London Explorer PassFree tour of the Royal Albert Hall Save up to 40% Holders of a London Explorer Pass you can enjoy a free guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall – home to the annual BBC Prom concerts
London PassFree guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall Save up to 55% Buy a London Pass and go behind the scenes on a free tour and see the Queen’s private box and Royal Retiring Room
Craig recommends… Here’s my latest reviews of the Royal Albert Hall guided tour and watching a Proms concert. If you like classical music then try Cadogan Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Opera House and London Coliseum.
The Royal Albert Hall was built with profits from the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, and commemorated the death of Prince Albert in 1861. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone in 1867, and opened it four years later on the 29th March 1871.
The building was designed by Captain Francis Fowke and Henry Darracott, but problems with the acoustics led to it being labelled less than suitable for classical music.
A terrible echo from the domed roof led to a famous joke, that the Royal Albert Hall was the only concert venue in London where a composer could be sure of hearing his work twice. The problem was eventually solved in 1969, when a series of large fibreglass discs were suspended from the roof.
Every summer the Royal Albert Hall hosts a famous series of classical concerts called The Proms (or the Sir Henry Wood Promenade Concerts). They were originally held in the Queen’s Hall on the South Bank, until the Germans bombed it in 1941. They then transferred to the Royal Albert Hall and quickly rose in popularity.
For seven weeks every summer some of the best known conductors, orchestras and soloists from around the world appear at the Proms to play their favourite classical music.
The famous Last Night of the Proms is a typically rowdy affair, where the crowd wave Union Jacks and clap their hands to bombastic classical anthems and patriotic roof-busters.
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If you enjoy this then try: Barbican Hall (catch the tube from South Kensington to Barbican); Royal Festival Hall (catch the tube from South Kensington to Waterloo) and Royal Opera House (catch the tube from South Kensington to Covent Garden).