Fodor's Expert Review Somerset House

Covent Garden Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice
Somerset House, London, England

This huge complex—the work of Sir William Chambers (1723–96), and built during the reign of George III to house offices of the Navy Board—has been transformed from dusty government offices to one of the capital's most buzzing centers of culture and the arts, often hosting several interesting exhibitions at one time. The cobblestone Italianate courtyard, where Admiral Nelson used to walk, makes a great setting for 55 playful fountains and is transformed into a romantic ice rink in winter; the grand space is the venue for music and outdoor movie screenings in summer. The Courtauld Gallery (currently closed for renovations) occupies most of the north building, facing the busy Strand. Across the courtyard are the barrell-vaulted Embankment Galleries, with a vibrant calendar of design, fashion, architecture, and photography exhibitions. The East Wing has another fine exhibition space, and events are sometimes also held in the atmospherically gloomy cellars below the Fountain Court.... READ MORE

This huge complex—the work of Sir William Chambers (1723–96), and built during the reign of George III to house offices of the Navy Board—has been transformed from dusty government offices to one of the capital's most buzzing centers of culture and the arts, often hosting several interesting exhibitions at one time. The cobblestone Italianate courtyard, where Admiral Nelson used to walk, makes a great setting for 55 playful fountains and is transformed into a romantic ice rink in winter; the grand space is the venue for music and outdoor movie screenings in summer. The Courtauld Gallery (currently closed for renovations) occupies most of the north building, facing the busy Strand. Across the courtyard are the barrell-vaulted Embankment Galleries, with a vibrant calendar of design, fashion, architecture, and photography exhibitions. The East Wing has another fine exhibition space, and events are sometimes also held in the atmospherically gloomy cellars below the Fountain Court. Fernandez & Wells is a great spot for an informal meal or snack. In summer eating and drinking spills out onto the large terrace next to the Thames.

READ LESS
Museum/Gallery Historical Fodor's Choice Family Business Romantic Views Gay and Lesbian

Quick Facts

Strand
London, Greater London  WC2R 1LA, England

020-7845–4600

www.somersethouse.org.uk

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Embankment Galleries price varies, Courtauld Gallery £7, other areas free, Embankment Galleries price varies, other areas free

What’s Nearby