What are you up to this weekend? If the answer isn’t “I’m going poking round lots of quirky London buildings, enjoying Open House for all I‘m worth and whooping with delight at all the random facts I glean” then we’ve just lost a little respect for you.
(Unless, of course, you’re going to a funeral, or setting off on holiday or something like that. We really don’t mean to suggest that you’re an uncultured turd if you have a good excuse like that. But the rest of you, loafing around in bed, perhaps watching a bit of association football or bumming about avoiding housework. NO! Get off your lazy arses, get into town and start learning about this incredible city we live in.)
We’ve already rounded up our picks for the two-day event. But there are 600 others to choose from. Every London borough plus the City have their own participating venues. Even the lamest, Hillingdon, has ten buildings for you to discover (although four of them are churches and one is a barn, but hey - or hay).
1. Avoid the City like the plague didn’t. Queues are longest here and you’ll fit less in.
2. If you’re heart is set on the Square Mile, try a few of the churches. Most open their doors over the weekend and are a pleasant alternative to waiting outside a guild hall for half an hour.
3. Westminster Hall and Portcullis House usually have long queues, but these quickly go down. However, this year it looks like the connect tunnel is out of bounds, so this may change.
4. Don’t pay for a booklet. Head to your local main library and pick one up for free.
5. Whenever you‘re in earshot of an organiser, mutter to your companion(s) “This is great, but I wish they’d do it twice a year”. This event is far too good to have to wait so long.
Competition on a whim
Take a camera, take some pictures and add them to the Londonist Flickr group (tag them Londonist and they find their own way there). We'll show off the weirdest and wonderfulest over the next week and will send an imaginary prize to the person with the best snap.
Image taken from the Open House website. Which we think is fair dibs seeing as we're promoting their event AND they never sent us their Open House Bulletin magazine, despite the fact that we parted with £16 for the privilege, and chased by email and never heard anything back. The rotters. And it's not even a particularly interesting image we've nicked from them anyhow. The green hue makes it look like those people are walking through an Ionic fish tank.