Have you been watching the TV series Victoria?
I have to admit that it has completely drawn me in to the history of the Victorian era and I have been busy looking up facts about the infamous British monarch and her family.
When I found out we were visiting the Isle of Wight, there was one place on my wishlist to visit – Osborne House.
We left Blackgang Chine to sunshine starting to poke through the clouds, but sadly across the other side of the island where Osborne House is, the clouds stubbornly refused to budge.
The house was still stunning, despite the gloom and I can see why Queen Victoria said of Osborne “It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot“.
We arrived at the same time as a wedding party, so explored the gardens first, keeping out of their way.
From the garden terraces the views stretch all the way down to the Solent and across the water and on a clear day you can visibly see the New Forest and the Spinakker Tower in Portsmouth.
Sadly the path down to the water was closed for maintenance, so we headed back around the corner in search of the house entrance.
Once we had found the entrance, which is quite hidden, we were ushered inside and the kids given special passports to complete.
I love to read all the information provided on visits to stately homes, but the kids often find it boring and want to move on quickly. Having these passports, which contained questions for them to find the answers to and activities to try, really helped keep them in one place and interested.
Not only were we treated to seeing magnificent state rooms, but we also got to see some of the family rooms too.
What really struck me, was how proud Queen Victoria was of her children. Where we have dozens of photo’s adorning our walls, she was very similar and had paintings and statues of the children all around the house.
The kids found the nursery lots of fun to look at as they had to try and spot the toys inside it, with some trick modern questions to throw them off.
The one thing you really notice when walking around the house, is just how huge it is and beware, there are lots of stairs to climb. Eliza and I had great fun imagining ourselves gliding down the stairs in magnificent ball gowns on the main staircase.
Although there was a lot of english artwork around the house, Queen Victoria was also Empress of India and she had a whole wing dedicated to Indian artwork and our final room was the Durbar Room which was laid out ready for a banquet.
It was here the kids found the final clues to their passport questions to solve the puzzle and find the queen’s gloves.
Sadly, as we arrived quite late in the day, we didn’t have time to head down to see the Queen’s beach or the Swiss Cottage, but we will definitely be back on a brighter, and hopefully, warmer day.
Have you visited Osborne House?
We are English Heritage members which gives us unlimited access to over 400 historic places for a whole year and find it a great way of saving money on days out. Find out more about membership here.