Apsley House has long been thought of as the grandest address in London. The Georgian building hasn’t changed much since 1815, when its inhabitant—the 1st Duke of Wellington—led British troops to victory against Napoleon at Waterloo. Today the house holds the Wellington Collection, known for its paintings, sculpture, porcelain, and silver.
Built in 1778, the Apsley House—known locally as Number One London—was originally home to Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington. Today the stately mansion, which is open to the public, is sumptuously decorated with palatial, gilded interiors. Its impressive Wellington Collection includes nearly 3,000 Spanish, Dutch, and Flemish paintings and sculptures by well-known artists such as Goya, Velázquez, Van Dyck, and Pieter Bruegel, as well as other pieces of fine art.
Entrance to the museum is included on some art-themed and comprehensive London tours. Holders of the Overseas Visitors Pass receive reduced admission, as do children aged 5 to 17 years.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Apsley House is ideal for art, design, and history enthusiasts.
- Group tours are available for parties of 11 or more.
- Multimedia touchscreen guides, included with admission, are available in English, German, Spanish, and British Sign Language.
- The on-site shop offers myriad items related to the First Duke of Wellington, art, architecture, and the Battle of Waterloo.
- Limited, free parking is available on-site for disabled visitors and must be arranged in advance.
- The museum is not wheelchair accessible, as there are five steps to the front door (no ramp) and no accessible bathrooms. Once inside, there is an elevator with eight steps down to it.
How to Get There
Apsley House is located in the southeast section of Hyde Park. Parking near the park is limited, so it’s recommended to use public transport. Many buses stop near Hyde Park, and the Piccadilly line’s Hyde Park Corner tube station is about a 1-minute walk from the museum.
When to Get There
Apsley House is open year-round; check the website for current opening hours. In London’s warmer spring and summer months, you can take advantage of Hyde Park’s many picnic spots before or after a museum visit.
Located in Hyde Park, across the street from Apsley House, Wellington Arch was originally built as an entrance to Buckingham Palace. It later became a victory arch commemorating Britain’s victory against Napoleon. Visitors are treated to spectacular panoramic London views from the arch’s balconies, and there is a permanent museum on the ground level. The arch, which is open most days (check the website for hours), has an elevator and is wheelchair accessible.