Museums, Galleries & Tourist Attractions for hire

Museums, galleries and tourist attractions in London that are available for hire as event venues

Updated on 07 November 2019

If you’re looking for iconic venues for hire in London, then have a look through the list above. It features some prominent London attractions that are also available for private events such as parties or business meetings.

Compiled by the team at www.squaremeal.co.uk, this directory features popular sporting venues, museums, galleries and other tourist attractions, not to mention some funky new venues, grand historical venues and a host of well-known London landmarks. Many of these locations are able to cater for well over 1,000 sit-down guests and some of them are venues with outside event space should you wish to take your function al fresco.

Also included in this list of venues for hire in London are some exclusive restaurants and private dining rooms, which will add some razzmatazz to proceedings if you are hosting a special event. Some of the featured locations are also concert venues, which are great if you are planning on having live music at your event.

Whether you are looking for conference centres or party venues, these London attractions should be able to help you find some inspiration. This list should also provide some food for thought to couples looking for wedding venues, as it features locations that are suitable for most budgets, tastes and religions.

Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road, Fitzrovia, London, NW1 2BE

The purpose-built Wellcome Collection Conference Centre combines light, modern spaces with a prime location. The venue’s state-of-the art event space features a helical staircase that connects delegates to the fascinating Medicine Now gallery and Reading Room – excellent for drinks receptions – and the Library. Elsewhere, the Henry Wellcome Auditorium is best suited to presentations, and there are a number of smaller meeting rooms and breakout areas.

Max Meeting 154
Max Standing 390
Max Banquet 80
Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre

Belvedere Road, Southbank, London, SE1 8XX

This landmark cultural centre comprises the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery. While the latter two are being refurbished (they are set to reopen early this year), the Festival Hall is open for business and makes an impressive space for big conferences and product launches. St Paul’s Roof Pavilion on the sixth floor is good for smaller groups, while the Weston Roof Pavilion suits relaxed business gatherings with striking views.

Max Meeting 295
Max Theatre 2500
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 950
Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum

12 Holland Park Road, Kensington, London, W14 8LZ

The old home of Frederic, Lord Leighton – Victorian painter and former president of the RA – this museum is one of London’s hidden gems. Tucked away behind a rambling red-brick exterior, statement backdrops abound here. Among them, the domed interior of Leighton’s Studio is a striking spot for dinner parties, while cocktail receptions can be held in the opulent Arab Hall – the museum’s centrepiece, designed to house the artist’s priceless collection of 16th- and 17th-century Islamic tiles and the house’s central fountain. Private events must take place in the evening as Leighton House is open to the public during the day.

Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 60
Kings Place

Kings Place

90 York Way , King's Cross, London, N1 9AG

Modern music-arts-restaurant hub Kings Place has been a prime mover in the regeneration of King’s Cross. Kings Place Events offers its hi-spec function rooms for private hire, including the Hall One auditorium, with its outstanding acoustics, and the Battlebridge Room, which looks out across Regent’s Canal. Available for exclusive use, the venue also houses the Rotunda restaurant, which has a large terrace for summer entertaining.

Max Meeting 100
Max Theatre 420
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 120
The Royal Institution

The Royal Institution

21 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4BS

Founded in 1799 by eminent scientists, the Royal Institution is still dedicated to the diffusion of scientific knowledge. Exclusive hire of its Grade I-listed Georgian home gives you some rare branding opportunities and access to some remarkable event spaces. The tiered Faraday Theatre will be familiar to anyone who’s watched the RI’s annual Christmas Lectures. The book-lined Library can be joined with the Georgian Room and Writing Room for large-scale receptions.

Max Meeting 400
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 80
Banqueting House

Banqueting House

Whitehall, St. James's, London, SW1A 2ER

Commissioned by James I in 1622 as an entertaining space for court masques, Banqueting House dazzled London’s high society when it opened. You can almost feel the spirit of courtiers who partied beneath the magnificent Rubens-painted ceiling of the Main Hall. This space is an awe-inspiring sight when set for a candle-lit dinner, but the room is also perfect for receptions of 500 and awards dinners for 380 guests. Once enjoyed as a drinking den by James I, the vaulted Undercroft below is an atmospheric space for a cocktail reception or after-dinner party. A list of approved suppliers provides everything from flowers to furniture.

