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Apsley House

Museums, History Hyde Park Corner
5 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Apsley House_CREDIT_English Heritage Photo Library.jpg
© English Heritage Photo Library

Time Out says

Called No 1 London because it was the first London building encountered on the road to the city from the village of Kensington, Apsley House was built by Robert Adam in the 1770s. The Duke of Wellington kept it as his residence for 35 years. Although his descendants still live here, several rooms are open to the public, providing a superb feel for the man and his era. Admire the extravagant porcelain dinnerware and plates or ask for a demonstration of the crafty mirrors in the scarlet and gilt picture gallery. Apsley House is home to around 200 masterpieces including paintings by Velazquez, Goya and Rubens.

Apsley House says
With glittering interiors of the grandest address in the capital, once known as 'Number 1 London'. This beautiful Georgian building was the home of the Duke of Wellington and has changed very little since his great victory at Waterloo in 1815. Revel in one of the finest art collections in London.



Address: Hyde Park Corner
Transport: Tube: Green Park/Knightsbridge
Price: £10, £9 concs, £6 children, under-5s free, £26 family (2+3); English Heritage mems free
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 11am-5pm
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5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

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1 person listening

If you've ever wondered what the bachelor pad of the world's most eligible 19th Century bachelor was like then wonder no more. For the time this was the ultimate man pad. Grandure and splendour are the name of the game, and a definite highlight for me is the table decoration in the dining room, though the whole place is fascinating. He retired her as a National hero after winning the Battle of Waterloo, and one curious thing you'll spot is the many paintings and sculptures of his ex-nemesis Napolean the reasonings for which are all covered in the handy video guide which talks you through each room with pictures and videos.

Wellington Arch celebrating his winning the Battle of Waterloo is just across the road and also well worth visiting while you are so close. Both Apsley House and Wellington Arch are English Heritage properties so if you have a member's card you're quids in!

Apsley House is the smart columned building on the north side of Hyde Park Corner. It has been the home of the Wellington family since the 18th Century. It is a stunning Grade 1 listed building, and many of the interiors are kept in the style of decoration that they would have had at the time they were built.

Not only is the decoration interesting, there is also an amazing art collection, made up of gifts from grateful war allies, or items acquired during the defeat of Napoleon. There are paintings by Titian, Van Dyke, Rubens, Goya and Velazquez and many others. You can even see the original painting that contained the image of Wellington, that used to be on our five pound note. 

There are two beautiful porcelain dinner services on display, including the Waterloo Meissen Banquet service painted with scenes of his greatest victories. Another highlight is the wonderful 3.5metre statue of Napoleon by Canova.

The building is nice and cool on a warm summer day and it is also surprisingly quiet given its position, right in the centre of London. 

Well worth a visit.


Step inside the home of the Duke of Wellington and be immersed in a world of splendour and opulence once owned by the Duke of the 18th century.

Apsley House is grand old house just like the Wellington Memorial that lives proudly across the road. The Duke, real name Arthur Wellesley, fought alongside Admiral Lord Nelson to bring home victory for the Royal Navy against Napoleon in the Napoleonic War.

Given the renaissance paintings that decorates the wall, the sculptures and opulent rooms, it’s hard to believe that Apsley House was once the home where the Duke once lived. It gives you a proper glimpse into the Duke's life, his taste in interior design, his personality and his generosity in hosting lavish occasions such as celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. His personality has certainly left a mark on this old house.

Naturally, there are things you have to see. You won’t miss it for sure, but do take some time to admire the staircase in Apsley House as well as the towering and, rather flattering, statue of Napoleon posing as the God Mars (ironic I know - you’ll have to listen to the audio guide to understand why the Duke has the 3.45 meters tall statue of the very man he defeated at Trafalgar) . Also take in the splendour of the the Dining room on the 1st floor which can hold 84 people and the grand old piano, the very piano in fact, which the Duke once played on himself.

I could be wrong but not all parts of the house is open to the public to see which is a bit of a bummer. Nevertheless, you can view the hotel in all its entirety in an hour which is manageable and a good thing if you, like me, has the tendency to read everything and listen to everything in the audio guide and feel overwhelmed by how much there is to take in on trips like this to an heritage site.

The very handy multimedia guide with a touch screen is insightful, informative and super easy to use plus, there is a audio for kids too. It’s free to rent to so make sure you grab a hold of one.

Well worth visiting and smack bag in the middle of London. If you’re looking for more culture to explore beyond the galleries and museums in London (because I assume you’ve done it all), this is one worth visiting.

Lovely website - beautiful.images coupled with history as well as other places of interest nearby. Clearly & concisely laid out containing all necessary information for visitors.

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