Sunday 18th October 2015
I doubt if Linda and I would have made it to this particular pub if it wasn’t for the fact that we arrived and departed from it on a preserved bus. This was part of the annual Beer & Buses event on the Isle of Wight.
Normally the only public transport that reaches this pub is a school bus. Otherwise it is quite a walk down from the Newport to West Cowes road.
It would have been a great pity not to have made it here as it is an excellent pub, one of the very best on the island when it comes to beer choice. I have heard that it was always a good pub but it appears to have taken off since it was acquired by Ashley Pamphilon and Katie Clough. Its first day under the new ownership was on 4th October 2013.
It is said that there has been a pub in this part of Northwood for around 300 years. Well I can’t substantiate that, but the pub’s own records indicate it was first recorded in 1799. Back then it was an Ale House and was located in a row of cottages. It seems that over the years, it changed its position several times within the row. Whether or not it had its present day name way back then is not known.
A new pub was built in 1904 to resemble today’s appearance, although there have been some additions since then. The new building would not have come cheap, so I suspect by then it was under brewery control, but which one? I find this lack of specific information frustrating, as it is within living memory. I have read that it sold Burt’s beers. They were founded in Newport in 1840 and the brewery closed in the 1980s. I remember drinking it in Ryde.
I believe that the pubs were all sold off and this gives a credence the fact that this pub may have been a Burt’s house as has been a Free House for around 30 years, at least. Burt’s Brewery was resurrected in the mid-1990s in Sandown then moved to Ventnor, where it closed for the second time in 2011. I mention this as a matter of interest, it actually has no bearing on the history of the Travellers’ Rest.
When we visited the beer roll call was as follows: Island Brewery (Shalfleet, IOW) Wight Gold (4.0%) and Earl’s RDA (5.0%); Brain’s (Cardiff, Glamorgan, South Wales) Reverend James (4.5%); Cameron’s (Hartlepool, Co Durham) Thirst Blood (4.3%); Yate’s (Newchurch, IOW) On the Buses (5.0%); Brain’s Craft Brewery (Cardiff) Green Hop Ale (4.1%) and Goddard’s Duck’s Folly (5.2%). They also had Lilley’s (Frome, Somerset) Crazy Goat (6.8%), a cider / perry cross-over. I thought this was a great selection.
Once we alighted from our old bus and it had roared away (quite literally), we crossed the road and entered the pub.
We found the bar on our right in the main room. To the left is an annex that contains a pool table.
Walking through the pub to the right we went to a smaller room with a bar which opened out into a large conservatory set up for dining. We retreated back to the room that we had entered.
I don’t know how they sustain so many different cask beers and I guess the range is reduced during the winter months. The pub is noted for its food and I would return, if only I could get there easily!
The Travellers’ Joy, 85 Pallance Road, Northwood, Isle of Wight PO31 8LS
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 12.00-23.00; Thursday-Saturday 12.00-24.00
The easiest way to get here from Newport is to catch the No 1 bus from the Bus Station to the Horseshoe Inn in Northwood. Then walk down Pallance Road to the pub.
I would guess it is about a half mile.
The bus continues to West Cowes. It runs every 15 minutes, every 30 minutes on Sundays.