London Open House Weekend 2013

No Oyster card required

Waiting Times May Vary

2013 London Open House – 21 & 22 September
Once again the capital’s buildings will throw open their doors for the greatest annual architectural festival… and all for FREE!

Every year in September a quarter of a million people take the chance to nose about behind the portals and façades of London’s amazing architecture. It truly is a city-wide celebration of all things built, old and new, from palaces to domestic dwellings, the glitzy and mundane, offices and workshops, the secular and religious, in the neighbourhoods where we live, work and play.

The Open House weekend gives you the opportunity to visit around 700 iconic buildings, join guided tours, discover exciting future projects and take part in debates. Also there are film screenings, family activities, a photography competition and more.

Full information can be found on the official website:

Every year I’m constantly surprised and delighted at the range of buildings that are open – many only for this one weekend each year – and the level of access accorded. The popular buildings do get busy and there are queues. Some limit numbers, some places are pre-book only and some open either on the Saturday or Sunday, not both days.

My advice is to get hold of an early copy of the Open House guide, and do your homework. Don’t be over-ambitious, choose a manageable area to cover, rather spending all day wasting time travelling about too much, and have back up plans if buildings are over-subscribed, too busy or have very long waiting times.

Oh, and wear comfortable footwear, take something to eat and drink… and take your camera.

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