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Somerset House

#127 of 1,616 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
Trafalgar Square / Embankment
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Address: The Strand, London London WC2R 1LA, England
Phone Number:
+44 20 7845 4600
10:00 - 18:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 18:00

Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of...

Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. During summer months 55 fountains dance in the courtyard, and in winter you can skate on London's favourite ice rink. Somerset House also hosts open-air concerts and films, contemporary art, design and fashion exhibitions, family workshops and free guided tours of spaces usually hidden to visitors.

The Trust's mission is to conserve and maintain Somerset House to the highest standards and to develop the site as a public space which is universally recognised as a world class visitor attraction and centre of excellence for culture and the arts.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 727 reviews
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Somerset House

The Somerset House is right across the street from the Waldorf Hilton where we are staying. Don't miss the beautiful Courtauld art collection. It is well worth seeing.

Reviewed yesterday
Judi G
via mobile
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727 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 621: English reviews
1 review
Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

The Somerset House is right across the street from the Waldorf Hilton where we are staying. Don't miss the beautiful Courtauld art collection. It is well worth seeing.

Thank Judi G
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

If in London this is well worth a visit not just for the lovely architecture but for the works of art. The gift shop has some nice and not overly expensive products that would make nice Christmas gifts. In the winter you can do some ice skating to really get in the Christmas mood and what a first rate backdrop.

Thank 3oclockS
Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Quebec
Level Contributor
253 reviews
145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Beautiful building just sucks when we went it was blocked by a big tent there was an event. If you are an art lover its the place to be.

Thank silent_21
Level Contributor
90 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Although Somerset House is now been retained as Kings College university and alive with students it is well worth a visit because of the grandeur of this massive building. Enter into the massive paved courtyard off the Strand. Walk though the corridors and staircases. Students are everywhere and you won't be considered an interloper. This building has a rich history.... More 

Thank Shane H
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
107 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Somerset house never disappoints offering countless opportunities and pleasures for the arts lovers or for families who want a nice afternoon out. It's an inspiring place, nearly always busy but worth visiting be it summer or winter.

Thank lillya a
Level Contributor
135 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Previously home to numerous civil servants and tax collectors but now (mercifully) given over to the public as a place of 'arts & learning'. As well as the Courtauld Institute it hosts many interesting events throughout the year (e.g. Photo London) and is generally a great place to visit.

Thank wolsties
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
97 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Great courtyard with amazing fountains, the whole building is immense. It houses various exhibitions etc., but the Courtauld Institute art collection has a permanent home their and it's art collection is not to be missed.

Thank Martin H
Level Contributor
209 reviews
139 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Visited the Courtauld Gallery and it was very pleasant (note there is an admission fee for adults). Certainly quite an extensive collection but probably most impressive was the exhibition of 13th and 14th century diptych-et-al paintings. Just amazing that they can be so old and yet still so radiant. Each of them having their own history and story. A very... More 

Thank DinFrance
King's Lynn
Level Contributor
474 reviews
232 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Go through the entrance off the Strand and you are in a different world. Relax in the wonderful courtyard and watch the people playing in the fountains in summer, marvel at the classical architecture or visit an exhibition in one of the wings, though the brilliant Sony photographs will be over by the time this is posted. There are food... More 

Thank Jeff1903
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
232 reviews
123 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I love to come here and watch the mesmerising fountains in the Courtyard. Ashamed to say that I have never ventured further into any of the various parts of the building such as exhibitions, the galleries or a special event. It's always a case of passing by and popping in to be calmed by the water.

Thank ZoeBailey72

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Staying in Trafalgar Square / Embankment

Neighbourhood Profile
Trafalgar Square / Embankment
With its iconic Nelson’s Column, majestic oversized lions and brightly-lit fountains, Trafalgar Square is not just considered the heart of this bustling London hub, but the very core of the city itself. Beyond this esteemed gathering place are more famous icons, as well as a disproportionate numbers of the city’s most popular cultural attractions including the National Gallery and many West End theaters. Along the way to these major sites are quiet lanes and antiquated pubs to discover, as well as riverside vistas to enjoy on the embankment. With a calendar full of celebratory events, any time of year is a fine time to visit.
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