The annual Open House London weekend gives curious Londoners the chance to venture behind the closed doors of some of the capital’s biggest, most renowned and most secretive addresses for free. Discover hidden histories, find interior inspiration or marvel at the new architectural structures shooting up in the capital. Find our pick of the best buildings to visit at Open House September 2019.
What is Open House London?
A huge weekend festival dedicated to making architecture accessible to all. This year’s theme is all about ‘social’, a flexible term referring to London’s social housing, its civic spaces and its most Instagrammable locations (we’re looking at you, Crystal Palace Subway). Now in its 27th year, Open House allows access to private homes, government landmarks, historic sites and sparkling new skyscrapers that are normally closed to the public and just waiting to be explored. Some of the buildings offer free half-hourly tours, others simply open for the entire weekend. It’s the largest event of its kind in the world and features walks, talks and tours as well as the chance to nose around some incredible spaces you’d never usually get to enter.
When is Open House London?
It takes place over just one weekend every year. In 2019 it falls on Saturday September 21 and Sunday 22.
Where is Open House London?
More than 800 buildings across 30 London boroughs will be taking part. It’s a vast sprawl, so you’ll need to dedicate some time to planning your weekend. If you want to visit multiple locations, check on the Open House website in advance for details. The weekend is extremely popular, so unless the building you have in mind is extremely obscure, you can expect to queue.
How much does Open House London cost?
Brilliantly, it’s all free. Some of the popular events need to be pre-booked, and entry to venues like the BT Tower and Number 10 Downing Street are allocated via a ballot (which sadly, has already closed). With the rest, just wear your most comfortable shoes and turn up on the day.
Find out more about Open House London. Or watch our video below on one of the most unusual tours you can take...