Max Meeting 400
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 380
National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

St Martin's Place, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2H 0HE

The NPG offers a very special kind of face time. From the vibrant ground-floor Lerner Galleries to the intimate Tudor Galleries two levels above, its hireable public spaces showcase the finest portrait paintings of their respective eras. Elsewhere, hi-spec AV and superior tiered seating make the Ondaatje Wing Theatre a sophisticated backdrop for presentations and launches. The Portrait Restaurant frames exceptional views out past Nelson’s Column to Whitehall.

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 300
Bowling Lanes at Namco Funscape

Bowling Lanes at Namco Funscape

County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road, Waterloo, London, SE1 7PB

- It might be best known for its 150-plus arcade games, but Namco Funscape also offers its bowling lanes for private hire. The venue, ideally located on the South Bank within County Hall, is a great spot for Christmas parties, launches and teambuilding events alike. For private parties of up to 500 the Subscape area offers six bowling lanes, a DJ and dancefloor, private bar, access to the American-style pool hall, the Namoke karaoke and unlimited use of the video games. The alley area itself, bathed in ultra-violet light, has non-slip floors, so there’s no need to don a pair of unattractive bowling shoes. There is also the option to purchase tokens for Europe’s fastest bumper cars.

Max Meeting 90
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 500
116 Pall Mall

116 Pall Mall

116 Pall Mall, St. James's, London, SW1Y 5ED

Once a regular haunt for the Duke of Wellington, 116 Pall Mall is now the Regency home of the Institute of Directors. A grand staircase – with viewing balcony – leads into five floors of versatile function rooms: look out for the dual-aspect Waterloo room’s gold-leaf-on-linen wallpaper. The IoD Academy, a newly launched training facility, suits business-first events. The Wine Bar, in the original vaulted cellars, is the place to unwind.

Max Meeting 90
Max Theatre 300
Max Standing 1200
Max Banquet 250
BFI IMAX

BFI IMAX

1 Charlie Chaplin Walk , Waterloo, London, SE1 8XR

The centrepiece of the state-of-the-art BFI IMAX cinema is, of course, the plush Auditorium, which has the largest cinema screen in Britain – 20m by 26m. The combination of high-rise stadium-style seating and a digital surround-sound system really makes an impact and brings multimedia presentations to life. Meanwhile, the foyers are both spacious and versatile enough in their own right to hold drinks receptions, product launches and banquets.

Max Meeting 200
Max Theatre 500
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 200
The Tower of London

The Tower of London

Tower Hill , City of London, London, EC3N 4AB

Each of the Tower of London’s function rooms has its own story: the White Tower houses the armour of Henry VIII, while the Medieval Palace makes a great summer party space. The Martin Tower, which used to be home to the Crown Jewels, is available for intimate dinners, and New Armouries: Banqueting Suite is your best bet for conferences. A private view of the Crown Jewels or a Yeoman Warder tour are popular add-ons.

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 240
The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum

Freeling House, Phoenix Place, Clerkenwell, London, WC1X 0DA

Opened in September 2017, The Postal Museum is a semi-subterranean venue with a rich history. Up top, the contemporary museum building suits presentations or networking events. Down below, Mail Rail – a blank-canvas space with vaulted arches – was once a depot for a secret mail railway. Trips on miniature trains around the original network and platforms make a memorable add-on to corporate, experiential and private events.

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 275
Max Banquet 150
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

The Mall, St. James's, London, SW1Y 5AH

Described by Damien Hirst as the ‘cultural heartbeat of London’, the Institute of Contemporary Arts is a modern creative hub close to Trafalgar Square. The Regency-style Nash and Brandon Rooms are elegant spaces for product launches, receptions and dinners, giving prime views of Big Ben and The Mall. Elsewhere, conference needs are met in either of its two top-spec cinemas. For a blank-canvas space, check out the venue’s theatre.

