Take the chance to walk in Queen Victoria’s footsteps by taking Victoria’s Island Trail.
The famous Queen, and her husband Prince Albert, were hugely fond of the Isle of Wight and visited regularly. Osborne, in East Cowes, became their holiday home – a place for the royal family to relax and a base from which to visit the myriad attractions and beauty spots across the Island.
And now you can do the same. Victoria’s Island Trail includes a series of both lesser-known retreats and famous locations across the whole of the Isle of Wight, including the church Princess Beatrice married in, the Queen’s favourite Island viewpoint, and the yacht club created just for her.
Use the interactive map to plan your journey and see our list below for more details about each landmark.
Get a unique insight into the lives of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their nine children at Osborne House, their cherished holiday home.
You’ll be able to visit their once-private beach, explore the Swiss Cottage built exclusively for their children and walk amongst the stunning grounds, steeped in regal history.
Situated closely to Osborne, St Mildred’s Church was the place of worship for the royal family when visiting the Island. Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, got married at the church and is also buried in its grounds.
To further its intrinsic links to the monarchy, St Mildred’s was also redesigned by Prince Albert.
Previously the Ventnor Hotel, The Royal gained its regal name after Queen Victoria visited and personally endorsed it for afternoon tea in 1855.
Its doors are open for guests, so why not pay a visit and sample their tea?
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert rebuilt Newport Minster as they believed it wasn’t in a suitable state to house the remains of Charles I’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth. Prince Albert laid the foundation for the new church in 1854.
Sculptor Carlo Marochetti was commissioned by Queen Victoria to create a memorial to Princess Elizabeth for the chapel, presented in 1857.
Found between Cowes and Gurnard, Egypt Point was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite vantage points, with views across the Solent.
It’s the perfect place to catch glorious sunsets.
The Prince Consort Building was previously known as the Royal Victoria Yacht Club – a place built specifically for the Queen. It is now private residence.
The beautiful botanic garden, home to an array of specimens from the Victorian era, was once the grounds for the Royal National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest.
Queen Victoria was presented with the Chusan Palm Trachycarpus fortune, the oldest palms in Britain, and she decided that they should be planted in the grounds of the hospital. They remain there today.
The manor house was part of a huge estate owned by the Ward family. It played host to a swathe of Victorian high society balls and parties, many of which the royal family would attend.
Guglielmo Marconi famously sent the first ever wireless transmission from The Needles and in August 1898, after being summoned to Osborne House, Marconi was able to establish radio communication between Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales, on board the Royal Yacht.
There is a Marconi Monument at The Needles to celebrate his achievements while you can also enjoy a range of delicious refreshments, including beers, at Marconi’s Licensed Tea Room.
A young Princess Victoria paid a visit to Shanklin Chine with her mother in 1833 and continued to return long afterwards. On 10 August 1846, she brought King Leopold and Queen Louise of Belgium with her, alongside Prince Albert.
Farringford was the main base for a group of Freshwater-based writers, artists and intellectuals, including Lord Tennyson, himself a regular guest at Osborne. Prince Albert visited in 1856 and left with a handful of cowslips to take back for Queen Victoria.
Light on time but still want walk the same paths as Queen Victoria? It’s easy to explore the best of the Isle of Wight in just one day and it’s even easier with our sample Island Trail itinerary.
Morning – Get your Wightlink ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne, then head to Osborne, the holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Take in the stunning scenery and walk in regal footsteps.
Lunch – Travel southwards to Newport and explore Newport Minster. Eat at one of the many popular restaurants or traditional pubs in the area, such as the Blacksmith’s Arms or the Bargeman’s Rest.
Afternoon and evening – Stop by at the Royal Hotel and maybe even sample some tea before heading onto Ventnor Botanic Garden. Squeeze in a trip to Shanklin, perhaps exploring Shanklin Chine, and have dinner by the sea.
Drive back up to Fishbourne for your return ferry.
Make a night of it and stay over on the Island. Explore our list of accommodation partners to find a place to stay.
Day one – Cross the Solent with Wightlink and explore Carisbrooke Castle, only a short drive from our Fishbourne terminal. While there, take in the museum of local history, before heading down to Blackgang Chine where there is plenty to do and see.
Tour Shanklin Chine in the late afternoon and eat dinner by the seaside to round off your first day.
Day two – Head straight to Osborne and spend the morning touring one of Queen Victoria’s favourite retreats. Have lunch nearby at the Lifeboat, right next to the River Medina.
Make Cowes your base for the day and go to St Mildred’s Church before taking in the stunning views of the Solent at Egypt Point. It’s a short trip back to Fishbourne where you can hop on your Wightlink ferry to return home.
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