Somerset House

 
 
ADDRESS
Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R 1LA 
 
TELEPHONE
 
OPENING TIMES
10am-6pm
 
PRICES
Courtauld Gallery: £5 (Adults), £4 (Concs), FREE (Mondays 10am-2pm excl Public Holidays) | Embankment Galleries: £8 (Adults), £6 (Concs)
 

Nearby

 

Somerset HouseSomerset House, once the site of a spectacular Tudor palace, now includes a magnificent 18th century art gallery housing celebrated collections belonging to the Courtauld Institute Gallery, as well as the Embankment Galleries (which replaced the Hermitage Rooms and The Gilbert Collection - the latter re-opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in June 2009). Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector of Edward VI, built the great mansion on the banks of the river to match his new-found status and rank. Following the Duke's execution for treason in 1552, the house passed onto Queen Elizabeth I and then Anne of Denmark and Norway - wife of James I - who christened it 'Denmark House'. Charles I's Queen, Henrietta Maria of France, was the next royal occupant. Having lived through the Civil War, the Great Fire, various refurbishments and other regal guests including Queen Catherine of Braganza, the palace fell into disrepair in the 1700s and was eventually demolished. Sir William Chambers was commissioned to design a replacement building whose purpose was to house various learned societies of the day. The current building still looks and feels like a palace with its great courtyard and elegant fountains, riverside terrace and magnificent collection of art and sculpture. It's easy to imagine a time when kings, queens and courtiers graced its grounds. Modern-day concerts now held in the courtyard echo the dramatic and musical masque entertainments popular during the reign of Anne of Denmark. While visitors have to pay to view the main galleries, admission to the courtyard, riverside terrace, restored Seamen's Hall, Nelson Stair, interpretation gallery and 18th century Commissioner's Barge are all free.

 

Somerset House events

 
AOI Illustration Awards Exhibition 2014AOI Illustration Awards Exhibition 2014Enjoy highlights from this year's shortlist of contemporary illustration annual competition.2nd October 2014Sunday 2nd November 2014 Where:
Somerset House,   Strand      WC2R 1LA
Category: event
Free EventOn Soon
AOI Illustration Awards Exhibition 2014
event > Exhibitions > Art exhibitions - Illustration & Drawing | PRICING  Free  
DATES  2nd October to 2nd November 2014 - 10am-6pm
Enjoy highlights from this year's shortlist of contemporary illustration annual competition.
1:54 - Contemporary African Art Fair1:54 - Contemporary African Art Fair16th October 2014Sunday 19th October 2014 Where:
Somerset House,   Strand      WC2R 1LA
Category: event
Free EventOn Soon
1:54 - Contemporary African Art Fair
event > Exhibitions > Art exhibitions | PRICING  Free  
DATES  16th, 17th, 18th and 19th Oct 2014 - 10am-6pm
Guided Tours of Somerset HouseGuided Tours of Somerset HouseDiscover Tudor intrigue and Georgian Enlightenment, scientific curiosity and naval power, extravagant entertainments and 'the King's Shilling', as an expert guide leads you through Somerset House.19th October 2014Thursday 23rd October 2014 Where:
Somerset House,   Strand      WC2R 1LA
Category: event
Free EventOn Soon
Guided Tours of Somerset House
event > Tours | PRICING  Free  
DATES  Sunday 19th October 2014 at 12.15pm-1.15pm, 1.15pm-2.15pm, 2.15pm-3.15pm and 3.15pm-4.15pm & Thursday 23rd October 2014 at 5.15pm-6.15pm
Discover Tudor intrigue and Georgian Enlightenment, scientific curiosity and naval power, extravagant entertainments and 'the King's Shilling', as an expert guide leads you through Somerset House.
De/coding the ApocalypseDe/coding the ApocalypseThis exhibition will use the latest technology to investigate our fascination with the Book of Revelation.7th November 2014Friday 19th December 2014 Where:
Somerset House,   Strand      WC2R 1LA
Category: event
Free Event 
De/coding the Apocalypse
event > Exhibitions > Art exhibitions - Multimedia | PRICING  Free  
DATES  7th November to 19th December 2014 - 12noon-6pm
This exhibition will use the latest technology to investigate our fascination with the Book of Revelation.
Skate At Somerset HouseSkate At Somerset HouseSkate At Somerset HouseThe grand 18th-century courtyard of Somerset House makes for a spectacular backdrop for one of the most popular ice rinks in town. Skating around under the 40-foot Christmas tree with a hot toddy to keep out seasonal chills is one of London's most appealing winter rituals - and a superb way to ease yourself into the festive spirit. If your youngste11th November 2014Sunday 11th January 2015 Where:
Somerset House,   Strand      WC2R 1LA
Category: event
 
