7. Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery
Nearest Station: Charing Cross
Entry price: Free admission to both Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery
Typical opening hours: National Gallery – 10:00 to 18:00 (daily) and 10:00 to 21:00 (Fridays). Closed 1st January and 24th to 26th December.
Phone: 0207 747 2885
Trafalgar Square is a magnificent space which celebrates Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson’s victory in 1805 against the French and Spanish forces at Cape Trafalgar. Nelson’s Column dominates the square, standing at 135 feet tall – the same height as his ship (the HMS Victory). Atop of the column is an 18-foot statue of Nelson himself.
Notable buildings around Trafalgar Square include:
- The National Gallery, a free admission museum which houses priceless works of art including Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ and Monet’s ‘Waterlillies’ amongst many others. The paintings on offer cover several centuries, and even the building’s interior architecture is worth admiring. The paid-for audio guide is thoroughly recommended. The National Gallery also has a paid-for ‘Sainsbury Wing’, which features temporary exhibitions and collections.
- The Canadian, South African, and Ugandan High Commissions line the square.
- St. Martin in the Fields Church, located to the right of The National Gallery is the church where royal births are registered. It is famous for its Crypt Café which serves warm food at pub-friendly prices in a beautiful underground setting.
- The National Portrait Gallery is also just off the square, and features portraits of famous figures from British history.