MUST DO: Open House London


This annual event is massively popular now – in its 25th year. But you’ll still be able to have a snoop somewhere



Open House weekend at King’s Cross: visitors on a tour of the Coal Drops Yard. Photo: PR
As if you didn’t know, this weekend it’s the capital’s 25th annual festival of architecture and design, a city-wide celebration of lesser-known and normally inaccessible buildings, places, and neighbourhoods.

In and around the wider King’s Cross area there are themed tours guided by architects, historians and other specialists who’ll show you around, take you behind the scenes and give you the low-down on the constantly changing patch around Coal Drops Yard (above), Stable Street and Granary Square (incidentally, been on the new Somers Town bridge yet?).

Don’t know where to start elsewhere? The Open House website lists all buildings by borough – so if you click on Camden, for example, there’s five pages to scroll through.

Some highlights? An ascent to the 158th revolving floor of the 52-year old BT Tower; the elegant Georgian terrace 39-47 Gordon Square, once the centre of the Bloomsbury Group; the Freemasons Hall in WC2 (you’ve walked past it a million times); and the 700-year-old Gray’s Inn legal collegiate (yes, the road was named after an actual building). So it’s a diverse batch.


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The only downside? Many of the dates will be booked up already – so act fast.

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All tours are free of charge, but places are very limited. Sat 16th – Sun 17th September. Details on all the Camden borough buildings and more here

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