A History Buff’s Guide to the London Open House Weekend

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If you like nosing around places you aren’t normally allowed to see, London Open House weekend, on 20th and 21st September is the event for you. London is so packed full of interesting buildings and rich history, it can be easy to miss some of the less well known sights, but Open House London is seeing to it that the public has the chance to appreciate every corner of the city, with over 800 buildings throwing open their doors for one weekend only. Even if you’re a real history buff and you’ve already seen London’s biggest tourist attractions and visited all the museums, there is still plenty left to look at and learn, as these two days will prove. Here’s how to make the most of the event:

1. Download a guide

The website offers you the option to preorder a guide, so you can plan your visit in advance. With locations in 30 different boroughs, you’ll need to map things out carefully to squeeze all you want to see into one weekend.


2. Book a place to stay

One day just isn’t enough – you’ll definitely need two to make the most of the extensive program, so book a room in one of our London hotels for the weekend.

3. Join a tour or two

Many of the locations will be offering free guided tours, so you can feed your brain as well as your eyes. While much of the information available will be about the history of the buildings, one of the themes this year is Design for Living, so expect to learn all about how London and its buildings are alive and functioning today.

4. Look beyond the façade

Another of this year’s themes is infrastructure, which means several of the highlighted spots will be places that are key to the workings behind the face of the capital. Have a good look around the power stations that make the city run, the iconic safety structures like the Thames Barrier, and even some of the latest transport additions like the Emirates Airline cable car.

5. Step outside

As well as building guided tours, there will also be Landscape themed walking tours on offer during the weekend. Wander through some of London’s most historic outside spaces and revolutionarily designed landscapes, to learn all about how they came into existence.

6. Use your imagination

While London has a past to be proud of it, it’s got plenty to be excited about in the future, too. Transformation is one of the event’s themes and it promises to be one of the most interesting, as it will offer visitors an insight into what London is going to look like in the years ahead.

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