Day 3 of our trip took us to Osborne House the family home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Again, this fell beneath our English Heritage membership so aside of the regular guidebook which L likes to purchase it was free to enter.
My childhood memory of visiting Osborne House was only of the Swiss Cottage. I don’t remember the huge opulent house or the beach or the fabulous grounds for some reason. I guess we only ever remember things that seem relevant to us at any given time and we will all take the bits that we individually require or feel a connection with. Individual life learning over standardised education is definitely my own preference.
On arrival, with the weather being warm and sunny, we headed straight for Queen Victoria’s private beach in the hope that we could throw our blanket down for a picnic lunch. We spotted a cork tree and stopped to touch and remember seeing the same in Spain and also at Arundel Castle a couple of years back.
The grounds are vast and it was helpful that they were laced with little surprises for the walk from the Beach to The Swiss Cottage.
The Swiss Cottage was just as I remembered it to be although this time around there were hands on display’s and a museum displaying the Royal Collection from around the world. A and W walked around with a torch and a magnifying glass (provided by the museum) looking at the rocks and fossils. S spotted the tiniest scissors and pen knife made from silver I believe. So tiny they were not even in focus to my naked eye!
Amongst the Royal Children’s garden was a wonderful wooden play area. Looked brand new. The only *players* in the park for a while.
Then the walk from the Swiss Cottage area to the main house. Absolute sheer opulence. The grandest, largest place we have seen yet. In fact, after our tour around the house we all decided we were totally done with stately homes and even castles – we have seen quite a few!
There has been much to learn from these visits via our National Trust and English Heritage memberships but we are done. We have seen enough. We may well continue to enjoy the splendour of the dog poo free outdoor spaces that these places generally offer but we are done with the houses and their many rooms and all that they contain and display. We will continue to find other ways of feeding L’s historical interests.
Back to our simple living in a tent on a campsite – at least for a couple more nights.