Leighton House Museum

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6 Love It
© Will Pryce
© Will Pryce
© Will Pryce
© Will Pryce
© Will Pryce
Anthony Webb / Time Out
Ben Rowe / Time Out
Ben Rowe / Time Out
Ben Rowe / Time Out
Ben Rowe / Time Out
© Will Pryce
Anthony Webb / Time Out

Leighton House reopened in April 2010 after a £1.6 million refurbishment which has uncovered and restored many of the decorative schemes and features of the house, as well as a previously unseen staircase. In the 1860s the artist Frederic Leighton commissioned his friend, the architect George Aitcheson, to build him a showpiece house in Holland Park, which he filled with classical treasures from all over the world, as well as his own works and those of his contemporaries. The house was a work of art in itself, with every inch decorated in high style inspired by the studios Leighton had seen on his extensive European travels. There were magnificent reception rooms downstairs designed for lavish entertaining, and a dramatic staircase leading to a huge light-filled studio taking up most of the first floor. Four extensions were added over the years, the most striking addition the ‘Arab Hall’, designed to showcase Leighton’s huge collection of sixteenth-century Middle Eastern glazed tiles. The house was created as a stage on which Leighton could play out his role as a great artist, contrasting with the tiny single bedroom, the only private space in the whole house. Today, the house is still an architectural treasure trove which belies its somewhat dour exterior and the museum holds, or has on loan, some fine paintings as well as drawings and sketches.

Venue name: Leighton House Museum
Address: 12 Holland Park Road
W14 8LZ
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 10am-5.30pm
Transport: Tube: High Street Kensington
Price: £10, concs £6
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  • Exhibitions Friday February 12 2016 - Sunday May 29 2016
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Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

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This is a little known museum (maybe because pictures – and subsequently Instagram – aren’t allowed) that is worth a few hours of your time.

In a beautiful old house, decorated in an oriental fashion straight out of the 1001 nights, you’ll see a great collection of paintings. But let’s face it, you’ll probably look less at the painting than the amazing Arabic-style blue atrium. A unique and interesting sight in old, posh West London.

Note: the garden is only open to the public in the summer so pick your visit day wisely!


A real hidden gem in W14, the Arab Hall as you enter is genuinely one of the most spectacular rooms in London.  Leighton's Victorian art isn't really to my taste but he was a hell of an aesthete cherry-picking his favourites from a huge range of countries.  Peaceful gardens, fascinating history and one of the most beautifully decorated houses you'll ever visit.

Neil Davies

An amazing place, found by chance on the internet and visited on a whim. Well worth the admission price and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. The building is incredible, the decor even more breathtaking. Can't recommend it highly enough.

carol mee

Stunning beauty, thoroughly enjoyed visiting this little gem, highly recommended. Carol


Such a beautiful place and hidden gem in Kensington. Has the best entrance hall I have ever seen.