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Somerset House

#130 of 1,527 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
Open 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 673 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 301
  • 203
    Very good
  • 47
  • 15
  • 9
Christmas Atmosphere At Its Best

Have always wanted to visit Somerset House over the Christmas period. So pleased that i have finally done this. It was quite busy (although not too busy) on a sunny dry Sunday... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
via mobile
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673 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 575: English reviews
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
626 reviews
280 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 270 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Have always wanted to visit Somerset House over the Christmas period. So pleased that i have finally done this. It was quite busy (although not too busy) on a sunny dry Sunday when I visited (twice in one day, so we could see it in daylight & also lit up). The ice rink is quite large with a smaller one... More 

Thank places2seeplaces2go
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I would not recommend Somerset House for New Year's Eve. I agree with other reviews that it is a beautiful place & the ice skating was enjoyed by my two children & niece. However, £300 for 3 to skate & 2 to spectate was extortionate even for London prices!! We arrived at 7pm only to be told we had to... More 

Thank Annie2060
Level Contributor
38 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The most beautiful place to visit around Christmas time. Nice shopping at Fortnum & Mason. Watching the children ice skating with the polar bears was a great joy.

Thank Salt50
North Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
893 reviews
366 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 477 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were there just before Christmas so there was the ice rink to see and the Courtauld Institute shop to visit and even a po-up Fortnum & Mason's. The architecture alone inspires. Lovely to look at.

Thank Kirkcaldylad
Level Contributor
213 reviews
131 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Walking around Somerset House makes you feel like you stepped back in time. Their cafe is fabulous- a must stop for a delicious hot chocolate! The ice skating is lovely but was quite busy when we went. Don't think it is ideal for young ones. They do have attendants there, which is useful when you fall! The shops inside Somerset... More 

Thank KB1234Uk
Reigate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We came here to do ice skating (so I can't comment on the actual house) which was absolutely delightful. The location has decorated tastefully and beautifully. You do not feel you are in central London which is nice. The skate rent was simple - quite busy but we were served quickly. Bags cannot be taken onto the rink so they... More 

Thank travell_gurll
Level Contributor
88 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Always an interesting place: exhibitions, ice skating in Christmas, fountains... the architecture is impressive and the atmosphere always special.

Thank Óscar M
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

It was a lovely location and great skating experience. Highly recommend a Skate Guide to assist if your group is a little inexperienced like ours. It was wonderful for the first time for my whole family of five to be on the ice together. Enjoyed.

Thank SapphireGrammaticus
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,008 reviews
552 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 273 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We visited here to just watch the skating and soak up some of the atmosphere and it was really worthwhile. There was plenty going on and it's beautifully decorated. It's also a good stop if you need the loo!

Thank Richard F
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
104 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Went here for the ice skating, which was nice. However it was very busy. Need to get there early if you want to enjoy it to the full.

Thank baredd

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Questions & Answers

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  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

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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