Queen Victoria loved her holidays. She travelled to Scotland, France, and Italy and stayed at lavish palaces and princely courts in lush locations, but there’s nowhere she loved more than the Isle of Wight, a diamond-shaped pearl in the English Channel.
It’s not far from London and boasts beautiful beaches, epic white sea-cliffs, a warm climate and remnants from the Romans, Normans, and two World Wars.
On this tour, you visit Queen Victoria’s Italian-inspired holiday home, Osborne House. You venture to the sea-shores and see gorgeous cliffs, barren bunkers and stunning white rock structures. And on the mainland, you even get a chance to celebrate your journey with a drink at the home of Bombay Sapphire Gin.
Join this trip, follow in the footsteps of royalty and let your guide lead you through England’s favourite holiday island.
Day 1: Leave London and head to the sunny, southern Isle of Wight.
First, you travel to the ancient port-city of Portsmouth. This bustling spot blends modern marvels with centuries of sea-faring stories. You can grab a bite to eat here before your guide picks you up and takes you to the ferry at Gunwharf Terminal; it takes less than an hour and there’s plenty of onboard refreshments. Your first stop on the Isle of Wight is the important religious site of Quarr Abbey. The building here is beautiful and combines French, Byzantine and Moorish designs. Then, you get to meet some real local heroes. You visit the Bembridge Lifeboat station, where the crew rescue troubled lives out at sea every year. Time to give them a salute. In the evening, you arrive at the unforgettably quaint village of Shanklin in time for an early dinner. Perhaps it’s time to try the seafood?
Day 2: Today, you’re going to discover the unmissable highlights of the Isle of Wight.
You eat breakfast and then venture to the Yarborough Monument. This is the tallest monument on the island and celebrates the life of a wealthy earl from the 19th century. You continue to a photo-stop at the beautiful views of endless green fields at Brading Downs and then head to Osborne House which was Queen Victoria’s holiday home and as you explore the Italian-style building, you discover pristine green gardens, ornate golden rooms and historically fascinating artefacts. Afer that magnificent man-made marvel, it’s time to see the Isle of Wight’s most beautiful natural wonder, the Needles. These sharp white stacks that stick out of the ocean are beautiful to behold. You can hop on a boat to get close to them and venture to an old defensive battery that’s nearby. Your last stop today is at the cliffs of St. Catherine’s Down. As the sun starts to set, these epic cliffs and green valleys look stunning. You travel back to Shanklin in time for dinner.Day 3: It’s the final day. But cheer up, because we’ve saved some of the best sights for today. In the morning, you say goodbye to Shanklin and head on the ferry back to Portsmouth. Now that you’ve reacquainted yourself with the mainland, we take you to one of England’s most history-soaked cities, Winchester. But visiting Winchester isn’t easy, because there’s almost too much to do. There’s a glorious cathedral, an ancient mill, cute cafes and more than enough museums. After you’ve studied up on the history of England, we’re going to visit the home of one of the world’s most popular gins, Bombay Sapphire. It’s not just the booze that’s brilliant at the Laverstoke Mill, the exhibition and Victorian architecture are as interesting as they are beautiful. Once you’ve had enough of the tipple, it’s time to head home. You have a small refreshment stop at the riverside town of Henley-on-Thames before arriving in London in the evening.