Private beach at Osborne Bay opens to public – but not dinghies from boats

From July 27, beach will be open to paying visitors to Osborne House, but boaters will not have access from the sea

The private beach at Osborne Bay on the Isle of Wight will open to the public this summer – but boaters at anchor in the popular bay will not be able to land dinghies there.

The spot, a favourite of Queen Victoria’s and the place she and her children learned to swim, will open to paying visitors of Osborne House on Friday 27 July.

But a spokesperson from English Heritage said tenders from boats at anchor nearby will be banned from the beach.

This is partly to protect the ecology of the sea bed, the spokesperson said, and also because there is no facility to charge boaters who land on the beach an entrance fee.

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For those who make their way to the beach over land, there will be a seaside cafe and Victorian entertainment on throughout the summer, including a Punch and Judy show and traditional games.

“Queen Victoria is fixed in many people’s minds as ‘the Grandmother of Europe’, a Queen who spent most of her reign in mourning for her husband,” said Simon Thurley, English Heritage’s chief executive.

“Opening her beach at Osborne lets us show another side to her – this was a Queen who collected sea shells with her children, who sketched the changing sea, and who swam sometimes twice a day.

“Osborne was her seaside retreat from the formalities of Buckingham Palace, now people can visit that seaside.”

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