National Portrait Gallery

Located just off the side of Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Founded by Philip Henry Stanhope in 1856, the gallery aims to give an insight into the people who have shaped British history and culture through their painted or photographed portrait. Visitors might be interested to know that at its beginning, the gallery was run single-handedly by the sole gallery secretary George Scharf. His duties included serving as the guide to the museum, keeping ledgers, authenticating portraits, and much more.

The gallery also runs ‘Late Shifts’. On every Thursday and Friday night, the gallery will run various activities such as drawing workshops, lectures and discussions and live entertainment. Visitors may also purchase a drink at the Late Shift Bar and relax, in the company of the Britain’s most important historical figures.

If the National Portrait Gallery is too small for your appetite for art, visitors can simply hop over nearby to the National Gallery for even more paintings of a similar calibre. Visitors can also head south to historical sites such as Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster.

The National Portrait Gallery can be reached by taking the Underground to Charing Cross via the Northern Line or the Bakerloo Line.