The Wellington Arch and Apsley House

Did you know the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner is open to the public? I’ve passed the arch a million times on the bus, but this week I decided to stop and visit.

Inside the arch, there are three floors of exhibition space exploring the history of the building. The Wellington Arch was built to create an impressive western entrance to London and has also served as London’s smallest police station.

The Quadriga on the top is the largest bronze sculpture in Europe and replaced a sculpture of the Duke of Wellington which was mercilessly ridiculed for being enormously out of proportion to the Arch.

From the balconies at the top of the Wellington Arch, you can enjoy a fantastic view of Apsley House, the entrance to Hyde Park, Green Park and Constitution Hill.

Apsley House, to the right of the photo, is often known as Number One London and was home to the Duke of Wellington in the 1820s after his victory at Waterloo. The current Duke of Wellington still uses Apsley House as his London base.

The house is very grand, with an impressive collection of paintings, including some from Napoleon’s collection. It’s a must see for anyone interested in military history.

The ticket price includes an enjoyable audio guide for Apsley House packed with facts about banquets and balls, ducal disagreements about the colour of the wallpaper and the current duke’s childhood enthusiasm for sliding down the bannisters.

Book a joint ticket for the Wellington Arch and Apsley House – adult £7.40, child £3.70, concession £6.30 www.english-heritage.org.uk

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  1. LazyLondon says:

    That’s a well-kept London secret! I’ve also been past many times with no idea you could go inside.

  2. SouthLondoner says:

    I had no idea you could go inside either! Very interesting. I like venues in unexpected places – like Shunt in London Bridge or the Euston Tap pub in one of those stone lodges outside Euston Station.

  3. Ava Suntoke says:

    I was so glad to visit the Apsley HOuse during our trip to London last year. The collection is beautiful. I always enter the drawing in the hope of getting a chance to come back. Hope this is the lucky time!

  4. Geoff says:

    I visited Apsley House earlier this year, as it was in the English Heritage handbook. It’s more of a palace than a house inside. See how the upper classes used to live! The Wellington Arch is worth a visit the same day too, and you can see even more monuments and sculptures if you look around the vicinity of the Arch and then walk through Hyde Park to the Marble Arch.

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