Get Cosy - Best Spots to Curl Up this Season

There’s something magical about sitting around an open fire or wood-burner after a bracing walk in the countryside, or along a windswept wintery beach. We’ve pulled together a few places to pop into for a warming drink or a hearty meal with a real flaming fire to warm your bones.

West

Quaint, traditional pubs such as the Crown in Shorwell and the Sun Inn in Hulverstone have open fires in their bars, but you’ll need to book ahead if you want a table in those specific rooms. The Sun Inn has an open fire at one end of the old pub and a wood-burner at the other – for a really warm welcome. It’s also Benedict Cumberbatch’s favourite pub when he and his family are visiting the island – they’re building a house near here.

Off the Rails in the former railway station at Yarmouth has a wood-burner and welcomes walkers and their dogs – with special doggy meals and treats. There are great flat walks from here to Freshwater and back along the former railway line. Have lunch looking out across the marshes, with the wood-burner in the station themed interior or if it’s really sunny you can sit outside on the former platform.

Chessell Pottery has super squishy leather sofas, along with sturdy wooden tables and chairs, and boasts three wood-burners. One is in the large café room, another in the smaller room and a further wood-burner in the shop where you can paint ready-made clay items to be fired and collected later – a great idea for a memento of your island visit.

East

The Boathouse on the seafront in Puckpool has a wood-burner and does great food, with views across the Solent and a nautically themed interior. Walk along the beach from here to Seaview and back to get your appetite before lunch or dinner.

Up on top of Culver Down the Culver Haven Inn has a huge wood-burner in the bar with two sofas in front of it – bag one or both of these and you’ll be stripping off layers at a rate of knots. You’ve got great views across the sea from here and lovely walks across the downs or you could take the steep walks down to Whitecliff Bay or Yaverland Beach.

North

The Union Inn has a large cosy fire for warming up around after a day out sailing – or just a walk through Cowes or along the Parade. On a cobbled pathway down to the seafront, this is a pub brimming with history and is known for its good pub food.

Down a long lane (with speed bumps) from Whippingham sits the Folly Inn on the river Medina – or if you’re coming by boat it has its own harbour. Open fires warm the wood panelled interior of this popular watering hole, and there’s a lovely walk along the river from here.

Central

The Dairyman’s Daughter at Arreton Barns has a huge open fire at one end of the main bar, with pews for seats around the tables in this part of the pub. Converted from the ancient traditional barns of the nearby manor, this pub is known for its real ales and pub grub and there are things to see in the surrounding barns including the Shipwreck Museum and traditional crafts.

One Holyrood Tea Rooms have a pretty open fire, with tiled surround, in the back room of the cafe in this boutique hotel. With views over the pretty walled garden, this room is reserved for breakfast guests until mid- morning but lunch or afternoon tea in front of the fire would be lovely and cosy.

South

The Buddle Inn has the traditional open fire in the main bar area that has warmed this pub for hundreds of years. Famed as a smuggling centre in days of yore, who knows what was discussed in front of this huge fireplace with its nooks and crannies that once might have hidden bootie from the customs men.

The Spyglass Inn at the southern end of Ventnor seafront has two open fires – each by the doors into the main bar areas, keeping the interior toasty warm when the cold weather comes in. This popular pub is full of nautical antiques and history, and a great place to warm up after a bracing walk along the beach.

Jo Macaulay

3 November 2018

By Jo Macaulay in Articles

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