Aerial view of the Nelson Stairway, Somerset House, Image by Kevin Meredith

Historical Highlights Tour

Tuesdays, Saturdays
& select Thursdays

Have you ever wondered what Somerset House was built for and what has taken place within this Grade 1 listed building over the years?

Have you ever asked why Somerset House is located on this particular bend on the River Thames or its part in the naval history of the country?

Have you ever considered how its identity today as a home for cultural innovation resonates with a rich history of art, science and pioneering figures who have shaped our society?

Tours take place at 12.00, 14.00 & 15.45.

Please note that there are no tours taking place on Saturday 01 June.

Our tours will answer all these questions and many more. In this 1 hour experience, you'll take a walk through the varied and surprising history of the site, take a peek behind closed doors, step into our fascinating Deadhouse, explore an unrivalled architectural gem and learn more about the very special story of this building and amazing individuals who have lived and worked here across the centuries. Please note this tour takes you to part of the building that has uneven surfaces and small raised sections between doorways, therefore may not be suitable for all. Please email our to discuss your access requirements. 

Please arrive at Seamen's Hall in the South Wing 15 mins before your tour is due to commence.

Private Tours

Interested in booking a private Historical Highlights tour of Somerset House? The Historic Highlights Tour would be perfect for a work outing, if you are keen history buffs or just want to learn more about the rich history of the building. 
We can take groups of up to 20 people at a time for £400 per tour. If you have any particular interest let us know and we will try and accommodate elements of this within your tour.  
Tours can be arranged at any time within opening hours seven days a week, subject to availability. 
Payment is required two weeks in advance.

If you would like to find out more about private tours please email with your preferred date and time.