Open House: Your Recommendations Wanted

By M@ Last edited 106 months ago
Open House: Your Recommendations Wanted


And so one of the most treasured weekends in London's calendar draws near. Open House, taking place this Saturday and Sunday, gives Londoners access to some 700 buildings, many of which are normally off-limits. We're only going to make one recommendation - go see St Anne's, Soho at all costs. The complex and hazardous climb to the top of the Soyuz-like spire is one of the most memorable and scary London adventures we've ever had. But what's your top tip? We're particularly interested in hearing about obscure but enchanting buildings in the outer boroughs, or really unexpected pleasures in the very centre of London. Fire away in the comments.

Last Updated 17 September 2009


In Westminster I'm hoping to get to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners on HQS Wellington at Temple Stairs - the City's only floating livery hall open both Saturday and Sunday. Also the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair the only one of the private members' clubs you don't have to book in advance for (only open Sunday afternoon).

In Southwark I'd love to get to the Sands Film Studios and Rotherhithe Picture Research Library in SE16 which has been on my list of places to visit for quite some time.

Back to the City of Westminster (where I'm almost a qualified guide - exam results held up by postal strike) I would recommend Marlborough House on Pall Mall where you might see me on Saturday afternoon as I'm volunteering as a steward (so I can jump the queues the rest of the weekend!)


I'm liking the look of the Limehouse Accumulator Tower, and a pretty awesome looking newly-built house that overlooks Highgate Cemetary. Oh, and the new, Stirling-nominated Kentish Town Health Centre. And maybe a few other things too, depending on how impossible those bloody cyclists on Sunday make it to navigate through the city.


Forget St Anne's, Soho. I went there today but they only allow you to go up the first two levels, to where the clock is (that's level 1 on the londonist description). They told me that it's too dirty and dangerous to let anyone go any further. There seemed to be a few other disappointed people as well. I guess we all read the recommendations on this site.

Tips? If you haven't done Open House before: Lloyd's, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Freemason Hall and the Daily Express Building are worth seeing. So too is the Ismaili Centre in South Kensington. On the other hand, avoid the Bank of England. It's a major letdown.

And the Zoroastrian Centre in Rayner's Lane and Guildhall in the City were both well worth visiting simply for the quality of the on-site talks given by the local volunteers.