About the Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is one of the most iconic music and entertainment venues in London, instantly recognizable by its great dome and circular construction. It owes its existence to the work of Queen Victoria’s consort Prince Albert. He was a great lover of the arts, and wanted to create permanent venues for the public to explore the arts and sciences. This led to the construction of the National History Museum, The Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Construction was still underway when he died following a sudden illness. Queen Victoria decided to continue with the overall project in his honour. Work eventually began on the Royal Albert Hall in 1867, six years after his death. The building was eventually completed in 1871, and along with the adjacent Albert Memorial.
When built, the massive 20,000 sq ft glass dome was the largest unsupported glass dome in the world. During WW2, its distinctive shape made it a landmark for pilots.
The distinctive architectural style initially caused major acoustic problems due to the presence of a noticeable echo. This was eventually solved by the installation of mushroom-shaped diffusers from the auditorium ceiling.
Over 350 performances are held at the Royal Albert Hall every year by professional organizations, schools and community groups. When it was originally opened, the Royal Albert Hall could seat 8,000 people. This number has been reduced, and seating capacity is now 5,400. The organ is the largest in England, possessing 9,999 pipes. Visitors who book hotels near Royal Albert Hall can check out some of the best London cultural venues.
Among the famous people associated with events at the Royal Albert Hall are Sir Winston Churchill, Shirley Bassey, Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein, Roger Daltrey and Adele. Between 1908-1918, it was a popular venue for Suffragette meetings during their campaign for ‘Votes for Women’. Since 1941, the Royal Albert Hall has been the home of the BBC Proms, the world’s greatest annual classical music festival taking place between July and September every year.
Things to see and Do at the Royal Albert Hall
A wide range of concerts and events are held throughout the year. These include classical music, jazz, recitals, cabaret, drama, and films. Check out www.royalalberthall.com to find out what is on during your stay in the area.
Guided tours of the Royal Albert Hall are provided most days between 9.30am-4.30pm (April to October) and 10am-4.00pm (November to March).
Grand Tour: the most popular guided tour covering the royal areas of the hall, the auditorium and the stage while hearing fascinating tales such as the fact that the auditorium was once flooded with 56,000 gallons of water for a concert, and why a royal love story nearly prevented its construction.
Behind the Scenes Tour: offers an opportunity to see parts of the building, which are not normally open to the public such as the Royal Box, the dressing rooms, the loading bay deep underground and under the stage.
Special Interest tours
Film & TV at the Hall: The Royal Albert Hall has appeared in many films and this tour explores its use as a film location and as a cinema.
The Inside Out Architectural Tour: visitors are guided around the contours of the interior and exterior of the building, looking at its Victorian heritage and architecture.
The Royal Albert Hall offers a good selection of food & drink available all day, from three-course meals to bar snacks and sandwiches, including afternoon tea with music inspired cakes and eleven blends of tea available.
Ticket prices & opening hours
Prices for the various concerts and films at the Royal Albert Hall vary according to the event. Check out the website: www.royalalberthall.com to find what is available during your stay at the London House Hotel.
Prices for the tours vary depending on what is available on any particular day for example, Grand Tour £13.25 per adult, £6.25 per child (aged 5-16)
South Kensington and High Street Kensington on the District and Circle lines are the nearest underground stations to the Royal Albert Hall. There is a ten-minute walk from either underground station. You can also take bus number 70 which is direct from the London House Hotel and takes only around 15 mins.