If you like nosing around other people’s pads then you won’t wanna miss Open House Festival

For two weeks in September hundreds of buildings in the capital, many of which are usually closed to the public, swing open their doors and let you have a look inside. The charity Open City, whose mission is to make architecture and spaces more accessible to the communities that live around them, runs Open House Festival to encourage people to visit new places and help them engage with the city they live in. The festival encompasses hundreds of sites across all 33 boroughs of London and draws in tens of thousands of visitors, and this year is set to be another bumper edition.

Each year the Open House Festival programme is packed with a range of events like walking tours, workshops, guided tours and a whole host of buildings open for drop-ins. Some of the walking tour highlights include Thamesmead through film, a tour that celebrates the women who’ve made a mark on the City of London, industry and change in Hackney Wick, the conservation journey of the Crystal Palace Subway, and one that explores the artistic legacy of Hammersmith.

The guided tours and drop-in sessions run at participating buildings are the jewel in the crown of Open House Festival, and this year you can take a look inside the likes of Hogarth’s House, Rudolf Steiner House, Little Mouse Cheese Shop, Mallard Place, Central Gurdwara, Haberdashers’ House, Markfield Beam and Engine House, Soho Poly, Clissold House, New West End Synagogue, Haggerston Wharf boats, Chart Street Studios, and Fitzrovia Chapel.

There are also a few sites that are so popular, entry is run on a ballot system, so this year you could win slots to tour the BT Tower, 10 Downing Street, Abbey Mills Pumping Station, London Museum West Smithfield, a 1960s Winscombe Street terrace and the Oak Room at New River Head. As ever, the festival is totally FREE, so go exploring.

Weds 6th – Sun 17th September 2023
Various London locations