Max Meeting 186
Max Theatre 186
Max Standing 350
Max Banquet 150
IMAX at the Science Museum

IMAX at the Science Museum

Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London, SW7 2DD

With a screen that’s taller than four double-decker buses, the Science Museum’s in-house Imax Theatre is a high-impact venue for conferences, screenings and awards ceremonies. Tiered seating gives each guest an unobstructed view of the screen, while the state-of-the-art surround sound and lighting system will ensure your message is delivered loud and clear. Guests can also combine a screening with a reception or dinner in one of the museum’s galleries.

Max Meeting 400
Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds

Marylebone Road , Westminster, London, NW1 5LR

This popular attraction has been hosting events on Baker Street since 1884 – it once had Queen Victoria over for tea. Today, guests are treated to a red carpet arrival before heading into one of the venue’s three immersive areas to mingle among more than 300 wax figures of monarchs and celebrities. Our pick for parties is the World Stage Ballroom, with its large stage and screen, which is presided over by Barack Obama, Adele and Boris Johnson.

Max Meeting 380
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 380
Science Museum

Science Museum

Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD

The events appeal of the Science Museum is obvious. Where else can you dine next to the Apollo 10 command module or mingle under the first plane to cross the Atlantic? Daytime conferences are well catered for in the Imax Theatre. For evening events, we like the Exploring Space gallery with its rockets, satellites and landers. Recent additions include Mathematics: The Winton Gallery and Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery – both bookable for events and private views.

Max Meeting 400
Max Standing 750
Max Banquet 400
Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

East Molesey, Hampton, London, KT8 9AU

Once home to royalty, including Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace is an unforgettable venue. It's magnificently played host to lavish celebrations over the centuries, from gala diners to festive banquets and historic meetings. Originally a dining room for members of Henry VIII’s court, the Great Hall makes a grand setting for banquets. Elsewhere, staterooms, grand staircases, cobbled courtyards and pretty gardens make the venue one of the country’s most impressive palaces.

Max Meeting 180
Max Standing 1200
Max Banquet 600
Making the Modern World at the Science Museum

Making the Modern World at the Science Museum

Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London, SW7 2DD

The Science Museum’s biggest draw is arguably its Making the Modern World gallery. The vast space is replete with iconic inventions and is available for events. From the Apollo 10 command module to the first Apple computer, this is where you’ll see some of the machines that helped shape modern society over the last 250 years. The artefacts should be a real conversation starter at a reception or networking event. Dinners are very well catered for too.

Max Standing 750
Max Banquet 400
Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard

Level 31, The Shard, London Bridge, London, SE1 9RY

London – all of it – is the backdrop to any event at Aqua Shard, on level 31 of western Europe’s tallest building. Even the toilets come with a view. A distinctly British theme runs through the venue, from the Liberty-print banquettes to a menu big on home-grown ingredients. There’s a spacious private dining room if your event is a little more exclusive, or the semi-private Gin Wing for larger affairs. Its little sister, Tea Wing, is another glass-clad event space.

Max Meeting 22
Max Standing 360
Max Banquet 180
Museum of London

Museum of London

150 London Wall , City of London, London, EC2Y 5HN

This famous City-based museum can handle anything from Christmas dinners to AGMs. Presentations and screenings are best held in the tiered Weston Room, but if you’re planning a soirée, look first to the Entrance Hall. A drinks reception should work nicely around its futuristic bar before guests move through to the large Sackler Hall, with its 360° digital screen. For summer parties, the Terrace Rooms have direct access to the Rotunda Gardens.

