National Portrait Gallery

Strolling around London on a Sunday is always a nice way to unwind from the night out previously, or the busy week that seemed to have disappeared before it even started! Granted, the hustle and bustle with eager Christmas shoppers, and tourists taking photos of everything (and I mean everything, including the litter bins), makes you feel like it may have been better to stay at home under the duvet with some movies and snacks.

It's only when you find a quiet, relaxed space that you realise that getting out of the house wasn't such a bad idea afterall! For me and Vitor, both nursing a slight hangover, found this within the National Portrait Gallery.

With portraits dating back to the 1400's right through to the modern day, we grabbed our maps and headed into the maze of rooms and images. Gone were the crowds of Trafalgar Square, replaced with quietness and the occasional security guard ensuring you didn't take too many pictures.

The layout of the gallery allows you to travel back to the 1400's, and walk through to the modern day. With the Tudors our starting point, we slowly strolled through, imaging what it would have been like to be alive in those days whilst reading about the powers these individuals had.

Sizing up King Henry VIII. A big piece of artwork for an even bigger piece of man!

The only way to see the detail of the artwork is to follow Vitors lead and get as close as possible. It really is fascinating how intricate and precise the artist was when producing a piece.

Leading through the years and changes in clothing choices, we came to the contemporary and modern art with Diana and Joan Collins striking you as you entered the room.

Remembrance Sunday had us already thinking of the men who fell for our country. Our thoughts, however, flashed to the memories of when we heard the news about Diana, which lead to a debate on her legacy, and why I will always be #TeamDiana.

Marilyn Monroe

The final piece at the end of our walk through history came with the Marilyn Monroe expedition. Featuring photos, movie posters and copies of the magazines she covered, we found ourselves back in the era where she reigned supreme with her glamorous  looks and red lipstick.

Dragging ourselves away from the 50's, we made our way down to the new Taylor Wessing exhibition. This is a new expedition running from 8th November through to 17th February next year featuring 60 images from a range of photographers. Unfortunately, cameras were strictly forbidden so I couldn't get any cheeky snap shots, but they released the image of Mo Farrah so I can tease you with what we saw.

There is a little bit of nudity too, so be prepared for a few nip slips!

mo farah

With that, we braced ourselves and left our Sunday getaway to emerge back on the busy London streets. Feeling refreshed and self-proclaimed professional historians, we strolled on through the West End for a bit of light shopping, before heading back to our own duvets, DVD's and snacks!

A day well spent!

The National Portrait Gallery is located on St Martins Place, just behind Trafalgar Square. You can find more details here.

The nearest underground stations are Charing Cross, Leicester Square and Embankment.

The main gallery is Free entry, and the Taylor Wessing Exhibition is £2 entry. So even if you spent all your money on those cocktails the night before, you can still enjoy a day out.

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