Somerset House reopens on 17 May with a varied programme of events for the summer, many of which are free. Aimed at allowing Londoners to reconnect with their friends and families the organisers are also doing their bit to save the planet.

In June the courtyard will be consumed with a forest of some 400 trees which will convert into a fairground for July and August, with dodgems.

The River Terrace, with its great view of the Thames, will have a Spanish theme with San Miguel (from 18 May). While major exhibitions will include an examination of the culture of skateboarding to tie in with its arrival on the Olympic stage, the London Design Biennale 2021 and Photo London.

Somerset House Summer Programme

London Design Biennale 2021 from 1 to 27 June, tickets from £22.50.
Forest for Change, The Global Goals Pavilion
Somerset House reopens with Forest for Change, The Global Goals Pavilion

Participants from around the world will consider the role of design in combating climate change, curated by Es Devlin. This will include the Pavilion of African Diaspora on the Terrace, and the Forest of Change in the Courtyard.

Dodge from 15 July to 22 August, £5pp for dodgems.

Dodge with a difference, as artists reimagine the fairground attraction, and Jimmy Garcia hosts a pop-up.

No Comply: Skate Culture and Community from 19 July to 19 September, free.

The exhibition in the Terrace Rooms, South Wing, looks at the role of the sub-culture in the UK over the past 45 years.

Create, Capture, Pluaralise from 1 June to 31 October at Gallery 31, free.

Using video, sculpture, sound and print, Gallery 31 explores how the body acts as an archive of collective memories and experiences.

Photo London from 9 to 12 September

The hybrid fair where photography dealers meet photographers will include a free exhibition by Shirin Neshat from 1 to 12 September in the Lower Embankment East Space.

E10 Cafe at Somerset House. Courtesy of E10 Cafe
E10 Cafe at Somerset House. Courtesy of E10 Cafe
e10 Café

Somerset House is taking the seed to plate concept to the next level at its planet friendly e10 café. The menu will inform you of the carbon footprint of each option.

More Info on Somerset House

For more information on what’s happening at Somerset House this summer, click here. Main image: The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, Somerset House, Image by Kevin Meredith.