Art historians consider it one of the most prestigious collections on Earth, but alas, you cannot visit this year. It’s undergoing a £50-million renovation until 2020. Somerset House (www.somersethouse.org.uk), its home, was once a naval complex and later was where Londoners came to settle taxes. Now it’s a favorite hangout. The courtyard, beneath which lie the foundations of a Tudor palace, has a grove of 55 ground-level fountains that delight small children, and it’s the scene of both popular summer concerts and a winter ice rink. Free 30-min. tours go Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from the information desk in the Seamen’s Hall; check ahead for timings since they may change if something else big is going on. Also look for changing exhibitions (either free or £10 adults, £8 seniors/students depending on what's on). The Victoria Embankment terrace overlooking the Thames (from across the street) can be enjoyed for free.
The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery
Somerset House, Strand, WC2
Our Rating Hours Closed until 2020 Transportation Tube: Temple Phone 020/7848-2526 Web site The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery
MapSomerset House, Strand, WC2 London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.