National Portrait Gallery, London, England

National Portrait Gallery entrance, London, England

The National Portrait Gallery entrance is around the corner from the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, Central London.

What is The National Portrait Gallery?

The National Portrait Gallery is a calm little space showing very high quality portraits of the great and good of British society.

The Top Ten portraits

National Portrait Gallery typical gallery, London, England

A typical mixture of busts and paintings.

Queen Elizabeth I; William Shakespeare; The Brontes; The Whitehall Mural (Henrys VII and VIII); Lord Byron; Horatio Nelson; Charles II; Sir Walter Raleigh; Germaine Greer (eh? ! ); Prince William and Prince Henry.

Mid-June to mid-September the BP Portrait Award section of the gallery is especially busy and entertaining as it displays large numbers of dramatic, wacky, peculiar or downright amazing entries for an awards (but sadly no photography is permitted).

National Portrait Gallery royal gallery, London, England

A newer, less traditional space for more royalty.

National Portrait Gallery charles and Diana portraits, London, England

Di and Charles, appropriately separated.

National Portrait Gallery modern gallery, London, England

Modern portraits, but not the Awards.

National Portrait Gallery typical gallery with sofa, London, England

Nice to see a comfy sofa conveniently located for a quiet nap.

Opening times

National Portrait Gallery Opening Hours: 10. 00 to 18. 00 daily, Fridays 10. 00 to 21. 00 except 24-26 December and January 1st. Sundays are Family days with different activities aimed at under 5s, 5-11s, kids in general etc.
Address: St Martin’s Place (near Trafalgar Square)
London WC2H 0HE

Free to enter though special exhibitions may cost extra (BP Portrait Awards is free).

Getting there

– Boat. Get a ferry to Embankment Pier and walk through Charing Cross station.

Tube. The nearest Underground stations are Leicester Square at 200m or Charing Cross at 250m.

– Buses. Practically every bus in London seems to go past Trafalgar Square, but the nearest to the galleries are 24, 29, 176.

– Cycles. There are several docking spaces for Barclays Cycles (aka Boris Bikes) nearby, in St Martin’s Street, Orange Place, St Martin’s Place and Leicester Square.

– Cars. Not recommended.