Things to See and Do

Things to See and Do

Welcome to Osborne

We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. To book your visit, click here.

Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.

Please click here for more information about the safety measures you can expect when visiting as well as our FAQs

  • Gardens and Grounds - The wide acres of the Osborne estate, including the beach, woodland walk and terraces will be fully open for you to enjoy.
  • Mini bus service - We are operating a limited mini bus service between the house and Queen Victoria’s Beach. As the service is running at reduced capacity, we kindly ask that visitors who are able to explore the site without making use of this service do so. Please speak to a member of staff for more information.
  • House - The ground floor of the House will be open with social distancing measures in place. The Grand corridor, State Rooms and Durbar Wing will be open as usual with a one-way system in place but some areas including the Exhibition Room, Council Room Corridor and Table Deckers will be closed to ensure social distancing.
  • Swiss Cottage and Museum - The Swiss Cottage and Museum remain closed.
  • Café - The Beach Café will be open for takeaway service offering snacks and refreshments. The Orangery is open for hot and cold drinks, beer and wine and takeaway cakes, hot sausage rolls and pasties. The Gazelle house cake stop adjacent to Swiss Cottage is also open for takeaway drinks and snacks.
  • Playgrounds - The play area located near Swiss Cottage is open.
  • Shop - Osborne’s shop will be open with a one way system in place.
  • Toilets - Toilet facilities will be available in the gardens. Additional hand sanitising stations will be available in various locations.
  • Face coverings - Face coverings must be worn in Osborne's indoor shop, café, tea room and all other indoor spaces. We won’t be able to give you a face covering, so please come prepared so you don’t miss out.
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Sofa in Queen Victoria's state rooms, Osborne

State Rooms

Step into the sumptuous state rooms of Queen Victoria at Osborne, where the Queen of England entertained her important guests. 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. Explore some of the highlights from the collection at Osborne.

A bed and sofa in the family rooms at Osborne

Family Rooms

Peek into the private world of Victoria and Albert and their nine children, in the nursery and family rooms at Osborne.

Visit the queen's sitting room and see the balcony where Victoria and Albert used to listen to nightingales on a summer's evening. See the queen's personal bath tub in the dressing room, and, next door, the bedroom where she died, on 22 January 1901.

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.

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.

Play where the royal children played at Swiss Cottage, 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 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 herbaceous borders at Osborne, Isle of Wight

Garden and Grounds

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

The ornate terrace gardens, renovated in 2016–17 as part of a major conservation project, are a riot of tulips in spring. The mild Mediterranean climate allows stunning bedding displays in summer. Wander 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 at Swiss Cottage, Osborne House

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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