“It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot”
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert adored the Isle of Wight and found the perfect spot, overlooking the coast in East Cowes, to build their seaside palace of Osborne. With gorgeous grounds and their own private beach, the royal couple said the view from Osborne reminded them of the sweeping Bay of Naples. Now open to the public, Osborne offers a real insight into the private family life of the royal couple and a visit includes entry to the Swiss Cottage and the extensive gardens and beach.
After Osborne, visit St Mildred’s Church in Whippingham – this was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s Church and it’s complete with gothic turrets that Albert helped to design. You can see the Queen’s Royal pew, and if the parishioners have been baking, enjoy a slice of Victoria sponge in the church hall.
Boats and ship building have been integral to the town of East Cowes and the first hovercraft was developed and tested in the town. The East Cowes Heritage Centre is well worth a visit to discover more about the history of the town, from smugglers to royalty and ship and hovercraft building. It’s worth looking out for the fascinating guided walks they offer that take in the town and its history.
The Classic Boat Museum’s gallery in East Cowes holds an amazing collection of nautical memorabilia, including photos of hovercrafts built on the site.
It’s simple to get across to West Cowes to discover more history – just take the ‘floating bridge’; the chain ferry that runs across the mouth of the harbour from morning to night.
Once in West Cowes you’ll find the partner to the Classic Boat Museum in East Cowes – the museum on the west has an impressive collection of 50 boats, including record breaking craft and a power boat that takes three hands to steer it!
The Cowes Maritime Museum is based at the library and tells the story vibrant maritime story of Cowes through memorabilia and images.
Over-looking the water, The Sir Max Aitken Museum, a converted 18th century sailing loft, holds Sir Max’s private collection of nautical and historical objects, a cradle used by Napoleon Bonaparte for his son.
Just a short stroll out of the town centre, Northwood House is a large early-Victorian Grade II* listed house with glorious painted function rooms and surrounded by parkland. Now used mainly for celebrations and events, particularly during Cowes Week, it’s a fascinating building. The park surrounding it offers a large green space in the heart of Cowes and is a great for a picnic lunch.
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Step into Queen Victoria’s favourite country home and experience a world unchanged since the country's longest reigning monarch died here just over 100 years ago.
UKSA’s waterfront campus in Cowes on the sunny Isle of Wight is the perfect location for residential and non-residential sailing and watersports activities.
Cowes Maritime Museum displays a selection of objects and images which help to tell the story of Cowes and its important maritime heritage.
This is the church used by Queen Victoria when she was in residence at Osborne House.
The church is run by volunteers and there is a guide on duty in the church.
Exhibition located within the Church and Church Centre:
There is a...
East Cowes Marina welcomes visiting yachts and motor boats all year round to our 360 berth marina on the sunny and sheltered banks of the river Medina.
The museum holds an interesting mix of tanks, artifacts, other vehicles, small arms and a range of uniforms from the 1940’s to the present day.
Nestled in the heart of the Gurnard countryside close to the sailing capital of Cowes is Cowes Club leisure club.
Trinity Theatre is owned by one of the oldest amateur dramatic societies in Britain.
Cowes Yacht Haven represents the heart of the international sailing world in Cowes. Whether you are looking to berth your boat or entertain corporate clients in a unique setting, Cowes Yacht Haven has it all.
This magnificent 18th Century, Ratsey and Lapthorn sail maker’s loft, was acquired and restored by Sir Max Aitken in 1947.
You cannot miss this massive dockyard crane at the mouth of the River Medina at Cowes. You can see it as you walk out of Cowes along the Birmingham Road, as you approach the chain ferry from East Cowes, and as you come into Cowes from the sea. ...