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 8am-11pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Temple/Charing Cross/Covent Garden|
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Pick a date
2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Annual exhibition of works entered for the Sony World Photography Award. This year, the judges received 327,000 submissions, 800 of which have made their way onto the walls of Somerset House. Visitors will also be able to see the work of Nadav Kander,...Until Monday May 6 2019
Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng: English as a Second Language review
Learning a language is hard, especially it’s got as many exceptions to the rule as actual rules (hello, English). And when it comes to learning a new culture, ‘language’ means more than irregular verbs. Colours, items, gestures… everything has a ‘meaning’. This...Until Sunday April 28 2019
Photo London 2019
This monster fair of all things photography-related returns to the courtyard of Somerset House for the fifth year. This year's Master of Photography is American snapper Stephen Shore, known for his candid shots of everyday scenarios. Visitors can browse...Thursday May 16 2019 - Sunday May 19 2019
Kaleidoscope: Immigration and Modern Britain
Photography exhibition of artists born or based in the UK with family links abroad. Works to look out for include Seba Kurtis's 'Heartbeat' series. The title is inspired by the British Police using heartbeat detectors to discover people concealed in transported...Wednesday June 12 2019 - Sunday September 8 2019
Somerset House Summer Series
The gorgeous eighteenth-century courtyard of Somerset House hosts another of its annual summer gig series. With neoclassical beauty on all four sides it takes a special music line-up to live up to the setting, but luckily the Summer Series has got just...Pop Thursday July 11 2019 - Sunday July 21 2019
Film4 Summer Screen
Add watching a film at gorgeous Somerset House to your must-do-before-you-leave-London bucket list. The festival is back this year in August screening a mix of red carpet premieres, recent hits and iconic movies. More than 2,000 film lovers fill the...Thursday August 8 2019 - Wednesday August 21 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.
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