It’s the time that all you nosey parkers have been waiting for – Open House weekend. For those who haven’t got tickets in advance, fear not! There are still plenty of secret spaces to explore that require no booking and are totally free – just be prepared to queue. But we Londoners love a bit of that… right?
Here are our top picks for the weekend:
Bank of England Museum
The Bank of England Museum will be offering half-guided tours of parts of the bank normally hidden from public eyes. They will be running from 9.30am on Saturday September 21 and Sunday September 22. No one likes queuing at the bank, so head down early to catch a tour.
From 10am-4pm on Saturday, the historical architecture, books, portraits and artefacts of the east wing of Burlington House, home to the Royal Society of Chemistry, go on show. Experts from the Historical group will be there to chat to visitors and there’s also a competition running to win some some sciencey swag.
On Saturday or Sunday from 1-4pm, go down and visit Brixton’s ‘two mills in one’. All the full tours are now sold out, but short tours are still available with no booking needed, so you can get a taste of the intriguing life of the Ashby family and see all the internal workings of the originally wind-powered machinery on the first floor.
Liverpool Street Station
On Sunday, Crossrail are offering the opportunity to take a sneak preview of their future station plans, which won’t be open until 2018. From 10am-4pm they’ll be running an hourly tour where you’ll be able to explore behind the hoardings that surround the construction site and learn more about plans for the new Underground station being built between Moorgate, Finsbury Circus and Liverpool Street.
There will also be public tours of Canary Wharf Crossrail station construction site, which was built in a former dock and will be one of the largest stations on the Crossrail route. On Saturday from 10am-3.30pm, you’ll be able to dip 28 metres below what was once the surface of the dock water and venture around the ticket hall and station. Tours are every half hour and you’ll also be able to explore the huge retail development and roof garden being built above the station. Ally Swadling
That’s not all – there are so many places to visit, you should probably cancel all your other weekend plans. Here’s more info on Open House.