Osborne House

Activity code: OSH

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Highlights

  • Visit the holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
  • Discover the original contents of the 19th century residence
  • Admire the Italian style of the house and gardens
  • See the magnificent Durbar Room inspired by the Queen’s love for India

Description

Referred to as ‘a little paradise’ by Queen Victoria, Osborne House was a summer retreat for the Queen, Prince Albert and their children for over 50 years. Looking to escape the pressures of London, the house was built in an Italian style with a pair of towers and terraces connected by stairs since the surrounding environment reminded Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples. 

Osborne House gives a marvellous yet intimate insight into the lives of the royal couple and their children. Much of the original contents of this 19th century royal residence are intact and showcase the tastes and interests of the Queen and Prince Albert. See birthday and Christmas gifts the couple gave one another, explore the private family bedrooms, and admire the opulent Royal Apartments. 

As the Empress of India, Queen Victoria commissioned a new wing featuring the Durbar Room. Inspired by the architectural styles of northern India, the spectacular dining room showcasing a peacock chimneypiece and ornately crafted gifts sent over for the Queen’s Jubilee was the venue for European royalty dinners. The Queen also appointed Indian servants and learnt Hindi. 

Venture out into the magnificent gardens to see the best surviving example of Prince Albert’s taste as a designer. The colour of the terraces and bedding schemes were all chosen by the Prince to accentuate the Italian style of the Renaissance featured in the rest of the house. As you explore the lower terrace, you’ll see the Andromeda fountain and restored Shell Alcove, decorated with thousands of individual shells from Osborne’s beach. 

Tucked behind the trees lies Swiss Cottage ¬— a private space built by Prince Albert for the nine young children. Inside, the royal children learned about the world around them by baking cakes, preparing luncheons for their parents, housekeeping and running a toy grocer’s. They also each had their own plot in the garden where they grew fruits, vegetables and flowers using miniature tools.

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Additional Information

What's Included in the tour


  • Entry ticket

What's Excluded in the tour


  • Food and drink
  • Transport to and from location
Please Note:
  • Last entry to Osborne House is 1 hour prior to closing.
  • Tickets cannot be cancelled but may be amended 72 hours prior to entry.
  • This tour is disabled friendly. 
Schedule

Location: Osborne House, East Cowes, Isle of Wight PO32 6JX

Opening Times:
July to August 2022: Daily 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sept to October 2022: Daily 10:00am to 5:00pm

November to December 2022: Wednesday to Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm
Additional dates: 26 and 27 of December

January to 12 of Feb 2023: Saturday & Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm

13 Feb to 31 of March 23: Wednesday to Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm
Additional dates: 13 and 14 of Feb

Last admission 1 hour before closing.

Planned closures

  • 31 of October to 6 of November 2022.
  • 24 to 25 of December
  • 1 January

Please note:

  • From the 7 of November 2022 until the 1 of April 2023: The top two floors of the house and Swiss Cottage will be closed over the winter period for important conservation works. The ground floor of the house and the grounds will be open as usual.