If you’re as nosy as we are, chances are you’ll be looking forward to the annual Open House festival – which gives curious Londoners the chance to pull out their best Loyd Grossman impression and go through the keyhole (and doors) of some of the capital’s biggest, most renowned and most secretive addresses for free.
For two weekends in September, a whole load of top-grade London real estate will be open for snooping across nearly ever London borough. Here is everything you need to know about Open House London, 2023.
What is Open House London?
A huge festival dedicated to making the capital’s architectural spaces accessible to all. It allows entry to private homes, government buildings and historic sites that are normally closed to the public and just waiting to be explored. Some of the buildings offer free half-hourly tours, others are simply open to walk-in visitors. 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 intriguing London places you’d never usually get to enter.
When is Open House London?
The 2023 edition will take place over two weekends, September 9-10 and 16-17.
Where is Open House London?
Hundreds of buildings across all of London’s boroughs, plus the City of London, will be taking part. It’s a vast sprawl, so you’ll need to dedicate some time to planning what you’d like to see. If you want to visit multiple locations, check the Open House website in advance for details. Open House is extremely popular, so even if the sites you have in mind are apparently obscure, you can expect to queue.
How much does Open House London cost?
Brilliantly, it’s all free. Check each listing carefully on the Open House website before you set off, as some require advanced booking. Entry to very famous sites like 10 Downing Street and New Scotland Yard are allocated via a ballot. For others, just wear your most comfortable shoes and turn up on the day.
What’s the programme for Open House London?
Highlights of this year’s programme include a guided tour of 1923 Northern Line Extension stations near Golders Green, a chance to explore Theodore Komisarjevsky’s Gothic interior of the former Granada Cinema in Tooting, and an opportunity to discover a masterpiece of Victorian engineering, the Markfield Beam Engine in Tottenham. Find out more here.
Find out more about Open House London 2023 here.
Find more brilliant London events taking place in September.