The countryside retreat of Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight
Well we got our money’s worth from our English Heritage cards this year! Otherwise adults are £10 and children £5 – there is a family ticket option, but I can’t remember how much that was – sorry! It’s a big house, with lots of rooms open, so I didn’t think the price was too bad really.
Although I didn’t personally like the style of the house (too modern for me and looked too much like a tacky coastal hotel from the outside!), I very much enjoyed looking around it. There’s a certain added excitement from the royal element – the very fact that Queen Victoria herself lived there for much of her time and we were walking the same corridors as her, made it feel that extra bit special from other stately homes. There were photos of her and her family in the house and quotes from her journal about the house displayed, so you really got a sense of her as a mother and grandmother enjoying herself there.
When you walked through Queen Victoria’s bathroom you felt quite privileged to see it, and then you go into the actual bedroom where she died with her family at her side and the bed is the same, with the carvings commissioned by her family, and the bed covers were actually hers; it felt quite earie.
The other thing that made a difference; when you go to National Trust and English Heritage houses, you know that half the items displayed were brought in from elsewhere to make the place look authentic, but here you knew that the paintings on the wall and the rows of statues and sculptures were commissioned by Victoria or Albert and it just felt more personal.
We also took the pony ride from the entrance lobby to the house – 50p each. Not a waste of money because the kids absolutely loved it; but the house really is only a couple of minutes walk away!