Skate At Somerset House
event > Seasonal > Christmas
DATES  11th November 2014 to 11th January 2015
The grand 18th-century courtyard of Somerset House makes for a spectacular backdrop for one of the most popular ice rinks in town. Skating around under the 40-foot Christmas tree with a hot toddy to keep out seasonal chills is one of London's most appealing winter rituals - and a superb way to ease yourself into the festive spirit. If your youngste... More about this event
 
 

Somerset House images

Somerset House  Entrance to the Gallery  

   
Somerset House - Entrance to the Gallery

Somerset House Entrance to the Gallery 

Opening and closing times for Somerset House

Today (Tuesday) Somerset House closes at 18.00

Monday:

10.00
-
18.00
 
 

Tuesday:

10.00
-
18.00
 
 

Wednesday:

10.00
-
18.00
 
 

Thursday:

10.00
-
18.00
 
 

Friday:

10.00
-
18.00
 
 

Saturday:

10.00
-
18.00
 
 

Sunday:

10.00
-
18.00
 
 

LondonTown.com - Somerset House Location Map

 
 
 
Underground Stations

Underground Stations

 
Temple Tube Station
 
3 minutes walk
 
Embankment Underground Station
 
6 minutes walk
 
Railway Stations

Railway Stations

 
Charing Cross Railway Station
 
7 minutes walk
 
Blackfriars Railway Station
 
12 minutes walk
 
 
Car Parks

Car Parks

 
Drury Lane NCP
 
8 minutes walk
 
St Martins Lane NCP
 
8 minutes walk
 
 
 
 

Further articles featuring Somerset House on LondonTown.com

 
February in London 2012

London Fashion Week Somerset House, WC2R 1LA 17th February 2012 - 22nd February 2012 This February London Fashion Week will be once again injecting a burst of style...

 
 
March in London 2012

Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair Somerset House, WC2R 1LA 22nd March 2012 - 1st April 2012 This is the third year for the UK's first contemporary...

 
 
April in London 2012

World Photo London Somerset House, WC2R 1LA 27th April 2012 - 20th May 2012 This year Somerset House will once again be the host to World Photo London,...

 
 
June in London 2012

London Jewellery Week Somerset House, WC2R 1LA 11th June 2012 - 17th June 2012 There can be precious few people who aren't partial to a sparkling piece of...

 
 
July in London 2012

BT River of Music Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DS 21st June 2012 - 22nd July 2012 How about some world class music from around the world to get you...

 
 
What's on in London 2014

With an exciting calendar of events, London 2014 is shaping up to be another special year. Find out the best of what's happening throughout the capital this year with our thorough guide to 2014's finest entertainment.

