Sunday, 13 May 2012

Our last day on the Isle of Wight

We had enjoyed a really wonderful stay on the Isle of Wight and our last day was no exception. One of the places I really wanted to visit was Osborne House - Queen Victoria's holiday retreat. I was not disappointed. The tour of the house was brilliant - unfortunately you couldn't take photos, but we spent well over an hour in the house looking at rooms as they were when Queen Victoria was there and also seeing paintings she had done. She was a very good artist. The guides in each room were very friendly and informative and we had a good chat with quite a few of them, finding out more information.
 Osborne House as we approached it

When we had finished in the house we had the gardens to explore and the Swiss Chalet, which was built for the Queen's children to learn how to keep house in. We enjoyed the gardens enormously - the flowers were such a beautiful show.
 Penny enjoying the flowers

The walk to the Swiss Chalet was flat and leisurely. Once we arrived we had a look at the prince and princesses gardens and then the upper floor of the chalet - the lower floor being shut as it was undergoing repairs.

We had taken a picnic with us and found a sheltered spot around the back of the small museum and the sun was so warm it was a very enjoyable lunchtime.

We took the long walk back to the House and then went into the walled garden, which was a little disappointing at this time of the year as it was mainly fruit and vegetables and everything was only just shooting!
I love this photo of Penny and Hugh - they were standing right in front of some manure!
Another shot of the garden

Having spent several hours at Osborne House, we exited through the gift shop and bought ourselves a myrtle bush for a tub in our front garden. Queen Victoria had myrtle in her bouquet when she married Prince Albert and so did Kate Middleton when she got married last year - both of them from Osborne House.
The house as we took the long walk back
Me and Hugh in the walled garden

As there was still some afternoon left and it started to rain (!) we visited our final attraction - Butterfly World - which was fortunately indoors! There were some beautiful butterflies in a large heated greenhouse.
 Hugh and Penny looking at butterflies

You then exited through there into fountain world and then into the Japanese Garden with ponds of koi carp. We listened to a talk on the carp, saw them being fed and then Penny and Hugh also had a turn at hand feeding them!
 Penny hand feeding the carp
Hugh hand feeding the carp - they both said it was like putting your hand on the end of a vacuum cleaner hose!

The final 'room' was like 'It's a Small World' at Disney on a tiny scale and walk through and then there were jumping fountains to stagger under!

Our holiday ended with a lovely meal at a local restaurant followed by an early night before catching the ferry back to the mainland on the Saturday morning.

So, do I recommend the Isle of Wight for a holiday? Yes, wholeheartedly!


Sian said...

I've al;ways wanted to see Osborne House

Karen said...

So enjoyed seeing your vacation photos! That butterfly shot is fabulous!

Anonymous said...

It was great seeing your pictures and reading about your visit to Osborne House & the Butterflies. I've never heard of Osborne House - now I've got to look it up. :)