A Magnificent Victorian Country Estate On The Isle Of Wight Where Queen Victoria Redesigned Her View Of The Solent

Lydia Stangroom January 28, 2023

Set in 30 acres of parkland grounds between Seaview and Ryde, Woodlands Vale is an ‘architecturally significant’ coastal property that exudes a timeless appeal.

The Isle of Wight is not shy of spectacular coastal properties. Known for its world-renowned sailing competitions, music festivals, expansive beaches and sheltered coves; it’s no wonder residents and visitors flock here in their thousands every year. It is a summer watersports mecca, with excellent pubs and restaurants to match.

Arriving to the market via Winkworth with a guide price of £4.5 million is Woodlands Vale, a property unlike many of the other properties we’ve covered in the Isle of Wight, largely due to its fascinating history and close ties with royalty.

It is also one of the few remaining private estates on the island, according to the agents.

Woodlands Vale was built in 1870 by the celebrated Victorian architect Teulon, in the French Renaissance style, for Lord Calthorpe. Lord Calthorpe was a Crimean War veteran who was a close friend of Queen Victoria.

After Prince Albert died of Typhoid fever in 1861, Queen Victoria spent an increasing amount of time at their home, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight and, subsequently, visited Woodlands Vale on numerous occasions.

It was during one visit, whilst the Queen was admiring the coastal views from the property, that she commented that an ornate metal pillar in the centre of the terrace was blocking her view of the Solent. Lord Calthorpe wasted no time in having it removed and the terrace today remains as Queen Victoria wished — unobscured, with impeccable views.

Grade II listed, Woodlands Vale spans 13,000 sq. ft of internal living space that retains many of its original Victorian features and charm. Beautiful stained-glass windows, a Minton tiled floor, plaster ceilings and decorative architrave are just some of the stand-out characteristics.

There are six well-sized bedrooms in total, including the master suite with a dressing room, bathroom and study. All the bedrooms enjoy either sea or garden views and a further bedroom can be found in an additional wing with a self-catered flat. There is also further potential to create more bedrooms in the rear wing.

On the ground floor are six drawing rooms, including the magnificent Billiard room (formerly the conservatory), with its dramatic double-height ceilings and framed cupola.

The kitchen is spacious and light, with an AGA, large central island and French doors that lead out to the garden.

Externally, the house sits in 30 acres of glorious, Grade II listed landscapes, made up of formal gardens, a croquet lawn, a heated swimming pool and parkland.

Large terraces near the house mean you can enjoy al fresco meals outside whilst soaking up the views, and the parklands that lie beyond the ha-ha run all the way to the seafront, providing direct access to the beach.

The Island is renowned for its world class sailing — particularly Cowes week, which takes place during August — and is home to many established yacht clubs and sailing clubs.

Recommended videos for you Just a hop, skip and a jump across the Solent, the Isle of Wight can be reached by car via regular ferry services. If you are on foot, then a catamaran runs from both Portsmouth and Southampton; or for those wishing to travel by air, a clear approach near Woodlands Vale allows for a helicopter arrival, or there is a small airfield close by for light aircraft.

Woodlands Vale is currently on the market via Winkworth with a guide price of £4.5 million — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details.

The Spinney, East Sussex, for sale at £3.25m Credit: Strutt & Parker Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.