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.
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