Lonely Planet Writer

Hundreds of buildings will be publicly accessible during Open House London in September

If, like us, you’re a tad nosy and love to have a little look around other people’s properties, Open House London may be the perfect event for you. This annual celebration of London’s architecture and design gives the public access for free to over 800 venues across the city, including private homes, churches, museums, government buildings, educational facilities and historic sites.

More than 800 buildings will be publicly accessible during Open House London in September. Image: Andrew Shiels/Shutterstock

Visitors can celebrate London’s architectural wonders, and explore iconic buildings that are not usually open to the public, including the private homes of the rich and famous. In addition, they can learn something new about more familiar spaces by joining tours, guided walks and activities that are taking place throughout the weekend in the citywide programme.

More than 800 buildings will be publicly accessible during Open House London in September. Image by John Lawson/Getty Images

Highlights of the buildings that are throwing their doors open include a medieval barn in Ruislip, a Richard Rogers-designed school in Hackney, a yurt in Highgate and a 1930s house designed by Berthold Lubektin. You can also explore the new home of New Scotland Yard, and a Stirling Prize-nominated apartment block with wicker balconies.

More than 800 buildings will be publicly accessible during Open House London in September. Image: FenlioQ/Shutterstock

The event takes place on 16 and 17  September, and for the first time in the event’s 25-year history, all 30 of London’s boroughs are participating. Some of the more popular events need to be pre-booked, but otherwise you can just rock up on the day. Admission is free, and further information is available on the Open House website. The 2017 programme goes live on 17 August, and will reveal all the buildings in this year’s programme and give booking details.