Address: Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Visitors to the English capital are in for a real treat when planning a trip to the vibrant and exciting attraction that is Somerset House.
Home to a changing array of events, concerts, exhibitions and much more throughout the year, the venue is a breathtaking grade I-listed property and a wonderful example of neoclassical design.
Built in the 16th century, the house lies on the north bank of the River Thames and was originally a Tudor palace. However, over the years its primary function has changed and today it has become a stunning home in the heart of London for the visual arts, musical innovation, fashion, film and design.
Open daily from 10 am until 6 pm and even offering its very own ice rink, Somerset House really does offer something for everyone to enjoy during their time in the English capital.
A wealth of events for visitors to enjoy
For anyone hoping to experience a varied and exciting time in London, then a trip to Somerset House could be just the ticket. A changing roster of events take place here each year and guests are encouraged to get involved and find out what’s on during their stay.
One of the standout attractions of this year’s calendar is Utopia – running throughout 2016 it represents a year of “imagination and possibility”, which celebrates the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s inspirational text, Utopia.
Visitors will be treated to the spectacle of public art displays, ambitious live performances, arts and crafts exhibitions, scientific studies and technological innovations on display, public talks, seminars, debates and many other wonderful attractions, all in the name of celebrating this groundbreaking work.
Other events that have been scheduled for the coming months include ‘By Me, William Shakespeare: A Life in Writing’, ‘Out There: Art for the People’, ‘Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Festival 2016’, the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, the London Design Bienniale 2016, and much more besides.
Full details of all upcoming exhibitions and events can be found at the Somerset House official website.
Underground travel options to Somerset House
Visitors to the area that are hoping to arrive in as stress-free and direct a manner as possible might like to make use of the extensive London Underground network, which serves all parts of the English capital.
Somerset House is no exception and, indeed, it can be reached from several nearby stations, such as:
- Waterloo (Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines)
- Embankment (Bakerloo, Circle, District and Northern lines)
- Charing Cross Underground (Bakerloo and Northern lines)
- Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly lines)
- Covent Garden (Piccadilly line)
- Holborn (Central and Piccadilly lines)
- Chancery Lane (Central line)
In addition, visitors to the area can make use of nearby overground rail services from the stations of Waterloo, Waterloo East, Charing Cross and, the inappropriately named, Blackfriars London Underground.
Full details of all public transport options for travellers planning journeys in the area can be found by heading to the official website of Transport for London. This includes station opening times, service timetables and much more.
Parking for Somerset House guests
Meanwhile, visitors to the English capital that are hoping to hire a car during their stay might like to make use of the many local parking options that a trip to Somerset House provides, including:
- Coleshill Parkway (0.2 miles, four minutes’ travel time on foot)
- Shelton Street Car Park (0.4 miles, eight minutes)
- Q-Park Chinatown (0.7 miles, 14 minutes)
- National Theatre Car Park (0.6 miles, 13 minutes)
- Cornwall Road Car Park (0.7 miles, 16 minutes)
- Tolpuddle Street Car Park (0.6 miles, 12 minutes)
- Denman Street Car Park (0.9 miles, 18 minutes)
- Hungerford Bridge Car Park (0.7 miles, 16 minutes)
Motorists are reminded that traffic volumes in the centre of London can be heavy at most times, but especially during the busy morning and evening rush hours. It is therefore often prudent to avoid travelling by car at these times.
Other nearby attractions
Finally, Somerset House is not the only fantastic attraction that keeps countless visitors coming to this bustling part of the city day in and day out. Here are just some of the many other exemplary sights to see and things to do that the area has to offer:
- London Eye (0.8 miles, 15 minutes’ travel time on foot/via public transport)
- Churchill War Rooms (one mile, 14 minutes)
- Palace of Westminster (one mile, 14 minutes)
- Westminster Abbey (one mile, 14 minutes)
- Trafalgar Square (0.5 miles, ten minutes)
- The Ghost Bus Tours (0.6 miles, 11 minutes)
- Banqueting House (0.7 miles, 12 minutes)
- Temple Church (0.4 miles, five minutes)
- Big Ben (0.8 miles, 12 minutes)
- Jubilee Gardens (0.8 miles, 14 minutes)
- Tate Modern (one mile, 18 minutes)
- The National Gallery (0.5 miles, nine minutes)