Things to do in London

West End Guide: Royal Albert Hall London

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Without a doubt one of the biggest and most famed buildings in the UK, the Royal Albert Hall is a massive concert hall located in Kensington Gore. The iconic performance venue functions as a charity and receives no funds from the government or the public. The Royal Albert Hall began construction in 1867 under the orders of Queen Victoria, who signed the Royal Charter of the Corporation of the Hall of Arts and Sciences. Construction was completed in 1971 and the official opening ceremony was held on 29th March 1871 with a speech by Edward, the Prince of Wales. The concert hall was named after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband who had passed away six years prior. The venue underwent major renovation from 1996 to 2004, which was funded by a £20 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Over the years, the Royal Albert Hall has hosted countless great events and performances featuring the top talent from across the globe. Some of the notable past and recurring events include BBC Proms, Cirque du soleil, Classic Brit Awards, Festival of Remembrance, English National Ballet, Teenage Cancer Trust, Graduation Ceremonies and others. Regular performers at the Royal Albert Hall include Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Shirley Bassey, James Last, and many more.

In 2019, the Royal Albert Hall is set to host some fantastic performances and events and if you're planning on visiting the concert venue, we have just the thing for you. Our Royal Albert Hall seating plan has an in-depth look at the hall and its layout, allowing you to pick the best seats in the house for a spectacular experience.

Venue Details

Address: Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP, UK

Founded: 1871

Seating Capacity: 5,544

Seating Chart
Check out the Royal Albert Hall Seating Plan here.

Practical Information

Section Accessibility

Stalls: In the stalls section, the last row (11) is one step down from the entrance while there are 21 steps to row 1. Support rails are available for stepped aisles at the entry to each row.

Arena: This section can be accessed from the arena foyer level, which can be reached from the main stairs or through the lift at door 1. From the foyer, there are 11 steps to each arena entrance.

Loggia: There are 5 steps from the ground level to the loggia boxes.

Grand Tier and Second Tier: Public lifts at doors 1 and 8 can be used to access the boxes in the grand tier and second tier sections.

Rausing Circle and Gallery: These sections are also accessible via the public lifts at doors 1 and 8.

Available Facilities

Wheelchair Accessibility: The stalls section at the ground level has 14 wheelchair-accessible seats. The rausing circle also has 6 wheelchair-accessible seats in boxes P/Q, R/S, V/W and X/Y. In the gallery section, there are 4 additional wheelchair-accessible spaces. None of the wheelchair-accessible seats require any steps to be climbed and are level access with lifts available.

Restroom: The hall is equipped with 5 unisex, wheelchair-accessible toilets. In the ground floor, door 4 porch, door 8 porch and door 12 lead to the toilet. Door 4 in the grand tier level leads to a toilet. In the rausing circle section, door 8 connects to a toilet. Doors 1 in both the area foyers and gallery lead to unisex toilets.

Bar: The Royal Albert Hall has 4 restaurants, all of which are wheelchair-accessible:

  • Elgar Restaurant at the rausing circle level
  • Coda at the rausing circle level
  • Verdi at the grand tier
  • Cafe Bar on the ground floor

Assistive Listening System: The auditorium, Elgar Room and North Circle Bar are all equipped with an Infrared system. Personal headsets for available for patrons’ use. The headsets can be requested via the Hall’s online Accessibility Request form.

Cloakroom: The hall is equipped with cloakroom facility at the ground level for a charge of £1 per item.

Handy Tips

  • The Royal Albert Hall is a certifiable icon in British history and there's more to the venue than the performances that it has hosted. If you have some extra time, ensure that you take a leisurely stroll around the many corridors of the Royal Albert Hall. The walls of these corridors feature photographs of past performances and events.
  • If you or someone you're traveling with have trouble climbing steps, avoid all sections except the stalls and the arena seats. Specifically, avoid seats in the upper circle as they are quite steep and some of them even have a restricted view. When booking your tickets, check the seating chart to figure out which seats you should avoid.
  • It can get incredibly hot inside the Royal Albert Hall during the hot summer months due to the design of the hall and the general weather in London. If you're planning on watching a performance during the summer season, bring along a hand fan to keep you cool. Also bring some extra drinking water, in order to stay hydrated.
  • One of the recurring performances hosted in the Royal Albert Hall is BBC Proms. This spectacular extravaganza is one of the biggest selling shows in London and you need to be prepared if you wish to snag a ticket. You can either camp outside the venue the previous night and get your tickets early in the morning or spend a day waiting in line for your turn.
  • Outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the hall but you're free to bring your own bottled water. If you're looking for a light snack or drink during the show, the Royal Albert Hall has bars and restaurants available on almost all the levels, giving you plenty of options to choose from.

Getting There

The Royal Albert Hall is located at Kensington Gore in Kensington. This is one of the most popular localities in London and you can be assured of finding tons of public transport options that'll get you to the Royal Albert Hall. Here are the most popular ones:

Tube: South Kensington (District, Circle and Piccadilly lines) and High Street Kensington (District and Circle lines) are the closest underground stations to the Royal Albert Hall.

Bus: Bus lines 9, 23, 52, 70, 94, 360, and 452 ply to and from Kensington Gore. N9 and N52 are the buses that stop on Kensington Gore, right outside the hall.

Vehicle: Limited parking spots are available next to the Royal Albert Hall. You can also get general parking at Imperial College, just 5 minutes away from the hall.

Restaurants near Royal Albert Hall London

1. 190 Queens Gate by Daniel Galmiche: Experience modern British and French dining at this high-ceilinged restaurant topped with chandeliers and gilded mirrors.

2. Memories of India: Discover the quaint charms of India at this restaurant featuring cream walls, a small brick bar, wicker chairs and a truly Pan-Indian menu.

3. Da Mario: Visit this family friendly trattoria in a Venetian-Gothic building for their thin-crust pizza and other classics.

4. Ognisko Restaurant: Indulge in the upscale Polish and Baltic delights served in the opulent white dining room of this fine dining restaurant.

5. Launceston Place: Visit this fine dining restaurant located inside an 1839 townhouse with a notable wine list and upscale British menu.

6. The Queens Arms: This mews pub features a separate dining area and is popular with Prommers and musical students.

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