Your mini guide to some of the best Isle of Wight pubs

A true highlight when visiting the Isle of Wight is to spend some time enjoying the atmospheric, olde worlde and modern pub scenes, where heart-warming, home cooked meals and thirst-quenching ales are aplenty. Although you could realistically visit any pub on the island due to it being just 22.5 miles long from east to west, we're here to help you determine which are the best pubs on the Isle of Wight for you. That includes whether you're planning a dog friendly holiday, a romantic getaway or a fun family break. This mini guide will talk you through some of the island's most sought-after pubs, alongside some of our absolute favourites.

So, without further ado, here's some of the best Isle of Wight pubs...

Pubs in Newport

Newport on the Isle of Wight is a charming town, home to Carisbrooke Castle and Parkhurst Forest, making it a great little hub to stay in when you visit the island. The River Medina runs right through the town, so as you’d expect, there are some wonderful pubs and eateries making the most of the location.

If it’s a riverside atmosphere you crave, then try the Bargeman’s Rest, a charming maritime bolthole overlooking the boats moored on the river. Entertainment is provided in the form of local live music, and you can expect to dine on a menu of locally sourced, fresh produce and crisp, mouth-watering wines.

A highly rated Isle of Wight pub which sits just outside Newport heading west on Calbourne Road, is the Blacksmiths Arms. Surrounded by undulating hillside, this is the ideal spot to enjoy alfresco dining. Indulge in Brownrigg Duck breast, slow-roasted pork belly or sumptuous pies before exploring the dessert menu – you won’t be able to resist.

Pubs in Shanklin

One thing's for sure, if you want plenty of choice, Shanklin is a great place to head. In this lovely seaside town, not only will you find a long sandy beach and clifftop walks, but you can explore the rare plants and woodland of Shanklin Chine Gorge and importantly, indulge in some fantastic local eateries. Waterfront pubs such as the Fisherman’s Cottage Inn is where you can get some super-fresh seafood and watch the sun sink below the watery horizon. The Chine Inn is another lovely spot to enjoy some tasty pub grub, overlooking the beautiful Shanklin Chine. It’s an atmospheric little bolthole and a great place to stop for a spot of lunch after a morning exploring the area.

You’ve also got the Village Inn in Shanklin along Church Road, serving mouth-watering pub favourites without scrimping on portion size! Check out the Village Inn’s TripAdvisor ratings for more information about this firm favourite.

The Plough & Barleycorn is another superb pub in Shanklin frequented often by locals making it worth considering. If you’re a fan of real ales and great wine in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly staff, it’s the place for you.

If the sun is shining and you can think of nothing better than making the most of the glorious sea air, you’ll love the Steamer Inn at Shanklin. Located directly along the sandy beach, the pub’s nautical feel is completely in-keeping with its location, and it’s also a great pub for live music too (although please check the updates on their website as to when this is booked for).

Pubs in Cowes

Cowes is a popular place to visit for holidaymakers in many cases due to the popularity of Cowes Week, and when it comes to finding a great little pub, we’ve got just the recommendation. The Anchor is an eighteenth-century charmer serving up everything from beer-battered cod and gourmet burgers through to fishcakes and falafel and is a great choice for visitors to Cowes. Located along a quintessential cobbled street of this seaside town, surrounded by a blend of independent and high street stores, there’s a little pub garden and an outside bar, perfect for taking advantage of the last dregs of summer sunshine. You can also stay here too if you wish.

Pubs in Ventnor

Ventnor is the island’s southernmost town, and is home to some wonderful attractions, such as botanical gardens, a stunning sandy seafront and some lovely walking opportunities. So what better than to reward yourself with a spot of lunch and a pint after a little exploring of the town and surrounding areas? The Spyglass Inn can be found overlooking the turquoise waters of Ventor Bay, and it’s a place where you can indulge in locally caught seafood alongside traditional tasty pub grub. Live music is embraced here, so much so that you can usually find something going on most days of the week. You can stay overnight too and make the most of the wonderful bay views. If you’re exploring the coastal path at Ventnor you may well stumble across the Buddle Inn, a stunning 16-century English pub set on the cliffs. Known for its selection of real ales and being a dog-friendly pub on the Isle of Wight, it’s a great place to stop for refreshments with your four-legged friends. If it’s specifically dog-friendly eateries you’re looking for, we have a dedicated guide to dog-friendly places to eat on the Island.

Isle of Wight Pubs you need to know about

Specific location aside, if you’re prepared to do a little travelling across the island in search of some of the best food and drink, here’s a quick rundown of a handful of our favourite pubs across the Isle of Wight…

  1. The Wight Mouse Inn at Chale, Ventnor: family friendly with loads of outdoor space
  2. The King’s Head at Yarmouth: popular with both tourists and locals – so you know it’s good!
  3. The Crab and Lobster Tap at Ventnor: pub quizzes, live sports and tunes
  4. The Bonchurch Inn at Bonchurch: charming old inn, serving delicious Italian cuisine
  5. The Castle Inn at Newport: the oldest public house in Newport, dating back to 1550!

Wetherspoons on the Isle of Wight

Sometimes you just know what you're looking for in a pub, and that’s a good old Wetherspoons. There are two Wetherspoons on the Isle of Wight – The Man in the Moon and S. Fowler & Co. The former can be found in a converted former church in Newport on St James’ Street, the latter is in Ryde, on Union Street.

We hope this mini guide to some of the best Isle of Wight pubs has inspired you to do some exploring during your visit to the island. There really is something for every taste, and the island’s welcoming nature will ensure you want to revisit time and time again.

Red Funnel Ferry Blog

26 August 2020

By Red Funnel in Articles