Cowes East or West?


I’d never heard of the Red Funnel Line until this year. I’d heard of the Blue Funnel Line,which was based on Merseyside.


While in Southampton we wanted to visit the Isle of Wight so as to see Osborne House. Getting there we decided on the car ferry to East Cowes, and the ‘cruise’ would take an hour and at then end of the day the Red Funnel jet boat for the return, which would take about thirty minutes.

The outbound car ferry would dock at East Cowes, which would require us to use the ‘floating’ bridge’ to get to West Cowes for the return journey.


It was a beautiful day as we ‘cruised’ passed various deep sea ships, some along side the tanker berth and others just arriving in to Southampton.


West Cowes as we slowly entered the harbour.


More of West Cowes


As we sailed further in to the harbour I recognise a yacht, which surprised me because I have little interest in yachting. I had to photograph it among the many others boats in the harbour.

DSC02151rc Perhaps it was the wine that I recognised rather than the yacht. She was the Cloudy Bay from New Zealand. A long way from home.


Even as a lover of Australian wines I must say that Cloudy Bay is a lovely drop.


The ‘floating bridge’ that we will use later in the day, the vessel can bee seen crossing the harbour.


An odd looking craft that drags itself across using chains fixed to the shore on either side.


A short bus ride from the harbour of East Cowes and we were looking at Osborne House.

It was built between 1845 to 1851 as a summer home / retreat for Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, and the family.
The Royal couple bought the original Osborne House from Lady Isabella Blachford in 1845 and soon realised that it was too small for their family, so they replaced it with what we now see as Osborne House.


Note the lawns. all dried out due to the lack of rain, much like the bush areas of Australia.

The building in the above photograph is to the right of  the building in the first photograph of Osborne House – they are all part of the same house.


Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with their family.
The painting is on display inside Osborne House.


Samples of some of the rooms – we did a DIY tour which is very easy to do, and if you have questions there are staff in all of the rooms to help – it was a very interesting tour.


The children’s nursery.


The nursery – all the furniture was created ‘small’ for the children – chairs, tables etc that an adult would find very uncomfortable to use.


I took this shot from the top of the house and I asked why they kept a cannon in the front hall – the lady I spoke to didn’t have any idea. It had been a gift to the Queen. Perhaps as it was aimed at the front door it was just in case the bailiffs arrived.


Queen Victoria’s dressing table in her dressing room.



The hidden bath had inlets in the side for the hot water and of course the normal drain system that we know today.


My Queen in one of the many corridors.



I hope you can read the details about this room – fascinating.


The ‘back garden’ taken from one of the many windows.


The view from the rear of the house towards the sea.

The Australian style landscape is a huge contrast to England’s green and pleasant land, that we would normally expect.


The rear of Osborne House


I took a large number of photographs in and around the house – the above is the rear again.


 A stroll in the hot sun made it feel like home (Australia) – we were on our way to the beach. The walk is about fifteen minutes from the house.


I do like to be beside the seaside.

The above recording was made in 1908  or if you like trains . . .


The British do like their deckchairs.

The above is a quote from Queen Victoria’s letter to Lord Melbourne in 1845. Lord Melbourne was Prime Minister twice, and a close political adviser and friend of Queen Victoria.


Queen Victoria’s bathing machine.She would get in it and it would be pushed in to the water so that nobody could see her swimming. This is the original machine.




How times have changed . . .I wonder if Queen Victoria would have allowed nude bathing on her beach.


Queen Victoria died in Osborne House on the 22nd January 1901, Prince Albert died 14th December 1861 at Windsor Castle.


I found this picture of the Queen’s deathbed on the internet. My own pictures were blurred due to the crush of the crowd.

DSC02252r  A twenty minute walk back to the bus stop in front of Osborne House and we were soon at the harbour waiting for the ‘floating bridge’ to take us over to West Cowes. You can see the chains on both sides of the ‘vessel’ as she hauled herself across the harbour.


West Cowes – nautical shops, old pubs and a pleasant walking area.



Homeward Bound how many sailors have sung this after a beer or three.


The weekend sailors . . .

A beautiful day out that allowed us to view the old Queen’s house and absorb history without realising  that we were doing so . . .