Experience Isle Of Wight's Railways And Osborne House
Osborne House & Cowes (full day)
We have the chance to explore Queen Victoria’s one-time residence on the island, Osborne House. Built as a holiday home and rural retreat in the late 1840s, the Italianate palace reflects Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s tastes and passions, and boasts spectacular views across the Solent. It is no wonder that Victoria herself once said, ‘it’s impossible to imagine a prettier spot.’ Here we take an intimate glimpse of royal family life as we wander through the magnificent Royal Apartments as well as the walled gardens and grounds where we find the charming Swiss Cottage, used by the royal children to learn household management.
We then head to Cowes, a vibrant and sophisticated resort home to the world-famous regatta that swells the local population each August. Enjoy a stroll along the seafront, browse the boutique shops, or admire many of the town’s ornate buildings which date from Queen Victoria’s time, in the style popularised by Prince Albert.
Isle of Wight Steam Railway & Ryde (full day)
We journey back to a bygone era as we board the award-winning Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Havenstreet. Sit back and relax in beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages as we enjoy the rolling views of the glorious Isle of Wight countryside. We pass through quaint rural stations, quiet hamlets and ancient woodland on our journey to the seaside resort of Ryde.
Afterwards we spend some time at leisure in Ryde with its long stretch of golden sand, pretty esplanade, marina and beautiful gardens. Take a stroll along the famous 19th-century pier, the oldest in England, or admire the many boats moored in the town’s busy harbour.
Island Highlights Tour – £12pp (full day)
Our fantastic optional Island Highlights tour takes in this unique island’s many famous sights. After Ventnor, a pretty resort built on a series of terraces, we make for Alum Bay. Here we can admire the multi-coloured cliffs and famous chalky outcrop The Needles. Next is the historic port town of Yarmouth which contains some of the oldest architecture on the island including a 16th-century castle. We continue on to Newport, regarded as the capital of the Isle of Wight, with a historic quayside and selection of specialty shops. We return to the hotel via the pretty inland village of Godshill with its charming thatched-roofed cottages, delightful medieval church, tearooms and gift shops.