A royal weekend




With just over two weeks until the release of the new Victoria and Abdul film, it’s time to get into the Victorian mood. This Autumn is a great time to visit the Island, because Visit IOW has put together an Explore ‘Victoria’s Island’ Trail so you can journey across the Isle of Wight exploring significant locations connected to Queen Victoria.

The film, of which many scenes were shot at Osborne, is directed by Stephen Frears and stars Dame Judi Dench and renowned Bollywood star Ali Fazal. It documents the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s remarkable rule between herself and a young Indian clerk who had travelled from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Queen Victoria and husband Prince Albert loved the Isle of Wight and chose it as the place to create their much-loved family seaside palace, Osborne. Whilst in residence there, they enjoyed excursions across the Isle of Wight, and the new ‘Victoria’s Island’ Trail highlights some of the places that Queen Victoria was connected to. From buildings and spots that she loved such as St Mildred’s Church in Whippingham and Egypt Point, to some locations lesser known for royal connections such as Newport Minster and Blackgang Chine, in total there are 13 locations featured, from all corners of the Isle of Wight.

Of course, the highlight of the trail is Osborne, Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home. A visit of the Queen’s apartments, bathing beach, the Swiss Cottage and a stroll through the garden terraces can take up most of a day. Make sure you visit the Indian inspired Durbar Room, which until the end of September, houses some of the costumes worn by Dame Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard and Ali Fazal in the film.

Firefly House in Cowes makes the ideal base from which to explore Victoria’s Island Trail and you have several options of transport available.

Guests who stay at Firefly House this Autumn will be presented with discount vouchers enabling 20% off adult, child and senior day tickets to Osborne (valid for Friday, Saturday and Sunday only until 31 October 2017).

Visit the bookings page to link to our booking site to find availability this Autumn. If for some reason you can't find your ideal days, do email/text/call us to see if your short break is available.

  • bring a car and explore the Island (2 parking spaces available at Firefly House)

  • come by passenger Red Jet and explore the island by bus (bus stop opposite Firefly House takes you to Newport which connects to all bus routes on the Island, £15 per adult for 48 hours)

  • bring your bicycle, or hire a bicycle and it’s possible to get to most parts of the island on a short break

  • come by passenger Red Jet and just see the highlights which are walking distance, these include a day spent at Osborne in East Cowes, and some time exploring Cowes by foot taking in Egypt Point and Northwood House which feature on the Trail. It’s also possible to talk to St Mildred’s Church from Osborne, and to Newport Minster via the cycle path from Cowes into Newport – although probably not all in the same day!)

For a full list of places to visit, the interactive or PDF version of Victoria’s Island Trail, see Visit IOW’s website:

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/victorias-island-trail

For details of transport around the island, see Visit IOW's website:

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/travel/getting-around



#Osborne #Cowes