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 8am-11pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Temple/Charing Cross/Covent Garden|
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Things to do
London Design Biennale
This month-long festival of contemporary design will fill Somerset House with works from over 30 countries. Discover scratch and sniff wallpaper with whiffs of Hong Kong, run your fingers over a computer-generated condensation coating a pane of glass...Exhibitions Until Sunday September 23 2018
Hannah Perry: Gush
Artist Hannah Perry presents a deeply personal exhibition inspired by the suicide of her best friend and artistic-collaborator. Using immersive film, sculpture, sound, text and more, GUSH looks at loss on a private and public scale, along with the current...Wednesday October 3 2018 - Sunday November 4 2018
Athi-Patra Ruga: Of Gods, Rainbows and Omissions
Step inside Somerset House this autumn and lose yourself in a mythical utopia unlike anything else in London. This is the South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga's first major solo show in the UK, and his unique combination of beauty and politics is likely...Thursday October 4 2018 - Sunday January 6 2019
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
If you're interested in contemporary African art, make sure you head down to Somerset House from 4 - 7 September for the sixth 1-54 art fair. This year's programme includes FORUM, a series of talks curated by writer, journalist and broadcaster Ekow E...Sculpture Saturday October 6 2018 - Sunday October 7 2018
Good Grief, Charlie Brown!
The fantastic talents of Charles M. Schulz are celebrated in this exhibition showing not just the cartoonist's own creations, but those of many artists inspired by his kooky drawings. Join Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder and Peppermint Patty...Thursday October 25 2018 - Sunday March 3 2019
Things to do
Skate at Somerset House
Get your skates on. Somerset House's grand 18th-century courtyard is the stunning setting for an ice rink again this winter. No matter how unimpressive your skating skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will be the very definition of festive...Ice skating Wednesday November 14 2018 - Sunday January 13 2019
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.
Great venue to visit or to go for a concert. Great in summer time also in winter. Definitely a place to visit in central London. Very interested!!
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.