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|
|Opening hours:||Daily 10am-6pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Temple/Charing Cross/Covent Garden|
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Things to do
Now Play This
Play more than 20 games at this fun-filled weekend, from the lo-fi and familiar to the new and cutting-edge. Try a wooden pinball machine, preview experimental storytelling and adventure game 'The Forest of Sleep', join a papercraft workshop and remember...Festivals Until Sunday September 6 2015Read more
Things to do
London Design Festival: Somerset House
One of the key venues in this year's London Design Festival, Somerset House is hosting a number of free events. The major exhibition is in the West Wing: for 10 Designers, ten international designers and brands (Nendo, Faye Toogood and Ross Lovegrove...Festivals Saturday September 19 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015 FreeRead more
London Fashion Weekend
Invitation to the Burberry show lost in the post? London Fashion Weekend offers us mere mortals an insider’s perspective on the fashion industry, with trend-led catwalks from big name designers (the line-up for this season’s show schedule includes House...Designer Thursday September 24 2015 - Saturday September 26 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 at Somerset House is a stunning location for a session on the ice this winter - and no matter how unimpressive your skating skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will look the very definition of festive fun...Ice skating Wednesday November 18 2015 - Sunday January 10 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.