Brading is a small historic rural town, steeped in history going back to the Stone Age. Back in the day, Brading was a seaport of some description and until the 16th century the port was active with ships alongside at the quay behind the Bugle Inn on the High Street. The harbour gradually became silted up and throughout the Middle Ages various attempts were made to drain off the rest of the harbour.
Brading is close to many attractions on the island and is situated at the heart of the action. Some of these attractions include; the 3rd century old Roman Villa, St Mary’s Church dating back to the 12th century, Lilliput Dolls Museum and the beautiful Nunwell House which hosted Charles I on his last night of freedom. On the outskirts of the town the Brading Roman Villa offers good insight into some of the many relics that have been found from the Roman period in the area. Brading offers four welcoming pubs which serve food daily, Brading also contains a professional auction room.
Just outside the town you will find Adgestone Vineyard, open 7 days a week to visitors offering tours with a ‘Grape to Glass’ experience and a lovely tearoom. It’s set on the south facing slope overlooked by Brading Downs, where it is believed the vines were originally planted by the Romans; its award-winning wine was chosen in 1994 for the dinner for the Queen to celebrate the anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
In Brading Village there is also the converted Wax Works Museum which now houses a collection of craft shops, a chocolate factory/shop and store selling locally produced goodies – all well worth a visit.
To Get around
Brading is well connected with the restored railway station buildings and signal box at Brading Station, which offers a small shop and tearoom and also houses the Brading Tourist Information Point. Catch the train to head south towards Sandown, Lake and Shanklin or north towards Ryde. A regular bus service links Brading directly with Ryde, Newport, Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor. Watch this space for more information coming about bus passes, timetables etc.
Around Brading there are 70 footpaths taking in the beauty of the marshlands and it’s amazing bird life, stretching to the Downs, which lie within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Brading Downs provide some of the most spectacular views across the Isle of Wight looking out across Culver Down and Sandown Bay, making the area very popular for walking and exploring.
Brading is also perfectly located for many of the Islands beaches, with the sands of Sandown and Yaverland only 1.7 miles away, the rock pools of Bembridge beach 3.5 miles away, all the attractions of Ryde 4 miles away and for your retail therapy Newport is 8 miles away. Check out the blog about the top 5 beaches to visit on the island coming soon!
The local pubs in Brading are to be recommended for lunch, dinner or just a social evening. You are spoiled for choice!
The Yarbridge Inn – The friendly Fox family offer a fabulous menu of home cooked meals. A great cozy atmosphere and reservations are needed almost all year around, so give them a call on 01983 405585.
The Kyngs Well in Brading High Street achieves a 5 star rating on Trip Advisor. It dates back to 1828 and is full of atmosphere. The food is homemade using plenty of fresh local produce and there are always a guest ale on tap from one of the local brewers. It has parking to the rear of the pub. 01983 408776.
The Bugle– along Brading High Street offers characterful surroundings, open fires and flagstone floors. It has a large garden and plenty of parking. The earliest record of the pub was in 1373 which makes it possibly one of the oldest pubs on the Island! 01983 407359.
Then there’s the Wax Works Cafe, a great place for morning coffee or an afternoon cup of tea! Outside you will find a beautiful courtyard where the old well has been cleverly adapted and has a table built around it.
And lastly, don’t forget to try Brother’s Fish & Chips again in the High St. Beautiful chunky firm fleshed pure white cod with a lovely crispy batter accompanied by proper chip shop chunky chips, an absolute winner. Be prepared to wait at busy times as all fish is cooked to order.
If you think that Brading is the town for your visit why not stay in one of these properties on the East of the island?
Longtail – http://vipcottages.com/details/?id=414082 This well-appointed bungalow has everything for a perfect stay and far reaching, wonderful countryside views.
Florence – http://vipcottages.com/details/?id=490882 Just a short drive from Brading is Florence situated in the heart of Bembridge.
Heath Villa – http://vipcottages.com/details/?id=415734 Situated in Lake, Heath Villa is a comfortable modern family home close to the beach.
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By Abigail Rivers