All the sparkle of a real Victorian Christmas on the Isle of Wight, awaits visitors to Osborne House on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November, when the beautiful royal home hosts all manner of traditional festivities to get the holiday season off to a spectacular start.
The festive atmosphere will be in full swing in Osborne’s wintry courtyard with fun and surprises including authentic sideshow games and fairground stalls, a coconut shy, hoopla and a traditional carousel. Adding a real bang to this year’s fair will be zany performers What a Palaver, astonishing everyone with amazing fire-breathing and thrills and spills on a bed of nails.
Young visitors will be captivated by Victorian toy makers and have the chance to make their own balancing toy to take home. And of course, the day would not be complete without an appearance from the man of the moment Father Christmas resident in his grotto throughout each day.
Osborne will ring with music and laughter, as it did when Queen Victoria and her children enjoyed intimate family celebrations here – although this year’s acts may be too lively for Her Majesty, especially Music Hall versions of The Twelve Days of Christmas and Ding Dong Merrily on High! The musical pogramme also includes a traditional brass band and rousing carols.
Costumed characters will mingle with the crowds watch out for Jack Black, Rat Catcher by appointment to her majesty and her royal highness Queen Victoria herself, gracing Osborne to preside over the entertainment, greet her loyal subjects, and recall festive times at her home.
Guests will have a glimpse of life below stairs at the royal residence as they take a turn at the laundry and stir a plum pudding. Osborne’s own Mrs Beeton, will provide ideas and recipes to try at home and a talented Victorian chocolatier will be sharing secrets about the origins and history of chocolate.
Visitors will be able to tour both the ground floor and the 1st floor rooms of Osborne House, including the royal bedrooms and nursery – and the ground floor rooms will be transformed with sumptuously decorated Christmas trees and garlands to take visitors back over 100 years.
Visitors can also take a walk down to the recently opened private beach where they can enjoy the views across the Solent from Queen Victoria’s restored Alcove.
This nostalgic, fun-filled family event runs from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November. Adults £13.60, Concessions £12.30, Children £8.20 and Family Ticket just £35.40. Reduced entry price for English Heritage members. Tickets can be pre-booked by calling 0870 333 1183 or visiting the English Heritage website.
Other exciting Christmas events at Osborne this year include Wreath Making on Friday 16th November and an exclusive English Heritage members-only tour with Osborne?s Curator on Friday 7th December. Both events must be pre-booked in advance.
For more information, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk or call 0870 333 1181.
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