The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, Somerset House

Reopening Safely

Following the latest government guidelines on easing of lockdown, Somerset House is now open to the public.

The areas of the site which will be open to the public are:

  • Edmond J Safra Fountain Court, open daily from 08.00 - 23.00, the fountains are currently switched off
  • The Seamen's Hall in the South Wing is open from 08.00 - 21.00
  • The Great Arch entrance on Victoria Embankment is open from 08.00 - 19.00
  • The River Terrace, open daily from 08.00
  • The New Wing is open daily from 08.00 - 21.00

Eating & Drinking

  • WatchHouse is open for indoor dining and takeaway 09.00 - 18.00 Mon - Fri,10.00 - 18.00 Sat & Sun
  • E10 Café is open daily for indoor dining and takeaway 10.00 - 18.30
  • Spring is open for Dinner only, Wednesday to Saturday with reservations from 17.30 and the last reservation at 21.30
  • Somerset House Terrace with San Miguel is open Mon - Sat 12.00-late, Sun 12.00 - 18.00, weather permitting

Upcoming Events & Exhibitions

Do I need to book?

You do not need to book to visit our courtyard, however some events and exhibitions are ticketed so please check our website for further information. 

Due to recent government guidance, when attending an event or exhibition we will need names and contact details for all visitors over the age of 16. This will be taken at time of booking. We also advise that you download the test and trace app ahead of your visit. 

On-site facilities

Toilets are open in the following areas

  • At the south end of the Courtyard (one way
  • system in operation) from 10.00.
  • South Wing Ground Floor adjacent to E10 Café
  • New Wing Ground Floor
  • South Wing Embankment Level
  • East Wing Ground Floor
  • River Terrace from 10.00 till late

We will be operating cashless payments only across the site.
Our fountains are currently switched off.

Site access

Members of the public can enter Somerset House via the Strand, Lancaster Place or River Terrace entrances between 08.00 - 21.00

Safety precautions we have implemented

We’re following the official Working Safely during Covid-19 Government guidance to make sure the whole building is Covid secure for staff and visitors

Face Coverings are essential during your visit while in any indoor spaces, including cafes.

Visitors will be reminded to respect social distancing with signage across site.

Our staff may remind visitors about social distancing where necessary. We ask all visitors to be respectful of our staff and other visitors.

Hand sanitiser is available at all entry points to the building, and we’ve installed hand washing facilities in the Courtyard and River Terrace.

In certain areas we may implement a one way system to assist with social distancing.

We have removed all interactive touch points and we kindly ask you not to touch any displays exhibitions.

We have introduced PPE to staff in some of the closer proximity positions.

Regular additional cleaning will take place throughout the building.

Other Questions

Do I need to wear a face mask?

Visitors are required to wear a face covering while indoors.

Face coverings are not mandatory in outdoor areas.

Will you check my temperature as I enter the Gallery?

We will not check your temperature upon entering the building, although if you suspect that you may have a temperature, we ask that you delay your visit until it is safe to do so. If you become unwell during your visit, we ask you to alert a member of staff.

When I visit, will I need to register with the test and trace app from the NHS?

If we are required to contact visitors in the event of an outbreak of Covid-19, we will contact you using the contact details from your booking.

An NHS QR Code will be posted for exhibitions and other activities on site for visitors to scan with their mobile devices using the NHS COVID-19 app, but not required for access to the courtyard. 

We will follow the latest government guidance regarding use of the NHS COVID-19 app.

What do I do if I'm feeling unwell?

If you feel unwell or have any COVID-19 symptoms please stay at home. You may be refused entry if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

If you’ve got any questions or concerns, email

The NHS COVID-19 app can be downloaded below