A short history of Royal Victoria Country Park
Originally a military hospital, Royal Victoria Country Park is now a picturesque and popular country park. It has stunning views, enchanting woodland and an abundance of wildlife. The park consists of three areas – woodland, parkland and foreshore. This mixture of habitat supports a wide range of wildlife including 115 species of birds, 25 species of mammals and 30 species of butterfly. There are also various species of trees and shrubs in the park. Many of them are non-native species introduced from all over the British Empire during Queen Victoria’s reign.
The Royal Victoria Military Hospital was the British Army’s first purpose built hospital. Inspired by Florence Nightingale’s success; built by Queen Victoria. It soon became a successful hospital with laboratories, and was the scene of medical learning and scientific breakthroughs. It was extensively used during WWI and WWII. In 1963, fire damaged large sections of the building and in 1966 the decision was made to demolish it. By 1980 Hampshire County Council had bought it and opened its gates to the public. The land once occupied by the hospital is now covered with trees and grassy fields. Only Netley Chapel remains.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
Start at the front of the Chapel. Go ahead down the path to the shore.
Turn left and walk along the shore. Go onto the beach if you can. When you get to the Sailing Club, turn left and go along the track between the trees.
At the top, turn right and follow the path, before the trees it turns left.
Carry on along the path, go past the big, white gate, follow the path and bear round to the left.
Carry on into the woods and along the path. Walk along until you come to the play area.