Things to see and do

 
Gold-fabric sofa in the staterooms at Osborne

State and Family Rooms

Step inside Osborne, with its sumptuous state and family rooms in which the Queen of England entertained important guests and enjoyed a private life with Albert and their nine children. Osborne was built specifically for Victoria and Albert, and its architecture and furnishings reflect their passions, taste and style.

You can feel a real sense of history here. Heads of state, inventors, princes and princesses, all walked these opulent corridors, when Osborne was at the centre of a vast British Empire. Prince Albert's private suite was kept as it was in his lifetime, by Queen Victoria, and many of the things he used at Osborne still lie where he left them. Explore some of the highlights from the collection at Osborne.

Costumes from the film Victoria and Abdul on display at the Durbar room.

Victoria & Abdul

Osborne’s authentic historic setting it an excellent location for filming period pieces, and the house will feature in the upcoming feature film Victoria and Abdul, released in cinemas in September. Starring Judi Dench, the film tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim.

Costumes from the film are currently on display in the lavishly appointed Durbar room. The costumes were designed by Oscar nominated costume designer Consolata Boyle, and include formal and informal attire worn by Judi Dench such as the exquisite black silk gown with gold front piece Victoria wears while waiting for Abdul's return to Osborne.

Visitors can see the costumes at Osborne until 30 September.

Beautiful sunny and empty beach at Osborne

Queen Victoria's Beach

"We have quite a charming beach to ourselves," Victoria wrote in 1845, and it was here at Osborne beach that the Queen regularly bathed and her children learned to swim.

Enjoy the magnificent views out to sea from Queen Victoria's alcove, and pop inside her bathing machine to see where she got undressed.

Why not take to the water yourself and paddle or swim from the sandy and shingle beach? Then relax with a mouth-watering ice cream or steamy fresh coffee from the café.

Swiss Cottage at Osborne.

Swiss Cottage

Explore the world of the Victorian royal children at Swiss Cottage, thanks to the generous funding of several donors including the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Discover the interests and personalities of each of the nine princes and princesses in the 'Childhood at Osborne' exhibition. Play where the royal children played, and step back in time to 1861 as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert join their offspring for afternoon tea.

See fascinating objects from around the world in the museum; wander in between the royal children's vegetable plots; and enjoy a wildlife trail on your way to the beach.

Beautiful colourful borders at Osborne, Isle of Wight

Garden and Grounds

Complementing the magnificent Italianate 'royal palace by the sea', are stunning gardens and grounds filled with breathtaking views. A place to relax and discover seasonal colour throughout the year.

The ornate terrace gardens, newly renovated for 2017 after a major conservation effort, are a riot of tulips in spring, reflecting the height of Victorian fashion, and the mild Mediterranean climate allows stunning bedding displays in summer.

Don't forget to wander around the Victorian walled garden with its espaliered fruit trees, and explore the wider parkland with its historic trees, many planted by Prince Albert.

Victoria Sandwich

Food and Drink

Dine like a queen in our elegant Terrace Restaurant and Orangery, or enjoy soup and snacks at our café in the Petty Officers' Quarters, next door to the gift shop.

Busy playing and exploring? Then grab a sandwich or home-made cake at the Gazelle House cake shop at Swiss Cottage, or stroll to the sea to savour a mouth-watering ice cream or fresh frothy coffee at the Beach Pavilion Ice-Cream Parlour.

Explore where you can eat and drink at Osborne.

Playground at Osborne

Playgrounds and Trails

There are two exciting playgrounds to discover at Osborne. You and your little ones can run and jump and climb to your heart’s content after exploring how the royal family lived at Osborne.

The first playground is by the visitor centre and car park, for the start or end of your visit. The second is by Swiss Cottage where there are many family activities to enjoy.

From Swiss Cottage you can follow the garden adventure trail to discover the royal Chihuahua. Or take the Rhododendron Walk down to the beach and spot the carved woodland creatures on your way

Two girls with magnifying glasses looking at the collections in the museum at Swiss Cottage

Royal Collection

Many of the great paintings in the state rooms, and Queen Victoria's belongings in the family rooms, are still owned by the Royal family and are looked after on their behalf by the Royal Collection Trust.  You can see more fascinating objects from the Royal Collection from around the world in the museum in the gardens at the Swiss Cottage.

The royal children were avid collectors. They quickly filled up a room in the cottage with natural history specimens, fossils and antiquities, so a new separate museum, also in the Swiss-chalet style, was built nearby. 

The museum still remains with its contents of thousands of objects, including the first transatlantic telegraph message and a 5-legged deer.

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