Friday, June 14, 2019

Day 3 Osborne House and Cowes

My first visit to Osborne was nearly 30 years ago.  As this is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, I thought it would be an excellent time to make another visit to the Isle of Wight.

When I last visited, Osborne House's upstairs rooms were still used as a convalescent home.   Now, the rooms have been restored to reflect the children's nursery.

As I was staying in Battersea, I took the bus to Clapham Junction train station, used my Oyster card to take a train to Waterloo, where I purchased a day return to Cowes via Southampton.  The £61.00 price included the train to and from Southampton, the Shuttle bus to the Red Jet Ferry and the Red Jet Ferry, which is a quick trip across the Solent to West Cowes.  To get to Osborne House,  one needs to walk to the Floating Bridge for the quick ride to East Cowes.  The cost is £1.50 each way.  The credit card machine was not working so I got a free ride going over ... and coming back, having walked down York Avenue with a nice young man,  I did not pay again, as the young man offered to pay my way, as he enjoyed our conversation.

There are buses that go to Osborne in East Cowes.  It is a LONG walk up York Avenue.    A long walk.  Uphill.  It was a nice day so I walked it.  Glad I did as I spotted a new memorial to Grand Duchess Elizabeth (sister of Empress Alexandra) at a local school,  trespassed onto the lawn of Kent House (once the home of Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg (the Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven), Powys House and Albert Cottage, the latter of which is now a hotel.

After getting my ticket (Concessions) I sat down for lunch as I was hungry.  You can take pictures in the house but without flash.   Thankful for the chairs in the Dining Room where one can sit down and appreciate all of the portraits.  That would be me ... the school kids were not as interested.

The gardeners were hard at work while I was there.   Scaffolding too, as English Heritage is doing repair work.  Rather clever covering for the scaffolding.

I took the shuttle to Swiss Cottage, which was followed by a walk to the Beach using the Rhododendron Walk - full blooms.  I wanted to wade into the water, but the tide was out.  After a tasty ice cream cone, it was time to catch the shuttle back to the shop to do a bit of retail therapy followed by a cup of tea.  I bought a nice Osborne House carry bag (came in handy for the rest of the trip), guide book, postcards, fridge magnet, Christmas ornament and a cute egg cup that says "Your Ladyship."

Closing time -- and that walk DOWN York Avenue.  I stopped in at the Albert Cottage, took a few pictures, walked inside, asked if I could take pics from the other side, having explained what I do .. so I was shown the door to the garden.  Said thank you and headed toward the Floating Bridge ... had a lovely chat with the young man who lives locally and was going home from his job -- he works in aviation technology.

I asked for a recommendation for a local pub to have dinner.  He said the Fountain Inn and that is where I ate dinner ... Fish and Chips.   The pub's back door leads right to the Red Jet Ferry.

One last thing to do in Southampton: find the memorial to the Pilgrims as the Founding Fathers set sail from Southampton for the New World in 1620.   The Memorial is about a five-minute walk from the ferry ... and it is across from Mayflower Park.   The park was named for the Mayflower, the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock.

I took a few pictures and made it back to the harbor to catch the next shuttle to the train station to catch the next train back to London.

I did  not have a chance to make it to St. Mildred's Church, Whippingham,  which was a bit of a hike from Osborne House.

Take your time to scroll.

views from inside the Red Jet as we approach Cowes

Earl of Medina is the secondary title for the Marquessate of Milford Haven


Approaching East Cowes - the Floating Bridge takes just a few minutes.

The memorial at a local school on York Avenue

Kent House - once the home of Louis and Victoria Milford Haven.  Victoria was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Kent House needs some work

Powys House

Albert Cottage

Albert Cottage

Noticed these in the sidewalk  on York Avenue

dining room

Grand Duke George is not a descendant of Alice.  GRRRRRR

The room where Victoria died on Jan 22, 1901

the Durbar room

creative scaffolding


John Brown

Swiss Cottage

Tide too low to wade into 

Victoria's bathing machine

Norris Castle.  There are plans to rebuild as a posh hotel and spa

heading down York Avenue

Albert Cottage  now a hotel

Albert Cottage was once the home of Princess Beatrice

great dinner here 

Pilgrim Memorial Southampton 


Mayflower Park - the view of the Solent


Bill said...

Great photos, very interesting to see. Enjoyed the photos of Kent House & Albert cottage never saw photos of them before. Unusual statue of Prince Albert with bare legs. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara said...

Thank you so much for letting us accompany you on your travels. You make an excellent guide!

Hilde Horvath said...

Thank you for your post and photos. They are delightful. Back in the 90s I took my daughter and niece to England; one day we took a train and hovercraft to Wight, and then a bus to Osborne House. At that time, no photography was allowed and there were guards in each room to make sure we obeyed that law (although I did try to sneak a photo and failed). It was a "don't touch, don't photo" experience, even outside in the children's Swiss Cottage. However, overall, the visit was worth all of the aggravation. The Swiss Cottage and the children's garden beds, etc. were delightful, and the island itself is pleasant.