Open House London – glimpse inside some of the capital’s most fascinating buildings
Ever seen pictures of some interesting or historic building in London and wished you could look around it? Or maybe you’ve walked by and glimpsed a gorgeous interior that caught your imagination? Well, for one weekend in September you can step inside. Because it’s Open House weekend, your best chance to discover the London sights that usually only insiders get to see.
What’s it about?
London is full of incredible buildings, often with equally amazing interiors. Some are showpieces of their era. Others are examples of brilliant, elegant or cutting edge architecture. And many are the work of famous architects or designers. But not all of them are usually open to the public.
However, one weekend in September, you have the chance to visit over 800 of these. From ancient (right back to Roman London) to contemporary, there’s lots to explore. And many of them are free!
So, put 21-22nd September in your calendar, and prepare to discover London’s hidden treasures.
What can you see?
The programme covers a vast range of buildings. From historic, institutional buildings to modern residential homes by famous architects. Some of them offer guided tours, while others let you wander round at your own pace. And others also have activities for kids.
There’s really something for everyone. For example, visit Sir Christopher Wren’s magnificent 17th century Royal Hospital in Chelsea. Or glimpse inside the government offices of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office building, a Victorian showpiece with sumptuous interiors.
Or if you love Modernism, head to the Golden Lane Estate to see a perfect example of post-war residences. Alternatively, browse the website and let your curiosity guide you!
Some of the more popular buildings require pre-booking. And for others, you should expect to queue. That’s because some places only allow a limited number in at one time. And of course, we definitely recommend planning in advance to enjoy this event fully.
The website search facility is useful, as it lets you browse by period, type of building or location. Alternatively, you can also search by architect.