The National Portrait Gallery was created in 1856 to house favourable depictions of Britain's historically important, infamous, liked and not so liked members of society.
Tucked away to east of the National Gallery that resides along northern face of Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery is now home to around 10,000 portraits including photographs, caricatures, paintings, drawings and sculptures; most of which are exceptional works of great interest with intriguing subjects.
There will most likely be quite a few that will leave you a little puzzled as to what actually deemed the subject, or event taken part in, worthy of national wall space, but either way the NPG definitely provides a couple of super interesting browsing hours.
From The Beatles to the only surviving portrait of Shakespeare from life, the works are displayed throughout several galleries over 6 floors (including basement, lower ground floor and top floor) including artists depictions and self portraits of aristocrats, rock-stars, politicians, artists, entertainers, warmongers, writers, royalty, poets and other notables.
The collection begins in the 14th century ´Tudor´ times and from here covers eras and topics including 17th century monarchs, arts in the 18th century, 19th century Royalty, Celebrity & Scandal, The Victorians, the Civil War and WWI. However the most popular section is the contemporary collection, located on the second floor, which is part of ´Britain Since 1990´. This section contains 20th century portraits from Prince Charles, Richard Branson and Dame Judi Dench to Germaine Greer, Fatboy Slim and Harry Potter creator J.K Rowling; amongst sports and silver-screen stars. There are two entrances visitors can use: the main entrance on St Martin´s Place and via the disabled entrance on Orange Street. There is a cafe located on the basement level and on the top floor is The Portrait Restaurant boasting great views over Trafalgar Square and London. The NPG is open 7 days a week from 10am - 6pm, closing at 9pm Thursday and Friday nights. Entry is FREE however there are generally admission charges to special exhibitions. These special exhibitions are definitely worth checking out, especially the photography shows. The following stations are all within 10 minutes walking distance from the Gallery: Leicester Square (Northern & Piccadilly lines), Charing Cross (Bakerloo, Northern and National Rail lines), Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly & Bakerloo lines), Covent Garden (Piccadilly line) and Embankment (District, Circle, Northern, Bakerloo & National Rail lines). If you are travelling by car there are several NCP parking stations within the area such as St Martin's Lane Hotel and the Swiss Centre. There are also numerous bus routes that service the area. Located in the heart of the City of Westminster, the National Portrait Gallery is nearby to other great London attractions including the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, the Photographers Gallery and the Theatre Museum. London's West End is also just around the corner with all the shopping and entertainment delights of Covent Garden, The Strand and Leicester Square.
Related London hotel pages
|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||20 Oct||21 Oct||22 Oct||23 Oct||24 Oct||25 Oct||26 Oct||27 Oct|
|Charing Cross Station||1||Bakerloo - Northern||0.21 miles|
|Leicester Square Station||1||Piccadilly - Northern||0.25 miles|
|Embankment Station||1||District - Bakerloo - Northern - Circle line||0.41 miles|
|Covent Garden Station||1||Piccadilly||0.46 miles|
|Piccadilly Circus Station||1||Bakerloo - Piccadilly||0.48 miles|
|Charing Cross London Station||0.25 miles|
|London Waterloo International Station||1.12 miles|
|London Waterloo Station||1.24 miles|
|London Waterloo East Station||1.34 miles|
|London Blackfriars Station||1.69 miles|