Max Meeting 230
Max Theatre 230
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 350
St Martin-in-the-Fields

St Martin-in-the-Fields

Trafalgar Square, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 4JH

Renowned for its social work, music and architecture, this iconic church can also be hired for events. Its seven spaces range from meeting rooms to an underground crypt whose vaulted ceiling creates a special atmosphere for receptions, dinners and launches. St Martin’s Hall, with its double-height ceiling and oak-panelled walls, is a standout space for formal functions and conferences. The venue also has an in-house catering team and a 2am licence.

Max Meeting 180
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 200
Asia House

Asia House

63 New Cavendish Street , Marylebone, London, W1G 7LP

This Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse in Marylebone features interiors designed by neoclassical architects Robert and James Adam, with pretty signature touches such as filigree plasterwork and inset classical paintings. The three Fine Rooms, Hutchison Room and Library make elegant, Regency-style settings for dinners, conferences and receptions. Elsewhere, the more modern Gallery has been designed as an exhibition space and can be hired separately.

Max Meeting 40
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 120
Namco Funscape

Namco Funscape

County Hall, Riverside Buildings, Westminster Bridge Road , Waterloo, London, SE1 7PB

With a prime location on the South Bank, the Namco Funscape entertainment complex offers more than 150 arcade games, Europe’s fastest bumper cars and its Ping & Pool Hall. Private hire options spread over three floors: teambuilding, drinks receptions and Christmas parties are popular. We’re fans of the Escape Room, where groups solve puzzles against the clock. Elsewhere, a new Boutique Bowling package sees groups take over six revamped lanes.

Max Meeting 90
Max Standing 1200
Max Banquet 1200
Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands

No. 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, Hertsmere Road , Canary Wharf, London, E14 4AL

Telling the story of London’s river and port, the Museum of London Docklands spreads over five floors of a splendid Grade I-listed Georgian warehouse. Its pine columns and floors sit alongside contemporary fittings, producing a spacious and atmospheric feel. Facilities include a boardroom, along with three other spaces that work well for daytime events. By night, guests can also enjoy receptions and dinners in one or more of the museum’s 11 galleries.

Latest news

Book a daytime event on a DDR, and the afternoon tea and coffee service will be upgraded to include Easter cupcakes. Valid from 15 March to 13 April 2018.

Max Meeting 273
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 240
The British Museum

The British Museum

Great Russell Street, Holborn, London, WC1B 3DG

The Grade I-listed British Museum boasts a Norman Foster-designed contemporary events area. Among its spaces are two state-of-the-art theatres with Sony 4K DCP projectors and 3D capability, ideal for film screenings and product launches. A series of smaller rooms are available for meetings or lunches, while its large foyers suit receptions and exhibitions. Tailored tours of the museum’s exhibitions can be added on as part of an event or breakout activity.

Max Meeting 323
Max Standing 330
Max Banquet 150
The Bloomsbury Ballroom

The Bloomsbury Ballroom

Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4DA

The 1920s home of the London Cabaret Club is well set up for large-scale private events. Cars can pull right up to the Grade II-listed building and Holborn tube is close by. The main Ballroom has a built-in stage beneath tall ceilings and art-deco windows, and AV is included (six large screens and projectors). The adjacent Rose Room can stand alone with its own large bar, while the Long Bar is much as it sounds, and a useful breakout space or green room.

Max Meeting 500
Max Standing 570
Max Banquet 300
National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF

The size and character of this Greenwich venue, along with its fascinating range of artefacts, make it ideal for large, upmarket events. The Upper Deck, a dramatic gallery in the glass-roofed Neptune Court, is made for gala dinners and awards ceremonies. Elsewhere, the Sammy Ofer Wing works well for standing receptions, allowing guests to enjoy the surrounding exhibition areas. The AV-ready Leopold Muller Lecture Theatre is the spot for conferences.

Max Meeting 130
Max Standing 1500
Max Banquet 500
Illuminate at the Science Museum

Illuminate at the Science Museum

Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London, SW7 2DD

In February 2019, the events offer at the Science Museum will receive a new crowning glory. On floors four and five of the South Kensington landmark, purpose-built Illuminate will be a blank-canvas venue able to handle large-scale conferences, receptions and dinners. A panoramic window will define floor five, bringing fine city views and abundant natural light. Moving Venue has been appointed caterer; White Light will look after AV. Illuminate will be available for daytime and evening hire.

