National Portrait Gallery - kidelp

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 with the aim of appreciating all the men and woman throughout British history and culture, through portraiture. At this gallery, you and your family can explore 200,000 portraits from the late Middle-Ages up until the present day. The artworks are a range of different media such as photographs, sculptures, paintings etc. and these are on display in chronological order so that you can go on a journey through the history of Britain as you go from one room to the next. Please note: They have lockers of size 45x30x45cm but there isn't space for buggy storage so keep this in mind when visiting with children- this may be a good chance for them to walk around (if possible) and have a sense of freedom seeing all the artwork and learning/being inspired from them.

Children/Family Activities

National Portrait Gallery sometimes holds arts and crafts workshops for families during the school holidays and weekends as well as art workshops that include painting, drawing, animation and many other activities on Sundays. You can also visit the Family Activity Base which is an art cart with trails and materials that can help you while you are exploring the Gallery. It is free of charge. There are two trails to choose from- 'Art with Spark' and 'Time Switcher'. On the first trail, you can learn to create your own portraits and on the second trail, you and your kids can journey through history getting to know the famous faces around the gallery.


The Portrait Cafe offers a variety of light foods like soups, salads and sandwiches as well as delicious treats like cakes and pastries. There is also a special £4.95 kids lunch box available during school holidays that includes a sandwich and some snacks and a drink.


There are toilets and baby changing rooms in the Gallery.

Getting There

The address of the gallery is St Martins Place, London, Greater London, WC2H 0HE, England. Please note there are no car parking facilities at the Gallery so plan your journey in advance. There is a public car park located on the corner of Whitcomb Street and Orange Street. To contact the gallery, call 020 7306 0055.

  • Closest tube stations: Charing Cross, Leicester Square and Embankment.
  • Buses: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 29, 38, 176