering holes and gastro pubs. Red Funnel celebrates British Pub Week by picking out five top pub recommendations on the Isle of Wight:

Best for Sunday lunch


The Tavernors Inn in Godshill is a well-established gastro pub, and not surprisingly this includes fabulous roast dinners on Sunday. The menu features local Island produce, which are served as part of their Sunday roasts. Blackboards in the pub inform visitors which veg and game are in season for each month. The fruit and veg are home-grown in the pretty rear garden, where there is also a Pétanque court and a playground area. Tuck into a Sunday roast around one of their wood-burners or the open fire in the back room of this ancient wood-beamed pub. There are plenty of local ales to accompany the meal, along with a good wine list and ten wines by the glass. A small shop can be found in the pub offering local produce, crafts as well as home-made bread and pies that are baked fresh on the premises daily. Be sure to book as it’s popular at any time of the year. 

Best for canine friends


The Red Lion in Freshwater is a fantastic foodie pub where dogs will get just as warm a welcome as their owners – there are even dog biscuits behind the bar! The décor is reassuringly traditional, with stripped wood and flagstone flooring limiting the mess a muddy pooch can make, plus there’s a welcoming open fire in the winter. Known for its great food, this pub gets very busy and it is advisable to book a table beforehand.

A great circular walk around the Yar estuary to Yarmouth and back starts from a footpath right next to the church by the pub. Or visitors can walk down the road and across ‘The Causeway’ bridge to walk the old railway line to Freshwater or Yarmouth and back. Freshwater Bay and Tennyson Down are only minutes away for a really great run for the dog and provides fabulous views across the Island to the mainland beyond. Visitors can walk up to Tennyson’s monument and onto the Needles.

Best for families


The White Mouse Inn at Chale is especially family-friendly with a large garden and playground area plus board games to play inside the pub. A retro games machine and colouring pencils and paper are also on hand for keeping the little ones amused. Although the pub features a kids’ menu, it also offers food from the main menu in smaller portions including smaller roast dinners for children on a Sunday. On sunny days there’s a huge garden where children can play on the swings, slide or assault course with far reaching views across the stunning south west coast of the Island. Blackgang Chine is only just up the road from here, which is a fantastic day out for families. 

Best for couples


The Boathouse at Puckpool, on the edge of Seaview, has a fire to cosy up in front of and lots of nooks and crannies to hide away in – the ‘Captain’s Cabin’ has only two tables. It’s got an upmarket and stylish feel, yet it is reasonably priced and features lots of local produce. Looking out over the Solent, visitors can watch the stormy seas safe and warm within the boat-themed interior. Or perhaps take a romantic walk along the shore towards Ryde or Seaview with a warming drink and something from the tempting menu to choose from upon return.  Guests could even book the honeymoon suite upstairs, one of the three ensuite B&B rooms, which has fantastic sea views. Make a special booking and the room can be decorated with flowers of choice, chocolates, a bottle of Joseph Perrier Champagne, rose petals on the bed and to truly set the mood, a Champagne breakfast on the terrace (weather permitting) in the morning. 

Best for real ale


Little has changed to the Bonchurch Inn since the 1840s. It’s one of the most original and traditional pubs on the Isle of Wight. Entrance to the inn is down a narrow driveway to the Dickensian courtyard and entering the public and lounge bar is like going back in time where real ale is sold straight from the barrels behind the bar. The pub is known for its food, which has an Italian flavour due to the Besozzi family who have been running it since 1984. Italian pasta specials and pizzas feature on the menu, which also feature fish and seafood specials and desserts that include Zabaglione and homemade tiramisu. Outside, the pretty cobbled courtyard has lemon trees and a fountain and there’s a small dining room that can be hired for private parties. 

Red Funnel

 For more information on the Isle of Wight and to book ferry travel and accommodation, visit Red Funnel  / 0844 844 2688.


Red Funnel is offering 35,000 day returns available at £35 (or £25 for a motorcycle) for travel Southampton to East Cowes until 30 Nov ‘16. *

* Valid for a car up to 2.0m high & 5.5m long and up to 7 people. Additional charges for larger cars. Outward travel must be before 10am. Return travel from 4.30pm onwards. Subject to availability. New bookings only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or concession, including standard Travel Card holder discounts.  Available to book for a limited time only. We reserve the right to withdraw this offer without prior notice. A £5 handling fee applies to telephone bookings. Standard terms and conditions of carriage apply.

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