“We have quite a charming beach to ourselves,” wrote Queen Victoria, on the beach at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
The Italianate style house, originally built to provide the Queen and Prince Albert with a private home, is surrounded by grounds and parkland that were developed by the Prince himself. Covering 354 acres, it displays his liking for poplars and the Italian style of lined drives and walks with evergreens. Today, Osborne House, with its stunning gardens and views across the Solent, is in the care of English Heritage.
Needing a vehicle to take people and supplies to the Queen’s beach, Osborne House recently took delivery of a new Polaris Ranger Diesel Crew 1000 from local dealer C & O Tractors. Fitted with a full cab, the Polaris is used to ferry disabled and elderly people, as well as staff and food and drink supplies between the house and the new Pavilion Beach ice-cream parlour and wedding venue.
“The Polaris was just what English Heritage were looking for,” says Lee Priddle of Wight ATV. “It provides the power and economy of a diesel 4×4, plus the ability to carry six people in comfort as well as stock for the cafe and weddings.”
Nowadays you can indulge in ice cream and tea on Queen Victoria’s private beach and, if you’re so inclined, you can take a paddle or dip in the sea, from the very place where her children learned to swim.
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