The Royal Albert Hall was built to fulfil the vision of Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's consort) of a 'Central Hall' that would be used to promote understanding and appreciation of the Arts and Sciences and would stand at the heart of the South Kensington estate, surrounded by museums and places of learning.
The Hall is a Grade I Listed building; and has been in continuous use since it was opened in March 1871. It was always conceived as a multipurpose building to host not only concerts of music but exhibitions, public meetings, scientific conversations and award ceremonies.
Since its opening by Queen Victoria on 29 March 1871 the Royal Albert Hall has played host to a multitude of different events and legendary figures and has been affectionately titled "The Nation's Village Hall". The first concert at the Hall was Arthur Sullivan's cantata, On Shore and Sea, which was performed on 1 May 1871.
As well as famously hosting the annual BBC Promenade Concerts, known as the Proms, every summer since they were bombed out of the Queen's Hall in 1941, the Hall has been used for over 150,000 events, including classical and rock concerts, conferences, ballroom dancing, poetry recitals, education, motor shows, marathons, ballet, opera and even circus shows. It has hosted sporting events, including boxing, wrestling, Sumo wrestling, and tennis.
It is a registered charity held in trust for the nation but is financially self sufficient: it receives no funding from central or local government.
To get there from the Americana; take the 274 bus from Baker Street to Lancaster Gate and then walk across Kensington Gardens, you can see the dome on the skyline or take the 82 bus from Baker Street to Hyde Park Corner. Cross over Grosvenor Place and catch the 52 bus, which stops outside.