 
THE BEST

Hotels near Somerset House

Near Somerset House
ME London
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel   from £191  33% off
336-337 The Strand, WC2R | 2 minutes from Somerset House
A luxurious 5-star hotel situated right in the heart of the city, ME London offers guests a lavish accommodation experience. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide the impeccable guestrooms ... More
 
 
 
One Aldwych
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel   from £204  30% off
1 Aldwych, WC2B | 3 minutes from Somerset House
A Large, modern luxury hotel right in the middle of the West End, a few minutes walk from Covent Garden. One Aldwych is exceptionally well equipped, ... More
 
 
 
Strand Palace Hotel London
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel   from £83  27% off
372 Strand, WC2R | 3 minutes from Somerset House
This West End Art Deco hotel right on the Strand and next to Covent Garden is in a fantastic location for accessing central London and theatreland. ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Middle Temple Hall
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
Middle Temple Lane, Holborn, London EC4Y | 5 minutes from Somerset House
Middle Temple Hall, completed in 1574, is late-Gothic in style. Its attractions are a rare double-hammer beam roof, an intricately carved screen (which, although heavily damaged ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Inns of Court and Royal Courts of Justice
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
Strand, Holborn, London WC2A | 5 minutes from Somerset House
A stunning example of Gothic architecture, London's Inns of Court date back to before the 14th century. It is here that barristers train and traditionally practice. ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Temple Church
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
Fleet Street, Holborn, London EC4Y | 6 minutes from Somerset House
Temple Church sits within the Inner Temple of the Inns of Court, and was originally consecrated in 1185 as the spiritual and actual home of the ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Sights and Attractions near Somerset House

The best museums, galleries, attractions near Somerset House
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Courtauld Institute Gallery
London > Attractions > Art Galleries
Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Covent Garden, London WC2R | 1 minute from Somerset House
Manet's 'Bar at the Folies-Bergeres', Van Gogh's 'Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear' and Renoir's 'La Loge' are just a few of the celebrated artworks displayed at ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Somerset House: Embankment Galleries
London > Attractions > Art Galleries
Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | Same location as Somerset House
Opened on 24th April 2008, the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House offer 750 square metres of exhibition space where the Hermitage Rooms used to be. Exhibitions ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Courtauld Gallery
London > Attractions > Art Galleries
Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | Same location as Somerset House
Manet's 'Bar at the Folies-Bergeres', Van Gogh's 'Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear' and Renoir's 'La Loge' are just a few of the celebrated ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Events near Somerset House

Near Somerset House
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Musical Thriller
London > Events > Concerts  Dates: 30th March to 12th April 2015
London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, WC2N | 8 minutes from Somerset House
Emma Thompson returns to the London stage for the first time in 25 years to play Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet ...More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 20th December 2014 to 9th May 2015
Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, WC2N | 8 minutes from Somerset House
Olivier-Award winner Tamsin Greig (Episodes, Green Wing, Jumpy, God of Carnage), who made her name as Debbie Aldridge in Radio 4's The Archers, makes her musical ...More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
War Horse
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 28th March 2009 to 14th February 2015
New London Theatre, Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 8 minutes from Somerset House
This moving adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's World War I epic War Horse gets a West End transfer to the New London Theatre after two critically acclaimed ...More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Entertainment near Somerset House

Near Somerset House
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Aldwych Theatre
London > Entertainment > Theatres
Aldwych, Covent Garden, London WC2B4LD | 3 minutes from Somerset House
With the Waldorf Hotel sandwiched inbetween them, the Aldwych and Strand theatres were originally built to work as a pair. The Aldwych is probably most noted for ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Novello Theatre
London > Entertainment > Theatres
Aldwych, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 3 minutes from Somerset House
Built in 1905 to form a pair with the near-identical Aldwych Theatre, the Novello Theatre (formerly known as the Strand Theatre) is one of London's more ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Savoy Theatre
London > Entertainment > Theatres
Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | 3 minutes from Somerset House
Situated alongside the Savoy Hotel, the building of the current theatre with its Art Deco auditorium, was financed by Richard d'Oyly Carte with the considerable profits ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Shopping near Somerset House

