Things to See and Do

Queen Victoria's Private Beach

The beach at Osborne was a place of great fun and relaxation for the royal family. Nestled away on one of the islands many secluded bays, this sandy haven was the scene of many royal family days spent in the sun. Today, you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this special place with your family on your visit to Osborne.

A family takes a dip in the sea at Osborne.

Explore the Beach

Take a wander from the ornate terraces, down the avenue so beloved by Victoria and Albert. After passing the Swiss Cottage and museum, continue through the glorious woodland walk, and you'll find yourself at Osborne's picturesque beach. 

The beach is a wonderful place to relax on sun loungers and top up your tan, or to go for a paddle in the crystal clear waters of the solent. Enjoy a delicious ice cream, and soak up views of Portsmouth across the water. Kids will love building sandcastles in the perfect sand by the water, and there are traditional games like quoits and skittles to enjoy too.

Queen Victoria's Bathing machine

Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine

Prince Albert was a great believer in the health giving benefits of the sea, and this was significant in his choice of Osborne as a family home. Victoria herself partook of sea bathing for the very first time at Osborne. To protect the Queen's modesty, a special bathing machine was constructed from which her majesty could change without being observed.

This remarkable contraption was lowered into the sea on stone rails, the remains of which can still be seen today. The machine itself has been lovingly restored, and is now on display at the beach for visitors to explore.

Visitors relax at the Beach Café

The Beach Café

Indulge in an ice-cream on Queen Victoria’s private beach. Our parlour serves the Isle's famous Minghella Ice-Cream, and is the perfect place to soak up the sun with a sorbet or kick back with a Knickerbocker Glory. We also stock fair trade teas, locally roasted coffee, and cakes baked right here on the Island.

Toilets and changing rooms are available for you to use before you take a dip. The beach café is open daily during both the summer season and winter months — although if you visit during the latter, warming homemade soup might be more tempting than an ice cream.

Sovereign's Gate

Stay at Osborne

Why not make Osborne your home away from home on your visit to the Isle of Wight? Three holiday cottages are available on the Osborne estate. Number 1 and Number 2 Sovereign's gate were commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to stand at the formal entrance to Osborne, still used by visiting members of the royal family to this day. The Pavilion cottage is delightfully situated in the grounds of Osborne and makes for the perfect family stay.

Guests can enjoy the vast estate and garden to themselves during their stay. If staying in our cottages, you can also access the beach at all times, including outside of when we're open to the general public.

Plan your Stay