Osborne House is one of the Isle of Wight’s most treasured gems. Visitors will get a unique glimpse into the lives of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their nine children. Enjoy the royal family’s once-private beach, see the charming Swiss Cottage playhouse (built for the royal kids), and wander through the terraced gardens and beautifully landscaped grounds.
Queen Victoria adored the Isle of Wight. Both she and her children spent as much time as they could here – indeed, the Victorian royal family were instrumental in popularising the sport of yachting, due to the time they spent on the Island. Victoria even had her own yacht club built especially for her!
The grand and palatial Osborne House was built between 1845 and 1851. Because of where Osborne House is on the Isle of Wight, it provides some of the most charming views over the Island. On her first visit to the site, Queen Victoria wrote “it is impossible to imagine a prettier spot”.
Due to the beauty of the house and Victoria’s great love for the Isle of Wight, Osborne remained one of Victoria’s favourite royal residences throughout her life. It was here that she ultimately died, in 1901.
Today, Osborne House preserves much of the Victorian elegance and splendour of its heyday. Visitors can marvel at the opulence of Queen Victoria’s rooms, including the beautiful Durbar Room, filled with Indian décor gifted to Victoria by her Empire. Even the Queen’s private apartments can be viewed by the public, including her bedroom, her children’s nursery, and the royal bathroom.
The grounds are a marvel of Victorian taste and horticultural expertise. They are beautiful in their own right but also enhance the absolutely stunning views over the Solent. Horticulturalists visiting the Isle of Wight will love Osborne House’s charming walled garden, and Victorian hothouses containing many exotic plants.
Visitors can refresh themselves in the restaurant or café, which serve a variety of mouthwatering meals and snacks.
Children visiting Osborne House will not be bored – visit the Swiss Cottage play area inspired by the royal children’s toy fort or recreate a Victorian beach holiday and build a sandcastle on Victoria’s private beach!
Osborne is open daily from April to November from 10am. Opening times out of season vary so please check the website for full details. The house can get busy, so to make the most of your visit, we recommend planning to visit the house in the afternoon where possible.
Wightlink offers the fastest service running between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. We can whisk you across the Solent in under 22 minutes! Once on the Isle of Wight Osborne House has plenty of regular transport links, and, if you need accommodation, there are plenty of hotels near Osborne House. The Isle of Wight has few more beautiful, historic, and enjoyable attractions – book your ferry today, for your very own royal experience!
Host your event at this former seaside retreat. Osborne can be hired for weddings, as well as as a corporate or party venue. You can find out more here.