The Albert Memorial is without a shadow of a doubt the most spectacular monument in London. Nothing else even comes close. If you've never seen it up close before then prepare to have your socks knocked off.
It was built by Queen Victoria as a memorial to her beloved husband Albert, and as well as the golden statue of Albert in the middle it has a ribbon of marble figures running around the base, depicting great men from history, four huge statues representing all four corners of the Victorian Empire, a canopy of delicate mosaics covering his head, and is topped off with a spire of heavenly figures. And over the road you've got the equally fantastic front of the Royal Albert Hall.
Normally the public are restricted to looking at it from twenty feet away, behind the metal railings in Kensington Gardens, but this interesting tour will take you through the gate and onto the steps.
This will allow you to take a much closer look at the Frieze of Parnassus, and the other fine details the decorate the greatest monument of the Victorian era.
Craig has never been on this actual tour itself, but he has described the Albert Memorial on his blog. You might like to read his review of Kensington Gardens as well, and perhaps his one of Queen Victoria's home at Kensington Palace -- why not make a day of it and visit the palace as well?
Craig – “The Albert Memorial is probably the best memorial in London, but funnily enough it's also the least well-known. Everyone has heard of Nelson's Column, Cleopatra's Needle and Marble Arch, but ask someone about Prince Albert's marker and the odds are they won't have a clue. But look at it! How can you forget something like that. The whole thing is massive. It's 175 feet tall -- that's taller than Nelson's Column. (That fact is actually a little hard to believe when you're standing underneath the Albert Memorial, but it's definitely true -- Nelson's Column is six feet shorter.) Unfortunately they dont let you pass the golden gates but you can still get a decent view from twenty feet away. A massive marble mosiac runs around the bottom edge with figures in togas holding scripts and things like that. It reminds me a little bit of the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum. And at each of the four corners is a massive statues comemmorating the continents -- Africa, Asia, America and Europe.”
Craig’s review of Albert Memorial – “I wonder how we're going to be remembered when we die? Probably not with a 176 foot memorial. We'll just be a dog-eared photo at the back of someone's school album -- one of those pictures that have slipped out behind the crumpled-up carrier bags under the stairs. We mere mortals only have a choice of two memorials when we die: a gravestone covered in weeds, or a phot… continued”
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If you enjoy Albert Memorial then you might like to visit Kensington Gardens (you can walk it in 6 mins), Kensington Palace (you can walk it 10 mins) and Queen Victoria Memorial (catch the train from South Kensington to Queen Victoria Memorial)
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans