Outside the Mermaid Bar on the Isle of Wight

Pick of the pubs – an inn-siders guide

A woman wearing a jumper at a pub with a plate of food in front of her with a dog looking at the food

Dog Friendly

The Isle of Wight is not just the ideal holiday location for you and your family, but your four-legged friend will love it here too. So much of the Island is dog friendly and the pubs and places to eat are no exception. The Buddle Inn, situated in the Island’s most southerly village Niton, does not only boast amazing sea views but is also welcoming to your pooch pal. Whether you have muddy boots and paws from a countryside trek or just on jaunt with your dog, all are warmly welcomed. There’s often a few treats on the bar too. Head towards Newchurch (near the famous Garlic Farm) to a proper pub, The Pointer Inn. Famed for tasty food, it welcomes dogs on leads either inside the pub or in its extensive garden, complete with undercover seating… It’s a welcome pitstop after a countryside ramble.

Family of five dining at a pub table by a log fire

Family Friendly

We all know when the kids are happy it makes eating out a lot easier. So after a day out at one of the amazing attractions across the Island, keep the fun going during dinner time so they sleep well when you get back to your accommodation. The White Mouse, Chale, has one of the largest beer gardens and boasts spectacular sea views on a sunny day. Kids will have a whale of a time on the outdoor climbing frames and swings and when the weather is a little less than perfect (it occasionally happens even here) there’s an indoor children’s entertainment area too. Their children’s menus (yes plural) are a welcome sight, tailoring dishes to toddlers up to pre-teens… the whole family will be happy.

Tucked away in Rookley is The Chequers Inn. Matching great quality food, made using locally sourced ingredients, with a childrens adventure playground. The outdoor climbing frame is, in a word, immense, and the indoor games room will appeal to kids of all ages… you might lose dad in there for a while too. Head east to Sandown where you will find the Caulkheads… and pubs do not get more family friendly. They have an outdoor climbing frame/pirate ship for little ones to burn off energy on warmer days. Raining? Don’t worry the indoor ball-pit and silent cinema will be sure to keep them occupied. To top it off, there’s even an ice cream factory complete with Mr Whippy machine and what feel like hundreds and thousands (see what we did there) of toppings!

A selection of real ales on the bar of a pub

Best for Beer

Life is too short to drink bad beer, so head to The Wheatsheaf in Yarmouth, who have their own beer tasting room (yes, that’s right!). So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a beer connoisseur, visit their beer tasting room with a group of friends. You’ll have two hours for your minimum group of four where you try six different beers. More of a gin queen, they offer gin tasting packages too. Prices vary with each package so there is something to fit every taste.

The Red Lion in Freshwater is another popular ‘drinkers’ pub. Set near the River Yar and off the Causeway, it’s the perfect pitstop after a walk from Yarmouth. With four ales to choose from alongside cold lagers, you can either settle inside or enjoy the spacious beer garden on sunny days.

A beer garden in a pub on the Isle of Wight - the Sun Inn

Beer Gardens

Seamlessly moving from best beer it has to be best beer gardens, especially as the weather warms and The Sun Inn, Hulverstone has to be mentioned. This quaint country pub serves superb food and has an expansive garden that spreads over a couple of levels plus on a nice day you can see out over the channel. It’s a real spring Sunday afternoon treat.

If stunning sunsets while enjoying a chilled glass of wine is what you are after, then you can’t go wrong with the Woodvale in Cowes. Its vast garden looks over the sea and it’s where you want to be to watch the boats sail by at any time of year.

The outside of The Fishbourne Inn, Isle of Wight

Pubs with Accommodation

Staying in a pub has never been better. Rooms are beautifully furnished and they’re generally in great locations – plus you’ll never struggle to find somewhere to eat. The Fishbourne is literally a short walk from Wightlink’s Fishbourne car ferry port. Stay in one of the five en suite rooms all equipped with a flat-screen TV, iPod dock, hairdryer and complimentary tea and coffee.

Over in Bembridge is the Birdham, previously the Spinnaker and now under new management (from the owners of much-loved pubs The White Lion, Niton and The Chequers Inn Rookley). Boasting an impressive 14 rooms, each with en suite facilities, they range from twin, king superior and spacious family rooms. Book a table for Sunday lunch during your stay – you won’t be disappointed.

A pub on the waterfront at Ventnor beach, Isle of Wight

Great Sea Views

With 57 miles of coastline, you’re guaranteed to find somewhere to dine with exquisite views. The Spyglass Inn, Ventnor, is said to offer some of the best views from any pub in the south of the UK. At the end of the esplanade, it’s an ideal spot to watch the Isle of Wight’s famous Round the Island Race (Saturday, 25 June).

Quite literally the pub on the beach, The Fisherman’s Cottage Inn. Located at the base of Shanklin Chine, it could not be any closer to the sand. Perfect for popping in after a day on the beach in the summer or springtime strolls.

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