The original Somerset House was a Tudor palace commissioned by the Duke of Somerset. In 1775 it was demolished to make way for an entirely new building, effectively the first purpose-built office block in the world. Today it houses a formidable art gallery (the wonderful Courtauld), a beautiful fountain court, a terraced café and a classy restaurant. Having replaced the Hermitage Rooms and Gilbert Collection on the river side of the building in April 2008, the new Embankment Galleries explore connections between art, architecture and design with a series of temporary exhibitions; downstairs a ceremonial Thames barge illustrates the venue’s history. In summer, children never tire of running through the choreographed fountains. Family workshops take place at weekends and holidays, and in recent years Somerset House has hosted an outdoor film screen in summer and a wonderfully atmospheric ice-rink in winter.
|Venue name:||Somerset House||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Daily 10am-6pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Temple/Charing Cross/Covent Garden|
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Things to do
Icelandic superstar Björk presents this exhibition of digital and video-based works created in collaboration with visual artists and programmers. Visitors can interact with the work though virtual reality technology and highlights include 'Mouthmantra...Exhibitions Until Sunday October 23 2016Read more
The sweat drips down your face, your neck aches, your head spins, your stomach heaves with motion sickness. If you’re looking for an immersive experience that makes you feel like you’ve done all the wrong drugs, at the same time, in a swamp, with the...Digital and interactive Until Sunday October 23 2016Read more
London Design Biennale
The inaugural edition of this month-long festival of contemporary design will fill Somerset House with works from over 30 countries. Climb inside a South African shark’s mouth, visit a Greek marble quarry, step into a giant Japanese inflatable human and...Design Tuesday September 27 2016Read more
Paths To Utopia
Celebrating the 500th anniversary of Thomas More's inspirational book Utopia, this collection of new art works resulted from collaborations between artists, performers, architects, technologists and King's College London academics.Contemporary art Wednesday September 28 2016 - Sunday October 2 2016Read more
Tying in with 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair is the first UK retrospective of the celebrated Malian photographer, who chronicled the West African country post-independence.Thursday October 6 2016 - Sunday January 15 2017Read more
Things to do
Hair by Sam McKnight
An exhibition championing Sam McKnight's impressive 40-year career in hair-styling. As one of the first stylists to have solely carved a career in the fashion world, McKnight's portfolio spans beautiful blow drys, braids and waves for editorial shoots,...Exhibitions Wednesday November 2 2016 - Sunday March 12 2017Read more
Things to do
Skate at Somerset House
The grand 18th-century courtyard that is home to Somerset House ice rink provides a stunning location for a skating session this winter – and no matter how unimpressive your skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will look the very definition...Ice skating Thursday November 17 2016 - Monday January 16 2017Read more
Average User Rating
4.5 / 5
- 5 star:11
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- 3 star:1
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One of London's most innovative museums, I love the amount of thought they put into offering as much diversity as possible. There really is something for everyone (and many exhibitions are free) but it's also a great place just to sit and people-watch.
It is a stunning piece of architecture, especially so at dusk when it is lit. The Courtauld Institute of Art, part of the Somerset House, has one of the world's most respected collection of modern art. They also put on blockbuster exhibitions all year along.
Beautiful Building! The setting by the Thames is particularly picturesque. Hosts a range of exhibitions, concerts and film screenings - always something worth visiting going on.
Saw the Sony World Photo Awards here which was fantastic. The permanent exhibition is worth a look as well.
Indeed Somerset house has more happening then most people visiting London would realise. It is a true hidden jem which is ironic because it is also one of the larger buildings that are open to the public. A beautiful historic hosting some very up today events. As well as the family workshops a number of events for adults have been run in the evening which have been very well recived. An evening of no presure creative play with a glass of wine in one hand accompanied by sounds from chilled DJ's is a very plesent way to pass the time.