Somerset House

Landmark in Covent Garden
Somerset House image
Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 1LA
020 7845 4600
Covent Garden
Nearest Station
0.17 miles

Somerset House was built on the site of the Palace of the Dukes of Somerset in the late eighteenth century by William Chambers. Until the nineteenth century Somerset House reached the waters edge, but this was changed with the building of the embankment, though the southern face of the building still features boat moorings.

Previously known for holding the register of births, deaths and marriages, Somerset House is now primarily an arts centre and haven; also home to the Courtauld Gallery, with the most impressive collection of paintings on display anywhere in London including works by Rubens, Bottecilli, Renoir, Manet and many, many more. Also housed here is the Gillbert Collection, an impressive museum of decorative art that first opened in 2000. The Hermitage Rooms regularly feature exhibitions from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

The beautiful, central courtyard area is regularly used as a venue for cultural events; including open air film screenings, concerts, and an ice-skating rink in winter months which proves so popular that tickets are often sold out well in advance!

Waterloo Bridge connects to the River Terrace which has a café and is often used to display sculpture.

Admission to each museum is charged separately, although admission to Fountain Court is free of charge.

Somerset House gallery and exhibitions spaces are currently open:
Monday, Tuesday, Saturday & Sundays 10.00 - 18.00
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 11.00 - 20.00
but will have different times for certain special events.

The courtyard is accessible until 11pm daily.

Somerset House Picture Gallery

Somerset House Picture

Things to Try

Ice Skating Club Night @ Somerset House picture

Ice Skating Club Night @ Somerset House

Get your skates on for a clubnight with a difference.
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Visit Somerset House online picture

Visit Somerset House online

Plug your cultural hole...
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User Reviews


Jul 22, 2004

This place is great. Try ice skating here in winter and watch out for summer concerts.