Peek behind the doors of some of the capital’s captivating secret spots during Open House London
You’ve pored over paintings at the National Gallery and been to the top of The Shard, but London is home to a vast array of incredible places even locals don’t know about. Every year, hundreds of these secret spots throw their doors open to the public for the weekend; this year, over 800 iconic buildings, churches, museums, offices and even private homes will be welcoming visitors to step inside and experience a different side to this dynamic city. Here are five of our favourite places to visit during Open House London.
This year, Foster + Partners celebrate their 50th anniversary as one of Britain’s most successful and pioneering architects. From their iconic City Hall building to The Gherkin, their creations are instantly recognisable. Foster + Partners’ Wandsworth studio and design hub will be open over the weekend, granting visitors a glimpse of the creative space where their design magic happens.
Riverside, 22 Hester Road, SW11, Saturday 16th September 1pm-5pm, Sunday 17th September 10am-5pm
Steeped in symbolism and mystery, Freemasons’ Hall is the headquarters of the Union Grand Lodge in England. Within, you’ll find the opulent Grand Temple and warren-like chambers. This is a rare chance to see Freemason’s Hall’s illustrious interiors, intricately decorated with stained glass, mosaic and gilded ceilings.
60 Great Queen Street, WC2B, Sunday 17th September 10am-5pm
It’s not just buildings that are accessible during Open House London; there are some enchanting walks and tours available, too. The Olympic Park put this corner of East London on the map, but there’s so much more to explore in this thriving neighbourhood. This two-part tour takes in the scenic River Lea from Hackney Wick to the Thames and weaves its way along the waterside, taking in notable monuments along the way.
Meet at The White Building, White Post Lane E9, Saturday 16th September at 2pm, click here to pre book.
This iconic Victorian entertainment venue has been hosting concerts, fairs and sporting events for centuries. Few, however, have visited the depths of its cavernous basement. During WW1 it was used as an internment camp, and over the years it’s had many different uses. Discover Alexandra Palace’s intriguing history and hidden secrets on this unique tour.
Alexandra Palace Way, N22, Saturday 16th September, every 30 minutes between 10am-4pm.
A privately-owned home appointed in an outrageously eccentric manner, 115 Holland Park invites you to step into the imagination of its owner. Each room is lavishly decorated with exquisite attention to detail in an array of international and historical styles from Victorian Gothic and Rococo to a maharaja’s toilet.
115 Holland Park Avenue, W11, Saturday 16th September & Sunday 17th September 10am-4pm click here to pre book.