Fodor's Expert Review National Portrait Gallery

Westminster Museum/Gallery
Free Fodor's Choice
Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, London, England

The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 with a single aim: to gather together portraits of famous (and infamous) Britons throughout history. More than 150 years and 200,000 portraits later, it is an essential stop for all history and literature buffs. If you visit with kids, ask at the desk about the excellent Family Trails, which make exploring the galleries with children much more fun. Galleries are arranged clearly and chronologically, from Tudor times to contemporary Britain. The enormous portrait of Elizabeth I—bejeweled and literally astride the world in a powerful display of imperial intent—may be the most impressive image in the Tudor Gallery, but there are plenty of contenders for that title. The huge permanent collections include portraits of Shakespeare, the Brontë sisters, and Jane Austen. Look for Stuart Pearson Wright's portrait of a seated J.K. Rowling and Annie Leibovitz's striking photograph of Queen Elizabeth II. Temporary exhibitions can be explored... READ MORE

The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 with a single aim: to gather together portraits of famous (and infamous) Britons throughout history. More than 150 years and 200,000 portraits later, it is an essential stop for all history and literature buffs. If you visit with kids, ask at the desk about the excellent Family Trails, which make exploring the galleries with children much more fun. Galleries are arranged clearly and chronologically, from Tudor times to contemporary Britain. The enormous portrait of Elizabeth I—bejeweled and literally astride the world in a powerful display of imperial intent—may be the most impressive image in the Tudor Gallery, but there are plenty of contenders for that title. The huge permanent collections include portraits of Shakespeare, the Brontë sisters, and Jane Austen. Look for Stuart Pearson Wright's portrait of a seated J.K. Rowling and Annie Leibovitz's striking photograph of Queen Elizabeth II. Temporary exhibitions can be explored on the first three floors, particularly in the Wolfson and Porter galleries on the ground floor. On the top floor, the Portrait Restaurant has one of the best views in London—a panoramic vista of Nelson's Column and the backdrop along Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament.

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Museum/Gallery Historical Views Free Fodor's Choice Family

Quick Facts

St. Martin's Pl.
London, Greater London  WC2H 0HE, England

020-7306–0055

www.npg.org.uk

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free; charge for special exhibitions; audiovisual guide £3; family audio guides £6 for 5 people, £4 for 2 people, Free; special exhibitions £6–£18; audiovisual guide £3; family audio guides £6 for 5 people, Free; special exhibitions from £6; audiovisual guide £3

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