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.

 

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London Events 2020

With an exciting calendar of entertainment, 2020 is another special year in London. Find out what's happening throughout the capital with our thorough guide to the best 2020 London events.

 
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ME London
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel
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
 
 
 
The Waldorf Hilton Hotel London
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel   from £112  23% off
Aldwych, WC2B | 3 minutes from Somerset House
Positioned between the City's Square Mile and the thriving West End, this grand, Edwardian Hilton hotel welcomes guests with a patisserie and champagne bar in the ... More
 
 
 
Club Quarters Lincoln's Inn Fields
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel   from £158  32% off
61 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A | 7 minutes from Somerset House
Lincoln's Inn Fields is the 4th Club Quarters hotel in London. The hotel is an ideal accommodation choice for business and leisure travellers with close links ... More
 
 
 
 
THE BEST

Alternative Arts Centres nearest Somerset House

Nearest to Somerset House
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Southbank Centre
London > Entertainment > Arts Centres
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 | 7 minutes from Somerset House
London's hub of cultural arts, The Southbank Centre announced in March 2013 that it's set for a £100 million revamp that will see the 1960s design ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
House Of VANS London
London > Entertainment > Arts Centres
Arches 228-232 Station Approach Road, SE1 | 11 minutes from Somerset House
In the midst of Leeke Street tunnel, one of the biggest graffiti canvases in London, and opposite The Vaults you'll find House of Vans, ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Horse Hospital
London > Entertainment > Arts Centres
30 Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N | 17 minutes from Somerset House
As the name suggests, The Horse Hospital wasn't always the modern arts venue it is today. Once home to sick and injured horses - many references ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Entertainment near Somerset House

Near Somerset House
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
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
London > Entertainment > Theatres
Catherine Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 4 minutes from Somerset House
London's oldest theatre is also its most spectacular, with a palatial auditorium that is among the most impressive in the world. The first theatre on this ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Events near Somerset House

Near Somerset House
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Play That Goes Wrong
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 5th September 2014 to 2nd May 2021
Somerset House, Catherine Street, WC2B | 3 minutes from Somerset House
Presented by the award-winning, international comedy company Mischief Theatre, The Play That Goes Wrong follows the inept and accident prone Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society ...More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Woman In Black
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 1st January 2020 to 27th March 2021
Somerset House, Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 5 minutes 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 1989 through word of mouth ...More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Good
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 6th October to 19th December 2020
Somerset House, Northumberland Avenue, WC2N | 8 minutes from Somerset House
David Tennant, the well loved actor best known for playing Doctor Who, returns to the West End to star in Good, the first play from the ...More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Sights and Attractions near Somerset House

The best museums, galleries, attractions near Somerset House
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 Institute Of Art
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
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Store Studios
London > Attractions > Art Galleries
180 The Strand, WC2R | 3 minutes from Somerset House
A creative space and broadcast studios housed in a Brutalist building, Store Studios, 180 The Strand launched in October 2016 with 'The ... More
 
 
 
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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
Penhaligon's
London > Shopping > Perfume and Cosmetics
41 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E | 4 minutes from Somerset House
For a sweet-smelling, sensory overload, Penhaligon's has to be the place to go. From the original Hammam Bouquet to the Winston Churchill's favourite - the Blenheim ... 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 Kitchen
London > Restaurants > British restaurants
Somerset House, The Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | Same location as Somerset House
Located right in the heart of Somerset House, the second Tom's Kitchen opened the doors on in September 2010. The Tom's Kitchen chain comes with high ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Education near Somerset House

Near Somerset House
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Courtauld Institute of Art
London > Education > Arts and Drama
Somerset House, Covent Garden, London WC2R | 1 minute from Somerset House
The Courtauld is one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, affiliated with the Oxbridge system and boasting a huge private location and prime ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
1 Sheffield Street, Holborn, London WC2A | 5 minutes from Somerset House
The award-winning Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, designed by Irish architects O'Donnell + Tuomey and awarded the RIBA London Building of the Year Award in 2014, ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The London Film School
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
24 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H | 8 minutes from Somerset House
The London Film School is the oldest-established international school of film technique in the world. The school has contributed significantly to ... 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
Bernie Spain Gardens
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
Upper Ground, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1 | 7 minutes from Somerset House
Located between Oxo Tower Wharf and Gabriel's Wharf, Bernie Spain Gardens is a pleasant green space to stop off on a riverside walk along the South ... 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, Covent Garden, London 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
Somerset House Terrace
London > Nightlife > Bars
Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | Same location as Somerset House
For summer 2019 the riverside terrace next to Somerset House is partnering with San Miguel beer to offer a summery menu of Spanish-inspired ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Proud Embankment
London > Nightlife >
8 Victoria Embankment, WC2R | 1 minute from Somerset House
Baz Luhrmann meets Cirque du Soleil at Proud Embankment, an immersive cabaret-dining experience and the largest club of its kind in ... More
 
 
 
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
 
 
 
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
With its castle like façade and a striking interior, Two Temple Place is one of London's most prestigious settings for corporate and private events. As well ... More
 
 
 
 

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What's On Today

Near Somerset House

 
 
 
The Play That Goes Wrong
The Play That Goes Wrong
Theatre | Until 2nd May 2021 

Duchess Theatre 3 minutes walk from Somerset House

Presented by the award-winning, international comedy company Mischief Theatre, The Play That Goes Wrong follows the inept and accident prone ...More

 
Frozen the Musical
Frozen the Musical
Theatre | Until 5th January 2021 

Theatre Royal Drury Lane 4 minutes walk from Somerset House

Disney's hit film Frozen goes from screen to stage when the magical world of Arendelle is recreated at the newly ...More

 
Hidden London: The Exhibition
Hidden London: The Exhibition
Exhibitions | Until 1st January 2021 

London Transport Museum 4 minutes walk from Somerset House

Experience an 'abandoned' Tube station and discover stories about Churchill in the Blitz at the London Transport Museum's exhibition, Hidden ...More

 
Future Engineers
Future Engineers
Exhibitions | Until 31st December 2020 

London Transport Museum 4 minutes walk from Somerset House

Explore the world of transport engineering in the Future Engineers gallery, a permanent display at the London Transport Museum since ...More

 
The Woman In Black
The Woman In Black
Theatre | Until 27th March 2021 

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 ...More

 
Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly!
Theatre | Until 6th March 2021 

Adelphi Theatre 5 minutes walk from Somerset House

Multi Olivier and BAFTA Award winning Imelda Staunton plays meddlesome socialite turned matchmaker Dolly Levi, taking the title role in ...More

 
Death Of England: Delroy
Theatre | Until 28th November 2020 

National Theatre: Olivier Theatre 5 minutes walk from Somerset House

A Black working class man confronts his relationship with White Britain in present day London in Clint Dyer and Roy ...More

Among The Trees
Exhibitions | Until 31st October 2020 

Southbank Centre 7 minutes walk from Somerset House

Artworks from the late 1960s up to present day that highlight and explore our relationships with trees and forests, with ...More

Good
Good
Theatre | Until 19th December 2020 

Playhouse Theatre 8 minutes walk from Somerset House

David Tennant, the well loved actor best known for playing Doctor Who, returns to the West End to star in ...More

 
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella
Theatre | Until 12th December 2020 

Gillian Lynne Theatre 8 minutes walk from Somerset House

...More

 
 
 
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