Osborne House, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, Hampshire
A visit to Osborne House is an absolute must if you’re in this neck of the woods on your Sleeps 12 large group holiday. This beautiful Italianette style palace near Cowes on the Isle of Wight was built for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to use as a holiday home, and if you visit you’ll love it so much you’ll want to go back again and again and again. It makes a fantastic day out for families, friends and corporate groups as there’s a lot to see and do.
Inside Osborne House you can see the opulent state rooms where the Royals entertained, and the family rooms that give you a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Victoria and Albert and their nine children. The grounds are vast and a delight to explore, with a walled garden, formal terraces, and a woodland walk where if you’re very lucky, you might see red squirrels. Follow the Rhododendron Walk down to Victoria and Albert’s private beach and see the bathing machine where they got changed for a splash in the sea. Also in the grounds, tucked away in the woods, is the Swiss Cottage where the Royal children played at being grown-ups; now it has it’s own museum and gardens with an adventure trail, a play area, and even a cake shop.
Take your time and enjoy it all; the spectacular views across the Solent, and the immense parkland. If you come over all peckish you’ve got quite a choice – the Terrace Restaurant & Orangery, the café in the Petty Officer’s Quarters, and the Beach Pavilion Ice Cream Parlour.
The gardens and grounds are open daily from 10.00am-5.00pm; opening times for the house and Swiss Cottage vary throughout the year so it’s best to check the website before planning to go.
T: 0370 333 1181 (English Heritage) or 01983 200022 (Isle of Wight & Cowes TIC)
All information correct at the time of writing