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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World Illustration Awards
Returning to Somerset House for their fourth year, the Association of Illustrators’ showcase some the highlights from their annual competition. In partnership with the USA's Directory of Illustration for the first time, the award reflects the range of...Drawing and illustration Until Sunday November 1 2015 FreeRead more
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
Following its New York debut earlier this year, this contemporary African art fair returns to the East, South, and West Wings of Somerset House for its third and biggest ever edition. Presenting over 150 famous and emerging artists from Africa and the...Sculpture Thursday October 15 2015 - Sunday October 18 2015Read more
Wild Life Drawing Family Day
Life drawing wouldn't ordinarily be suitable for families – there'd more than likely be some giggling – but when you replace the naked humans with real, living animals it suddenly becomes an altogether less blush-inducing activity. This Halloween special...Workshops and classes Saturday October 31 2015Read more
Things to do
Tintin: Hergé's Masterpiece
Everybody's favourite Belgian reporter, the bequiffed Tintin, first tasted adventure in a Brussels newspaper comic strip in 1929. Since then, he has starred with his dog Snowy in 24 books ('albums'), which have sold an extraordinary 200 million copies...Exhibitions Thursday November 12 2015 - Sunday January 31 2016 FreeRead 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 Wednesday November 18 2015 - Sunday January 10 2016Read more
Skate at Somerset House: Club Nights
The series of late-night DJ-led skate sessions at the picturesque ice rink returns for another year, as part of the wider Skate at Somerset House programme. Choose a time to skate throughout the day or evening, and soak up the sounds of top DJs, who'll...House, disco and techno Thursday November 19 2015 - Friday January 8 2016Read more
Average User Rating
4.1 / 5
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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.
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.