Royal Albert Hall
Kensington Gore Kensington London SW7 2AP
The Royal Albert Hall was built to fulfil the vision of Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert of a 'Central Hall' that would be used to promote understanding and appreciation of the arts and sciences. It was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, and has staged regular concerts ever since, while at the same time becoming renowned for having some of the worst acoustics of any concert hall in the world – indeed the echo used to be so bad it was said that it as the only place a composer would hear his own work twice. These days the acoustics have been improved by the addition of a series of giant mushrooms suspended from the ceiling, but to be honest the sound still isn't great. Nonetheless it's an atmospheric place to hear music and most famously hosts the Proms every summer – and at least the public areas and seating have been upgraded in a major recent renovation. Oh, and it looks like the great monument it is from the outside too.