Plan Your Weekend

The Open House London event is fully inclusive and admission is free for all Open House events each September.

Browse our top picks and themes, view the full building listings our buy a printed guide to plan your visits over the weekend. We encourage buildings to keep access free to those who show up on the day, however some buildings (and particularly tours) will require pre-booking. Find out more on the individual buildings’ pages and plan your weekend in advance.

  • Q1 What are the dates of Open House next year?
  • Q2 What will I find when I get to the buildings?
  • Q3 Where can I buy the Open House London Guide?
  • Q4 Do I need to book?
  • Q5 When is the Programme published? 
  • Q6 What about late additions and withdrawals?
  • Q7 What are the terms of entry?
  • Q8 Will I get to meet any of the architects?
  • Q9 Can you tell me about access for visitors with disabilities
  • Q10 Are children welcome at all locations?
  • Q11 Are there activities for children during the annual event? 
  • Q12 What does Open City do during the rest of the year? 
  • Q13 How can I get my building involved in Open House? 
  • Q14 Why are some boroughs sponsored by local groups?

The dates for Open House London in 2018 are 22 & 23 September

At many of the sites, there will be someone to show you around and answer your questions. These are the Open House guides and stewards, and there are thousands of them – some professional, some amateur enthusiast, all volunteering their time and knowledge. In recognition of their role their badge enables them to gain priority access to buildings apart from those that are pre-booking only. For information about volunteering, please read our volunteering page or email volunteers@open-city.org.uk

The Open House London guide can be pre-ordered from our shop page. The guide will be sent out in mid-August 2017.

The guide is also available at the following book shops: 

RIBA bookshop
Barbican Art Gallery Bookshop 
London Review Bookshop
Tate Modern
AA Bookshop
Koenig Books at the Serpentine Gallery
Foyles
Museum of London
Brick Lane Bookshop
Peresephone Books
Lutyens & Rubeinstein
Pages of Hackney
Newham Bookshop
South Kensington Books
The Beckenham Bookshop

Entry to a few of the properties will require you to book in advance. Relevant contact details on each individual building’s page will be given for you to do this.

The printed programme is usually published in the second week of August, with advance orders being sent their copies ahead of those available in bookstores and libraries of participating boroughs.

The Stop Press is produced mid-September each year to provide a comprehensive list of amendments, additions and withdrawals to the participating buildings. This is published on the Open House London homepage. The web listings will also be kept up to date with amends.

Open House London is a free event in which all sections of the community are invited to participate. Please note that each building’s opening, security arrangements and refusal of entry are controlled by individual owners, and entry to each building is on terms and at times specified. Participation in events and activities is at your own risk. Information in the guide and on the web listings is provided by contributors. Open House has taken all reasonable care to verify the information provided and cannot accept responsibility for any variation from the details published here. Please do respect building owners and their privacy, and be mindful of photo-taking.
Disclaimer: Neither Open House nor the leader or organiser of any event, activity or walk advertised in the guide or on the Open House website nor any other programme listing, print or electronic, shall be held liable for the death or injury, accident or damage to the person or property (including theft or loss) of any event participant or any guest or any person occurring during or arising from participation in any of the events advertised in the Open House London programme.


Please also refer to our privacy notice

Look out for the entries coded as having architects on site; it means that architects will be giving talks and tours of some of the buildings they’ve designed. There were a staggering 1600 tours being given by architects last year in total. Sometimes you will also find the practice director on site. Also, some of their studios/offices will be open, so you will be able to see the projects they’re working on. Don’t forget to look out for the factsheets which will be available at most buildings.

This year, blind and partially-sighted people will again have the rare opportunity to go on VocalEyes audio-described tours of four of London's iconic buildings. Each tour will be led by one of their describers with a representative from the building or the building's designers. To find out more about the audio described tours and to book your place please visit the VocalEyes or contact VocalEyes at enquiries@vocaleyes.co.uk.

VocalEyes is a national charity providing access to the arts through audio description and the tours for Open House Weekend have been kindly supported by the Greater London Fund for the Blind.

Children are welcome, respecting of course the wishes and rules set out by each property owner who have the ultimate right to agree access to their building.Children are welcome, respecting of course the wishes and rules set out by each property owner who have the ultimate right to agree access to their building.

We organise a programme of activities for children during the weekend festival called Open House Junior - click here for more information.

Although the Open House London annual event is a highlight of the year, Open City (as the organisation is now known) develop and run many educational programmes for inner-city London schools and summer school projects with a number of partners. We also develop programmes for London’s decision makers and aim to influence the future development of London through dialogue and consultation.

 

The majority of the programme is compiled with our own research, and occasionally suggestions for inclusion are made to us which we consider on their individual merits. The criteria for inclusion in the Open House event are architectural merit, and buildings/areas of buildings that are not usually accessible to the general public.
Prospective participants can find out more here

 

This is the first year all London boroughs have been included in the Open House event, however two boroughs have been included through the contribution of local groups supporting the costs associated with hosting the annual event in their area. We hope that the outstanding boroughs will join the scheme in the near future.

Open House London is a free event in which all sections of the community are invited to participate.

 

Please note that each building’s opening, security arrangements and refusal of entry are controlled by individual owners, and entry to each building is on terms and at times specified. Participation in events and activities is at your own risk. Information in the guide and on the web listings is provided by contributors.

Open House has taken all reasonable care to verify the information provided and cannot accept responsibility for any variation from the details published here. Please do respect building owners and their privacy, and be mindful of photo-taking.

There are a few cases where bookings are required to be made in advance. However, in line with the original Open House London ethos of providing access to all, no bookings are administered by us. Contact details for relevant buildings will be provided in the published guide as well as online.

The following buildings are only accessible by entering our public ballot:
10 Downing Street
BT Tower
The Shard

Our ballot system will open on 17th August 2017 and will close on 31st August.

Please note you will only be contacted if you are successful in the ballot.

 

Participating London Boroughs

Barking & Dagenham
Barnet
Bexley
Brent
Bromley
Camden
City of London
Croydon
Ealing
Enfield
Greenwich
Hackney
Hammersmith & Fulham
Harringey
Harrow
Havering
Hillingdon
Hounslow
Islington
Kensington & Chelsea
Kingston
Lambeth
Lewisham
Merton
Newham
Redbridge
Richmond
Southwark
Sutton
Tower Hamlets
Waltham Forest
Wandsworth
City of Westminster

Donate

Organising the programme of 800+ buildings, walks, talks and tours takes a huge amount of staff and volunteer time each year. Give a donation, big or small, and you will directly help keep the Open House weekend free for all to visit.