The best shops and markets near Somerset House
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Albion Emporium
London > Shopping > Food and Drink Shops
38 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E | 3 minutes from Somerset House
As British as a bacon buttie, buying your groceries at The Albion Emporium is like getting first dibs on Mrs Beeton's pantry. A bastion of Britishness, ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Primrose Bakery
London > Shopping > Food and Drink Shops
42 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E | 3 minutes from Somerset House
If cupcakes are you cup of tea then head to the Covent Garden outlet of Primrose Bakery, a family owned enterprise which makes the most scrumptious ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Hope and Greenwood
London > Shopping > Food and Drink Shops
1 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 4 minutes from Somerset House
Excellent ice cream in the summer and a delicious-looking Christmas window in the winter are the kind of thing that make this candy shop a special ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Restaurants near Somerset House

What are the best dining options near Somerset House London?
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Admiralty
London > Restaurants > French restaurants
Somerset House, The Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | Same location as Somerset House
In the evenings, approach this restaurant through the fountained courtyard of Somerset House to get yourself in the mood for a magical meal. The Admiralty is ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Admiralty Deli at Somerset House
London > Restaurants > Cafes and Delis
Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | Same location as Somerset House
This cafe can fulfil all your snack requirements while you peruse the exhibits at beautiful 18th century Somerset House.... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Tom's Terrace at Somerset House
London > Restaurants > Cafes and Delis
Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | Same location as Somerset House
This riverside cafe commands wonderful views of the Thames from outside the 18th-century Somerset House. Large sunshades shield customers from the sun's reflective glare, while cooling ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Education near Somerset House

Near Somerset House
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Career Energy
London > Education > Careers Services
4-6 Staple Inn, Holborn, London WC1V | 11 minutes from Somerset House
Situated in the heart of London, Career Energy – formed in March 2002 - offers comprehensive advice on careers, career change and job searching. They’ll analyse ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
English [Out There!]
London > Education > English Language Courses
10 Coptic Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1A | 12 minutes from Somerset House
English [Out There!] takes a very hands-on approach to learning English. The course places an emphasis on using what you have learned. Students are taken out ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Method Studio
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R | 12 minutes from Somerset House
Learn to act by becoming the person you are portraying. Think yourself into the role... eat what they would eat, weigh what they would weigh, behave ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Leisure near Somerset House

Somerset House gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Sanctuary
London > Leisure > Fitness
12 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E | 6 minutes from Somerset House
This day spa exclusively for women is a total pampering experience from the minute you step through the door. Located in bustling Covent Garden you'll soon ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Victoria Embankment Gardens
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
Victoria Embankment, Villiers Street, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 6 minutes from Somerset House
Created in 1874, the Victoria Embankment Gardens run parallel to the River Thames, creating a green walkway between Waterloo Bridge and Embankment, and are dotted with ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Thai Square Spa
London > Leisure > Health and Beauty
25 Shelton Street, 40 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H | 9 minutes from Somerset House
Let the Thai Square Spa transport you to the shores of Asia with their traditional Thai spa treatment rooms, smack bang in the centre of Covent ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Pubs near Somerset House

The best pubs near London Somerset House.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Edgar Wallace
London > Nightlife > Pubs
40 Essex Street, Holborn, London WC2R | 5 minutes from Somerset House
... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Marquess of Anglesey
London > Restaurants > Gastropub
39 Bow Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E | 5 minutes from Somerset House
Gastropub ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Philomena's Irish Bar
London > Nightlife > Pubs
40 Great Queen Street, WC2B | 7 minutes from Somerset House
Philomena's is an Irish themed bar and sports cafe on Great Queen Street, just two minutes walk from Covent Garden tube station. A great place to ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Nightlife near Somerset House

Somerset House clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Lobby Bar at One Aldwych
London > Nightlife > Bars
1 Aldwych, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 3 minutes from Somerset House
Named one of the top five hotel bars in the world by the Sunday Telegraph, the Lobby Bar at the chic One Aldwych hotel is renowned ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Gordon's Wine Bar
London > Nightlife > Wine Bars
47 Villiers Street, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 6 minutes from Somerset House
Home to Samuel Pepys in the 1680s, the building housing Gordon’s is now home to a regular, thriving crowd of drinkers of all ages and all ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden
London > Nightlife > Bars
Belvedere Road, SE1 | 7 minutes from Somerset House
Designed by the Eden Project and run by Company of Cooks, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden is the place to be on a summer's evening ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Meeting venue hire near Somerset House

