Accessibility

Somerset House strives to be open and accessible to all. We are working to remove barriers for visitors with disabilities and to ensure our events and exhibitions are accessible.

If you would like to discuss your visit with one of our Visitor Experience Team please call us between Monday – Friday 10.00 – 17.00 (except bank holidays) on 0207 845 4600.

Somerset House
Strand
WC2R 1LA

Somerset House is a 4.5-acre site and has 5 entrances from the Strand, Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge and two entrances from Lancaster Place.

Due to a fault with the lift in the South Wing of Somerset House there is currently no disabled access to the mezzanine level of the Embankment Galleries and Back Studios. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

OPENING TIMES

Somerset House is open every day 08.00 – 23.00 except 25 December.

Exhibition spaces are open every day except 25 & 26 December.

Gallery & exhibition spaces
Monday, Tuesday, Saturday & Sundays 10.00-18.00 (last admission 17.00) *
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 11.00-20.00 (last admission 19.00)*
*Check individual exhibition information for exceptions.

Click here for information about our current exhibitions. 

Note: Large prints captions are available on request.


The Courtauld Gallery
10.00-18.00 daily (last admission 17.30)

Victoria Embankment entrance
08.00-19.00 daily 

New Wing
Monday-Saturday 08.00-23.00, Sunday 08.00-18.00

The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court
07.30-23.00 daily*

River Terrace and Seamen’s Hall
08.00-23.00 daily*

* Our gallery and exhibition spaces sometimes open late for exhibitions and special events. The Edmond J. Safra Court is occasionally closed for concerts, film screenings and other special events.

The fountains in The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court
The fountains in The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court are operational during the spring and summer.

To check whether they’ll be turned on for your visit, call 020 7845 4600.
 

Guided Tours:

We run free guided tours three days a week which take approximately 1hour.

Historical Highlights Tours are fully accessible:

Saturdays 12.15, 13.15, 14.15; and 15.15 and Thursdays 13.15 and 14.45

The Old Palace Tours are not fully accessible as there are a few steps down to the Strand Lane Baths:

Tuesdays 12.45 and 14.15

If you would like to discuss these tours in detail you can speak to one of our Visitor Experience Team by calling between Monday – Friday 10.00 – 17.00 (except bank holidays) on 0207 845 4600


Getting here:

Underground

Distance from:

  • Temple to Embankment Entrance approx. 200m
  • Temple to Strand Entrance approx. 400m
  • Embankment to Embankment Entrance approx. 500m

 

Main Line Stations
Charing Cross
Blackfriars
Waterloo

Buses
Buses 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 26, 59, 68, 76, 87, 91, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 243, 341, 521, RV1 and X68 all pass along the Strand and/or Aldwych, stopping within 100-200 metres of Somerset House.

By river
River Bus Services RB1, RB2 and RB6 all stop at Embankment Pier, roughly 600 metres from Somerset House.

Parking for Blue Badge Holders
We have two parking spaces available for blue badge holders inside the Strand entrance of Somerset House.

  • Please book at least one week in advance of your visit.
  • To book call 020 7845 4600 Monday – Friday 10.00 – 17.00 (excluding public holidays).

 

Ticket Booking

  • Visitors with disabilities are eligible for concessions and may bring a companion free of charge.

For general ticket enquiries and group bookings please call 020 7845 4600 or visit our website (concessionary rates are available for people on low incomes).

Wheelchairs

  • Standard sized manual wheelchairs are available for visitors with mobility impairments. These can be booked in advance by calling 020 7845 4600 Monday – Friday 10.00 – 17.00 (excluding public holidays).
  • On the day you may obtain one by speaking to a Receptionist, a member of the Visitor Experience Team or a Security Officer.

Level Access
All areas of Somerset House area accessible via certain routes.

Please note the following entrances do not have full access:

  • From the Waterloo Bridge entrance to the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court.

There is cobble stone paving’s from the Strand into and in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court with a flat pavement around the edges.

Electric Mobility Scooters
Are allowed in the galleries.

First Aid
There are a number of trained First Aiders on site. Please ask the nearest member of staff if you require help.

Security Alerts
In the event of a security alert, please follow instructions from our staff members.

Evacuation chairs are available, and our security staff are trained to use these.

Phones
Staff on reception desks will be happy to make important phone calls for you.

Exhibitions

  • Copies of the exhibition captions are available in large print. Please speak to a member of staff if you would like a copy.
  • Spotlight tours are run weekly within the exhibition. Please call 0207 845 4600 to enquire when they take place.

Getting around Somerset House with distance measurements in metre:

*Level Access

Visiting the South Wing Seamen’s Hall; Terrace Rooms; Portico Rooms; Navy Boardrooms:

The Embankment entrance is the most accessible route via Temple or Embankment Tube.

Distances to the South Wing Seamen’s Hall Reception from the:

Embankment entrance: 76m* via lifts or 98m and two flights of stairs

Strand entrance: 175m*

Lancaster Place New Wing: 340m* via the Strand entrance or 230m with 11 steps.

Waterloo Bridge: 430m* via the Strand or 25m with 4 steps.

Visiting the Courtauld Gallery in the North Wing; Courtauld Institute of Art; Kenneth Clarke Lecture Theatre:

The Strand entrance is the most accessible.

Distances to the Courtauld Gallery from the:

Strand entrance: 60m* or 20m with 4 steps

Embankment entrance: 219m* or 240m and two flights of stairs

Lancaster Place, New Wing: 206m* via the Strand or 161m and 11 steps

Waterloo Bridge: 300m* via the Strand or 155m with 4 steps

Visiting the Embankment Galleries; Screening Room:

The Embankment entrance is the most accessible.


To the Embankment Galleries from:

Strand entrance: 220m* or 240m and two flights of stairs

Lancaster Place: 420m* or 330 with two flights of stairs

Waterloo Bridge: 500m*via the Strand or 130m with two flights of stairs

 

Visiting the East Wing Galleries; Somerset House Shop; Fernandez & Wells & King’s College Inigo Rooms:

The Strand entrance is the most accessible.

 

To the East Wing from:

Strand entrance: 110m* (via Fernandez & Wells or a ramp is available on request)

Embankment entrance: 160m* (via Fernandez & Wells or a ramp is available on request)

Lancaster Place: 320* via the Strand

Waterloo Bridge: 400* via the Strand

 

Visiting the New Wing; Lancaster Rooms (ramp access available on request); River Rooms; Pennethornes Café;

The Lancaster Place main entrance is the most accessible entrance.
 

For Spring Restaurant, the north Lancaster Place entrance near Café Nero is the accessible entrance and there is a ramp from the courtyard side.

 

To the New Wing from the:

Strand entrance: 206* and 161m with 11 steps

Embankment entrance: 430* and 340 with steps

Please note: There is access from the north entrance of the New Wing to the other wings of Somerset House but not from the central entrance of the New Wing as there are steps within this wing.

Facilities:

New Wing
Toilets
Baby Changing
Accessible toilets on request
Spring Restaurant
Pennethornes Cafe

South Wing Strand Level
Unisex Toilets
2 Accessible Toilets
1 Baby Change
Tom’s Deli

South Wing Embankment Level
Toilets
Baby Change
Accessible Toilet

East Wing
Toilets
Accessible Toilet
Baby Change
Fernandez & Wells Cafe

West Wing
Toilets

North Wing
Courtauld Gallery Café
Toilets
Accessible Toilet

Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court
Accessible Toilets within the South Wing