School Visits

Discovery Visits at Osborne

Sandford Award winner 2021!

Experience life as a Royal servant, or as a Victorian Explorer setting out on an adventure. Learn about the local geology and the lives of the Royal children. At just £100 per group per session our interactive, expert-led, award-winning Discovery Visits are a great way to delve deeper into the story of Osborne and England.

"Few historic houses offer such a unique opportunity to step into the past as Osborne. It is as if Victoria and Albert have just left their beloved home, and students can immerse themselves in everything that Victorian life had to offer – both above and below stairs." Sandford Award Assessor's Report 2021

Victorian Explorers: Discover the Island with the Royal Children

Geography, History, Literacy, Speaking & Listening
KS1, KS2

Queen Victoria’s children are the inspiration for this interactive session that delves into the world of Victorian explorers. Using excerpts from their diaries and letters, and a map of the Isle of Wight containing treasures such as fossils and stones, pupils will learn more about the Royal children and the Victorian interest in collecting, which led to the creation of Swiss Cottage museum. They’ll take part in role play, handle objects and create their own mini museum display. They’ll be drawn into a story of a Victorian Explorer discovering the natural world. The session culminates in a visit to the Swiss Cottage museum created by Victoria, Albert and their children at Osborne.

  • Availability: Monday to Friday during term time
  • Session lasts for 1 1/4 hours
  • £100 per session
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The Queen is coming! (Previousuly Waiting on Hand and Foot!)

History, PSHE, Speaking & Listening, Techology

Can you pass the finger-nail inspection? Enter the world of the downstairs brigade in this stunning, fully-equipped historic setting and discover what life was like for the servants at Osborne House in the 1870s. Queen Victoria’s Housekeeper Mrs Smith talks about domestic life below-stairs and introduces hands-on role-play activities. Learn to set the table, black boots, clean the brasses and beat the rugs in preparation for the arrival of Queen Victoria. Will they receive Royal approval for their work?

  • Availability: Monday to Friday during term time
  • Session lasts for 1 1/4 hours
  • £100 per session
Enquire now

Story Mat

History, Speaking & Listening, Story telling

Our beautiful Story Mat has hidden Island treasures. Students can handle a range of rocks and fossils as they find out more about the Royal children who collected them. This is a wonderful way to introduce Reception and KS1 children to Swiss Cottage and the Museum.

  • Availability: Monday to Friday during term time
  • Session lasts for 45 minutes
  • £75 per session
Enquire now

Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and further information on our what to expect page

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits once you have made a booking, plus a 20% discount on the official English Heritage guidebook for your place of choice.

Once you book your visit you’ll be sent a visit permit, which you’ll need to bring with you on the day.

Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip! 

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: Free car park with accessible parking bays, 50m from admissions centre. Coach parking is 250m from the entrance.
    • TOILETS: Toilets are available at points across the site.
    • SWISS COTTAGE: Available when booked with the Victorian Explorer or Story Mat Discovery Visits.
    • HOUSE: Please request a time slot at the time of your booking.
    • ESTATE GROUNDS: The wide acres of the Osborne estate, including the beach, woodland walk and terraces are all open.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds.
    • SHOP: Shop at the admissions centre selling a range of gifts, souvenirs and books. We require you to bring your students in small groups at a time.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: The education room is currently unavailable.
    • BAG STORE: A room has been set aside where the students can store their bags whilst in the house. Otherwise they will need to carry their bags with them.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There are 12 disabled parking bays located 50 yards from the admissions entrance. Disabled visitors may be set down directly outside admissions entrance. Queen Victoria's Private Apartments are accessible via a lift to the first floor. The Nursery is not accessible. A minibus is available to take wheelchair users to the Swiss Cottage and Queen Victoria's beach. The ground floor of the Swiss Cottage and Museum is accessible to wheelchair users. Gardens and Grounds are accessible using tarmac and impacted gravel paths. The Walled Garden and Swiss Cottage Garden are heavily gravelled and may be difficult for wheelchair users. The Rhododendron Walk is suitable for robust wheelchairs only. Queen Victoria's Beach paths, cafe, Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine and Alcove are all accessible, however there are two steps up to the beach boardwalk. The beach itself is not accessible to wheelchair users.

    Site Map

    Osborne Site Map

  • Hazard Information

    A useful tool to help with your risk assessments.

    You must meet the following ratios for leaders to students on the day of your visit when booking, and if your group is forming smaller groups while at the site:

    • Ages 4-5 (UK Reception) 1 leader for every 4 students (1:4)
    • Ages 5-7 (UK Key Stage 1) 1 leader for every 6 students (1:6)
    • Ages 7-11 (UK Key Stage 2) 1 leader for every 10 students (1:10) and
    • Ages 11-18 (UK Key Stages 3, 4, and 5) 1 leader for every 15 students (1:15)
    • For an adult learning group, consisting of individuals all over the age of 18, there are no ratios but there must be an appointed group leader
    • All ratios outlined above apply to home education groups
    • If your group consists of children aged 3 and/or 4, you must also refer to the Early Years and Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which sets out specific legal requirements for minimum ratios for this age group, to include requirements about the qualifications of the leaders
    • SEND groups must meet the minimum ratios above but may bring any additional leaders as required to adequately support their group
  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer free self-led education visits during school term time*. From November until March we open exclusively for education groups at selected sites when booking an expert-led Discovery Visit. See our education opening times below for individual site information.

    *Free education visits are not offered on UK public holidays or during the operation of additional fee paying public events at English Heritage sites.

    • April-October: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday
    • November-March: Monday-Sunday10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday

Planning Your Visit

Planning your visit couldn’t be easier with the help of our resources. However if you need more details or have specific questions about your trip or our Free Self-Led or Expert Led visits, please get in touch with our Education Booking Team on 0370 333 0606