On the Buses

It’s officially autumn, but with the sun still shining we’re hanging on in here to that summer vibe on the Island and there are loads of events still taking place across the Island this month. One I’m definitely not going to miss is Beer & Buses on 13th& 14thOctober. This is an annual favourite – a perfect blend of vintage buses and oldy worlde pubs mixed together in a day long chauffeur driven pub crawl.

With 19 different routes to choose from it’s a brilliant way to explore areas of the Island you are less familiar with and discover some fantastic new pubs, local ales and great grub. Travelling on the buses is FREE but you need to grab a programme (£7) from the many pubs involved (100 this year) and this has details on the routes, timetable and town maps, as well as giving key info on the different establishments and money off vouchers for your first pint!

The Island itself has 3 breweries (Yates, Island Brewery and Goddards) and makes some great ales – my favourite is Inspiration by Goddards. But there is also great gin, vodka and new whisky from Isle of Wight Distillery – made here on the Island - for anyone who fancies a break from the beer.

My top ‘must visits’ are:

Joe’s Bar, Niton- 4/5 beers at a time 

This unique bar & café is housed in the local post office and does cracking Friday night suppers!

Castle Inn, Newport – 4 beers on at a time 

Reputed to be the oldest pub on the Island with records back to 1555 and once a drinking haunt of Charles I while being held captive on the Island at Carisbrooke Castle (before his head got chopped off obvs!).

IW Steam Railway, Havenstreet – 12 beers at a time 

Quirky venue and you get to check out the trains too.

Volunteer Inn, Ventnor – 6 beers on at a time 

This was my top pick on last year’s explorations – great beer and lovely staff. 

Waterfront Totland – 10 beers at a time  

With amazing views it feels like being in the Med with the bar looking out over the Solent.

The top number of beers on at a time goes to Ye Olde Village Inn, Bembridge who have a staggering 30 beer on! The list reads like the entries of the Grand national; High Koality, Cosmo, stay Put, Monster Mash and Forzal to name but a few! 

If you’re not sure what beer you’ll like just go for the one with the most unusual name. Ones I’ll be looking out for are Crafty Shag, Frigate, Yachstman, Seafarers, Ghostship, Hop Aboard (Island brewed guest ale), and obviously, On the Buses.

Last year we explored the South East Wight, so I think reacquainting myself with the North Wight is on the cards this year. 

Perchance I’ll see you on the bus! Cheers!

Master Mariner Headshot

5 October 2018

By The Master Mariner in The locals' blogs