The double dip recession may have made foreign holidays unfeasible for some families in Lancashire, but there’s one private beach where they can still get a tan – at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
Once the summer residence of Queen Victoria and her family, now a stately home crammed with antique cabinets and Victorian dining chairs , Lancashire people now have even more reason to visit Osborne House. Not only do English Heritage members get free entry to the house and grounds; from Friday 27th July, they can also laze on the same golden sands once reserved for the British Royal Family.
“Drove down to the beach with my maids and went into the bathing machine…”
So mused Queen Victoria in her 1847 journal and today, visitors can once more see the antique vehicle on Osborne Bay. It was returned to its original spot by English Heritage, recreating the pleasures once enjoyed by the Queen and her family. The café pavilion dates from the time Osborne was used as a convalescent home, but the pretty tiled exedra where Victoria used to sketch and write her journals is exactly as it was then.
With traditional Victorian beach games and entertainment, including a Royal Punch and Judy show, Osborne is perfect for a summer break with the children. If the skies should open, the treasures of the royal palace are within easy distance and include a playroom furnished with Victorian toys, and the Queen’s dressing room complete with its original Victorian oak pedestal desk . In Lancashire, you’ll find antique desks of equal quality by visiting a good antique dealer.
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