The Isle of Wight has lots of fantastic scenery and is reputed to have more pubs per square mile than any other British county! So we thought we’d add the two together, throw in the need for some seriously good food and Voilà – here’s our guide to some of our favourite Foodie pub walks for you to try.
Godshill – Taverners
From Godshill there is a very pretty walk, through fields, beech and bluebell woods to Appuldurcombe and back. Start at the footpath off of Hollow Lane (opposite the Old Smithy Car Park) and walk through the woods bearing left. Turn right when you reach the track and you will end up at the imposing Freemantle Gate, once the gateway to Appuldurcombe House. This is a fairly easy walk but it can be a bit muddy. Back at Godshill bear left down the High Street to find the Taverners Pub with its traditional interior. This pub is getting rave reviews for its fine food, which has an emphasis on local and on the foods that are in season. They also have a large beer garden and play area for children.
Shalfleet – New Inn
You can take a three mile walk to Newtown from the New Inn at Shalfleet but for a shorter walk with your family take a stroll down to Shalfleet Quay boatyard and back. You can park at the pub or further down the lane where there is a public car park to the left. Then walk on down the road that skirts the river to the Quay – an ideal short walk for families. Retrace your steps and the New Inn is another good foodie pub, which has recently been refurbished and has won many awards. Traditional with oak beams and flagstone floors, there is always game on the menu when it’s in season, and a wide selection of Island seafood.
Wootton – The Fishbourne
The Fishbourne Inn is close to the mouth of Wootton Creek and there is a lovely walk to Quarr Abbey from here. You take the bridleway on the right just before you get to the pub, which is Quarr Lane, a leafy track overhung with trees with views of the Solent that leads to Quarr Abbey. This is an ideal walk for families and older folk as it is flat and shaded. The walk leads past the entrance to the abbey, where the chapel is open to visitors and there’s a lovely garden. Retrace your steps to the Fishbourne Inn, which is a large family-friendly pub that has recently been refurbished to a high standard giving it a much lighter and brighter feel.
Bembridge – Crab and Lobster
The Crab and Lobster is almost on the easternmost point of the Island and has beach walks southwards to Whitecliff Bay or northwards around the end of the Island to the new RNLI Lifeboat Station and back. The walk to Whitecliff Bay is more difficult as there are large pebbles and rocks to negotiate, although there are also rock pools to explore at low tide. Opt for the walk around to the lifeboat station and you’ll be able to take the new pier down to the station and see inside. Back at the Crab and Lobster you have a varied menu with an emphasis on seafood, including locally caught crab and lobster. There’s a large cosy bar area, a smaller restaurant with windows overlooking the sea or a new room at the back that was once the stables. There are also a few tables outside overlooking the famous Bembridge Ledge, which are lovely on a sunny day.
Newchurch – Garlic Farm
The Garlic Farm has recently made walkways around their farmland and you can pick up a map, which includes some of the amazing heritage of the site, for 20p in the Garlic Farm shop. Trails are around the fields and through the woodland, with garlic and asparagus growing alongside you, and in the summer one field holds a maize maze. If you’re feeling lazy you can opt for the tractor and trailer ride instead. Back at the Garlic Farm restaurant/café you can sample some of the farm’s produce – you don’t have to sample the garlic but there are plenty of dishes that include it and you can sit inside or out on the large patio.