York Avenue East Cowes PO32 6JX 0870 333 1181
The island’s showpiece stately home, built in the 1840s by the eminent architect Thomas Cubitt, was conceived by Prince Albert as a holiday home for Queen Victoria and the royal family. After Albert’s death, it was to Osborne House that the queen increasingly withdrew, and where she eventually died. It’s a glorious pile, modelled on an Italianate design, with added flourishes like the Durbar Room, a nod to the British Raj. Formal reception rooms on the ground floor, including the elaborate, colonnaded Billiard Room, contrast strikingly with the relatively modest bedrooms and living rooms upstairs. Don’t miss the Swiss Cottage – a giant playhouse with child-sized furniture and kitchen – or the restored Victorian walled garden.
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