The Union Inn in the glamorous sailing resort of Cowes is all oak beams and roaring fire, and if you’re after a traditional place for a drink then pop it on your ‘to visit’ list. The inn is an easy stroll from the marina so it’s a great place to sit and take the weight off your feet during the activity of Cowes Week, and if you time your visit during the winter you’ll be able to take advantage of the open fire and enjoy banter with the locals.
It may be welcoming and friendly these days, but The Union Inn was once popular with smugglers – and it still has the tales to prove it. Legend has it that there used to be a light on the tower above the pub that was used to guide fishing boats safely back from the sea.
On one occasion, the wife of the tower-keeper forgot to light it and her husband and a handful of other fishermen lost their lives in a storm. It’s said that her ghost can sometimes be seen walking up to the light to make sure the lamp’s burning...but you’ll have to decide for yourself if there’s any truth in the story.