Somerset House

Art galleries

Public art


  • Free
  • Ed Marshall / Time Out

  • Courtyard fountains - © Simon Leigh / Time Out

  • Fernandez and Wells Cafe © Tricia De Courcy Ling

  • © Ed Marshall

  • Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

  • Kings Barge House © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

  • © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

  • © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

Ed Marshall / Time Out

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Venue details

  • Address:

    Somerset House Strand
    WC2R 1LA

  • Venue phone:

    020 7845 4600

  • Venue website:

  • Opening hours:

    Daily 10am-6pm

  • Transport:

    Tube: Charing Cross/Covent Garden

  • Price:

    Free; admission charge applies from some temporary exhibitions

  • Map

    1. Somerset House

What's on at Somerset House



Behind the Screen at Somerset House

Things to do

This series of talks, workshops and family events to accompany the Film4 Summer Screen line-up explores the art and craft of cinema. Take a tour of Somerset House to discover the venue's many film roles and the stories behind the movies it's starred in...

Behind the Screen at Somerset House
  1. Sat Aug 9 – Mon Aug 18
  2. Somerset House
More info

Film4 Summer Screen


Watching a movie under the stars in Somerset House’s beautiful courtyard on a balmy summer evening is a near-perfect London experience. Annoyingly organised people always snap up tickets early, so book early. Take a picnic and make a night of it. And...

Film4 Summer Screen
  1. Thu Aug 7 – Wed Aug 20
  2. Somerset House
Buy tickets

Return of the Rudeboy at Somerset House


  • Critics' choice

Don your best mohair suit and thin ties, boys, because Rudeboy culture is due a big comeback this summer, thanks to this major Somerset House exhibition. Created and curated by photographer and filmmaker Dean Chalkley and creative director Harris Elliot,...

Return of the Rudeboy at Somerset House
  1. Until Mon Aug 25
  2. Somerset House
More info

The 400 Blows (Les Quatre Cents Coups)

Re-release of the 1959 New Wave classic revolving around alienated 12-year-old Antoine Doinel, who feels unloved by his mother and stepfather and unduly terrorised by his teacher at school. So he bunks off lessons with a friend and seeks fulfilment i...

  • Mon Aug 18:

    • 21:00

Annie Hall

Diane Keaton banked her Oscar and fled the Allen fold after this film. A couple more professional contributions notwithstanding, this was self-reflexively the swansong to their partnership. But if Allen lost the girl, he gained an audience – and you...

  • Tue Aug 12:

    • 21:00

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Rating: 3/5

Howard Hawks’s late-period comic essay on the economic advantages of an ample bosom is not one of his best, though it just about works as a naughty Technicolor bellwether to these ‘Sex and the City’-fixated times. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell play...

  • Sun Aug 10:

    • 21:00

Users say

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
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  • 1 star:0
4 people listening
Curated London

Review for Boro

From the 17th - 19th centuries, Japan’s poor were allowed only to wear dark blue, brown and grey. Brighter colours were reserved for the wealthy ruling elite, as were luxury fabrics, like cotton. When the rich threw away their clothes, poor people gathered together the scraps and stitched them together to make bedspreads. The result (Boro) is the subject of this exhibition.

If this sounds niche to the point of obscurity, you’d be right. The exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of one of the world’s most insular nations. However, from an artistic point of view, there is little to be gained. These are scraps of fabric, dyed blue and hastily quilted together to provide relief from Japan’s cold winter nights.

In an attempt to justify the exhibition, or possibly to break up the monotony, the curator has overindulged considerably with the interpretation. A whole panel is devoted to how modern artists, name-dropping eight of them, could have been influenced by Boro (‘Paul Klee would have been delighted by them’) before acknowledging this did not happen. It’s worth a quick look if you’re at Somerset House, but definitely not worth a special trip.

For more art in plain English, check out


Saw the Sony World Photo Awards here which was fantastic. The permanent exhibition is worth a look as well.

Becky C

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.


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.