Wednesday, 18 July 2012 9:13 AM
Queen Victoria’s private beach on the Isle of Wight is set to open to the public for the very first time next Friday.
Queen Victoria once wrote that ‘it is impossible to imagine a prettier spot’ and it was once described by Prince Albert as ‘like Naples in Italy’.
Now, the Royal-family’s well-loved seaside retreat on the Isle of Wight is going to be open for the public to enjoy for the very first time.
Thanks to an extensive restoration project by the English Heritage, the bay is now ready for holidaymakers to sunbathe, swim and play on.
The Osborne beach holds a tremendous amount of history – it was where Queen Victoria swam in the sea for the first time. She said of the experience: "I thought it delightful till I put my head under water, when I thought I should be stifled.”
However, the sea can’t have been that cold because over the years the Queen continued to return to the spot, even teaching her children to swim there – and it became a firm holiday favourite amongst the royal family.
English Heritage have preserved some of this history, by resorting the Queen's Alcove – a small but elegant semicircular stone shelter with a half-dome. It was completed in 1869 and Victoria personally agreed its interior decoration of large vibrant Minton blue tiles, decorated with small yellow starbursts.
Queen Victoria’s original wooden bathing machine, which ran down a ramp into the sea and from which Victoria – her modesty preserved – would emerge in her swimming suit, has also been rescued from its life as a chicken coop and preserved by the organisation.
The public will be able to enjoy the stretch of Royal beach from July 27th.
Follow us @Travelbite