It’s no surprise that Osborne House was Queen Victoria’s favourite retreat. Set in magnificent grounds overlooking the Solent, this beautiful stately home promises a fantastic day out. Trace the footsteps of one of Britain’s most popular monarchs as you wander through the Italianate terrace gardens, and marvel at the sumptuous interiors and furnishings. The grounds contain a play area for children, as well as a summerhouse, museum, miniature fort and barracks. Visit Swiss Cottage, the place where the royal children were educated and discover the wild flower meadow where you can spot rare red squirrels. Take a horse and carriage trip or sit back and enjoy the terrace restaurant with its stunning garden and sea views.
Queen Victoria's Beach
Explore Queen Victoria's private beach, now open to the public for the first time. "We have quite a charming beach to ourselves," Victoria wrote in 1845 and it was here that the Queen regularly bathed and where her children learned to swim.
The beach is a pleasant 20 minute stroll from the house down the Valley Path - stout footwear is recommended in the winter. Enjoy views across the Solent from Queen Victoria's alcove, and spot seabirds from the shore.
At Swiss Cottage, English Heritage is embarking on an exciting project to reveal the inside story of life as a Victorian royal child. Thanks to funding from donors including the Heritage Lottery Fund; vivid new displays, a garden trail and a new play area will enable families to experience for themselves how the children of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert played and learnt in this unique and special place. This does however mean that the Swiss Cottage and Swiss Cottage Museum will be closed until Spring 2014.
Osborne Beach House recently opened to the public, see the video of one of Queen Victoria's most loved retreats: