Off The Rails Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Off The Rails in Yarmouth may be slightly off the beaten track, but you’d kick yourself if you missed this little gem of a railway café. It’s located in a peaceful spot by the river overlooking an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Pop in for Bradshaw’s breakfast, an ice-cream or a glass of Pimms as the sun goes down behind the yardarm.
- Cycle or walk the Freshwater Way
- Have Bradshaw’s breakfast
- Wander around yachtie Yarmouth
Visit Yachtie Yarmouth
In the yachtie seaside town of Yarmouth on the north west tip of the Isle of Wight, there was once a railway line connecting it to the Island’s main town of Newport and to Freshwater in the south. The line closed in 1953 and was later converted into a path for cycling and walking. Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known for its wetlands and bird life, it’s become popular with visitors to the Island who can hop on the ferry in Lymington and step off in Yarmouth 40 minutes later.
Dine in a Converted Railway Station
Back in 2014, the former railway station at Yarmouth re-opened as Off The Rails café and restaurant. It has been lovingly and sympathetically restored and today, is an outstanding example of how to breathe new life into our railway heritage.The attention to detail is wonderful. Restaurant seats are upholstered in reproduction London Underground fabric, there are luggage racks with battered old suitcases, vintage posters and signs, old clocks, fire buckets and a bird hide cleverly positioned in the signal box with a view of the surrounding marshes.
Tuck in to a Luggage Burger
At lunchtime, you’ll find modern bistro dishes on the menu such as a ‘Luggage Burger’ or Garlic Pasta using garlic from the wonderful Isle of Wight Garlic Farm. In the evening, ‘Platforms to Share’ are a popular choice. Try ‘The Pullman’ with a whole baked Camembert, chutney, warm bread and salad.
Walk or Cycle the Freshwater Way
It only takes 30-45 minutes to cycle or walk to The Red Lion pub in Freshwater. Walkers can mirror their steps back on the other side of the river or continue to Freshwater Bay to climb Tennyson Down. It’s where Alfred Tennyson famously walked and composed his poetry. Cyclists can join a network of paths across the island. The Isle of Wight is known as the Cyclist’s Island so there are plenty to choose from if you want to challenge yourself.
See the Old Gaffers
Visit Yarmouth at the end of May for the popular Old Gaffers’ Festival. It’s when the town really comes alive and the harbour is full of gaff-rigged vessels festooned with flags. Stallholders line the streets and a French food market comes to town (Yarmouth was once an early French settlement called Eremue). There’s all kinds of fun entertainment to be had including marching bands and fishermen singing sea shanties. It makes an easy day trip if you catch the Lymington to Yarmouth ferry.
- Try Yachtsman’s Ale brewed by The Island Brewing Company
- If you like the black garlic pasta, visit the Garlic Farm to indulge in a black garlic ice-cream sundae
- Opening times vary so check ahead. It’s advisable to reserve a table during busy holiday periods
- Go crabbing along Yarmouth pier or enjoy a glass of champagne in the waterside garden of The George Hotel where Charles I was once imprisoned
- Buy English Heritage Membership and visit Yarmouth Castle
- Visit for the Isle of Wight Walking Festival held in May and October
WHERE TO STAY ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT
Ventnor, Isle of Wight
Offering boutique rooms and a restaurant, Hillside has panoramic sea views with a Scandinavian feel.
Rooms from £156 a night.
I’m very yappy indeed. It’s so dog-friendly here they have special ice creams for me and a doggy dinner menu too – lamb and rice anyone? There’s even a special choice for puppies. Walks galore too.