Explore London’s Architectural History at Open House

by Jack Guy

Sep 6, 2016

Open House, London, England © Foreign and Commonwealth Office | Flickr

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the closed doors of London’s historic buildings, Open House offers you the chance to find out.


On Sept. 17–18, thousands of buildings across the British capital will open their doors to the public in an effort to drive recognition of the fantastic architectural history of the city. Walking the streets of London, it is difficult not to marvel at the history ensconced in the grand old buildings, and what better way to improve your appreciation than by getting inside them.


Among the buildings involved in Open House are private homes, historic sites, government buildings and educational establishments, each with their own story to tell. There are also plenty of walks and guided tours that will give you a window into the function of the sites, both past and present.


Whether you are an architecture geek or simply intrigued by some of the hidden nooks and crannies of London, the Open House weekend deserves a space in your diary. It’s completely free to take part in, but it’s important to remember some of the more popular venues do require you to book in advance.


Take a peek inside the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street, or climb to the tallest building in London at The Shard. On a slightly less glamorous but equally interesting note, you can visit one of the largest sewage treatment works in Europe at the Lee Tunnel.


Further information is available on the Open House website, and you can also buy a guide to the weekend with complete listings of participating buildings.


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