Max Meeting 400
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 400
Kew Palace

Kew Palace

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Kew, London, TW9 3AE

Described as a tiny ‘doll’s house’ of a royal residence, Kew Palace has been gracefully restored to its state when George III lived there. Inside, a clutch of spaces for hire includes the understated but atmospheric King’s Dining Room (where the Queen celebrated her 80th birthday), which holds up to 30 dinner guests looking across the Great Lawn. Receptions for up to 40 standing guests can also be catered for in this space. In the summer, the Queen’s Garden and its adjoining Physic Garden – holding up to 40 people – make a beautiful spot for a garden party or alfresco cocktails. In addition, the newly restored Royal Kitchen (complete with original ovens and fireplace) and its gardens are open for receptions, while Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, located deep within Kew Gardens, provides a charming backdrop for private dining for 24. Group tours can be arranged, and there’s a new meeting room for 10 delegates in the Royal Kitchen.

Max Meeting 10
Max Standing 60
Max Banquet 24
London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum

Covent Garden Piazza (south east corner), Covent Garden , London, WC2E 7BB

A striking and characterful venue, the London Transport Museum is in a prime location on famous Covent Garden Piazza. Its galleries make an impressive backdrop for evening receptions and dinners, mixing old and new interiors with displays of iconic transport posters and original artwork. The purpose-built Cubic Theatre is well suited to conferences and presentations, with state-of-the-art AV and a breakout area for registration and catering.

Max Meeting 200
Max Theatre 121
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 150
Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Gardens , Kensington, London, W8 4PX

Set in tranquil Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace became a royal residence in 1689. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who was commissioned by William and Mary to create a retreat from Whitehall, and has hosted the courts of countless kings and queens over the centuries. This heritage is reflected in the grandeur of the event spaces. The bright Orangery combines with a marquee to hold up to 1,000 guests, while the Queen’s Gallery – with its rich 17th-century interiors and secluded Sunken Garden – holds 170 for pre-dinner drinks. There is also modern reception space for up to 300 guests in the clean-lined Hub on the ground floor.

Max Standing 800
Max Banquet 300
Sadler

Sadler's Wells

Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, London, EC1 R4TN

This international dance venue has partnered with video agency Streaming Tank to provide live streaming, webcasting and encoding packages. The main auditorium comes with state-of-the-art sound and lighting, while retractable seating makes the Lilian Baylis Studio a versatile alternative. Movable acoustic walls do the same for the Mezzanine Level. Groups can enjoy private pre-show and interval drinks receptions in the modern Pina Bausch Room.

Max Meeting 1500
Max Standing 350
Max Banquet 120
Williams Conference Centre

Williams Conference Centre

Grove, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 0DQ

Sir Frank Williams was the driving force behind one of Formula One’s most successful teams. Today, he lends his name to the Williams Conference Centre. At the F1 outfit’s Oxfordshire base, its modern event facilities are housed in the building that used to be the home of BMW’s Le Mans project. Once they are done meeting, training and networking, groups small and large can wander around Sir Frank’s private collection of more than 40 Grand Prix racing cars. Or they can get active, with guests going head to head on a giant Scalextric or taking on the Pit Stop Challenge together. However you want to structure your day, on-site event managers offer full planning support.

Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 350
Max Banquet 250
Serpentine Galleries

Serpentine Galleries

Kensington Gardens, Kensington, London, W2 3XA

Kensington Gardens is home to two of our favourite modern art galleries: the Serpentine Gallery and the more recent Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Together, the spaces combine the sense of occasion of a listed building with the coolness of a contemporary art space. The former will host private dinners, while both make formidable spaces for drinks receptions. Come summer, the temporary pavilion is a striking one-off space for standing soirées.

Max Standing 250