Where to have your meeting, conference, exhibition, private dining or training course near Somerset House.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Silver Fleet - Woods River Cruises
London > Business > Venue Hire
Somerset House South Wing Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | Same location as Somerset House
Enjoy a luxury cruise on the Silver Fleet. Departing from the Savoy Pier and cruising along the Thames. A classy way to see the Thames.... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Somerset House
London > Business > Venue Hire
Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | Same location as Somerset House
Somerset House, once the site of a spectacular Tudor palace, now includes a magnificent 18th century art gallery housing celebrated collections belonging to the Courtauld Institute Gallery, ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Two Temple Place
London > Business > Venue Hire
Two Temple Place, Holborn, London WC2R | 4 minutes from Somerset House
... More
 
 
 
 

Also in Strand

Our recommendations in the same street as Somerset House

 
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377
 
 
 

Hotels Near

Somerset House

 
 
Near Somerset House All London hotels
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What's On Today

Near Somerset House

 
 
 
Trash Tuesday
Clubbing and Nightlife | Until 25th November 2014 

CellarDoor 3 minutes walk from Somerset House

Champagne Charlie hosts this open mic night....More

The Lion King
The Lion King
Theatre | Until 4th January 2015 

The Lyceum Theatre 3 minutes walk from Somerset House

The Lion King tells the story of Simba - the epic adventure of his battles, his friendships, his dreams and ...More

 
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Theatre | Until 29th November 2014 

Savoy Theatre 3 minutes walk from Somerset House

'My Family' actor Robert Lindsay makes his musical theatre comeback in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which previews at London's Savoy Theatre ...More

 
Bring Up the Bodies
Bring Up the Bodies
Theatre | Until 6th September 2014 

Aldwych Theatre 4 minutes walk from Somerset House

The Royal Shakespeare Company's new dramatisation of Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize winning novels 'Bring Up the Bodies' and 'Wolf ...More

 
Giving Guidance On Future Monetary Policy In A Very Uncertain World: Lecture
Exhibitions | On 30th September 2014 

London School Of Economics 4 minutes walk from Somerset House

Lecture on monetary policy....More

The Woman In Black
The Woman In Black
Theatre | Until 10th June 2015 

Fortune Theatre 5 minutes walk from Somerset House

One of the less well-known West-End fixtures, this adaptation of Susan Hill's gothic novel has been packing out houses since ...More

 
The James Plays: James I
The James Plays: James I
Theatre | Until 28th October 2014 

National Theatre: Olivier Theatre 5 minutes walk from Somerset House

The James Plays, a trio of new history plays by award-winning writer Rona Munro bringing to life three generations of ...More

 
Black Valley Diamonds
Concerts | On 30th September 2014 

The Roadhouse 5 minutes walk from Somerset House

The London-based band plays blues rock originals and covers....More

Les 7 Doigts De La Main: Sequence 8
Dance | Until 4th October 2014 

Peacock Theatre 5 minutes walk from Somerset House

Playful and profound, Sequence 8 is an exhilarating race through the furthest reaches of acrobatics, circus arts, dance and theatre....More

Here Lies Love
Here Lies Love
Theatre | Until 8th January 2015 

National Theatre: Dorfman Theatre 6 minutes walk from Somerset House

David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's musical Here Lies Love opens the new Dorfman Theatre (formerly the Cottesloe) at the National ...More

 
 
 
 
SALE
Hotels near Somerset House

From cheap budget accommodation to luxury 5 star hotels see our deals for Somerset House hotels, including One Aldwych from 79% off.