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Make the most out of this year’s Open House weekend
by Afro (follow her on Twitter: @foustoon)
Open House London is back. It will be taking place this weekend on 20-21 September. For those of you who are new to London, Open House weekend is your opportunity to get inside many of the weird and wonderful buildings you see every day on your way to work, absolutely FREE!
The list of participating buildings is massive, but with only have 2 days to get around them, here is our pick of the best buildings to help you make your choice:
#1 Leadenhall Building | 122 Leadenhall, EC3
If you enjoy viewpoints, then Leadenhall is a must see. Also known as the Cheesegrater, it is one of the newest additions to London’s skyline, and has recently opened its doors to the public. It offers some of the most breath-taking views we have ever seen…
#2 Brunel Μuseum | Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF
Brunel Μuseum is a must for all engineering fans out there. Famous for being the oldest tunnel in the oldest underground in the world, you can also descent to the first underground theatre. Folks over at Brunel will also offer access to their superb roof garden where you can enjoy cocktails made by Lottie.
#3 City Hall | The Queen’s Walk, More London, SE1 2AA
An annual classic; if you love your city, you definitely need to see where your mayor spends most of his time. A decent view that includes Tower Bridge is a plus!
#4 Trinity Buoy Wharf | 64 Orchard Place E14 0JY, E14 0JW
Did you know London had a lighthouse? How about an American diner? What would you say to the thought that all of those, plus a container city and a small museum devoted to Michael Faraday, existed in the same place!? ‘Nuff said!
#5 BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir | 105-119 Brentfield Road, Neasden, NW10 8LD
It’s hard to believe that this beautiful Hindu temple is in London. It was actually hand-carved in India before being assembled here in the capital, (please note that respectful dress is required).
5 Top Tips for Maximising Your Weekend
#1 Wake up early!
Open House London is not for the lazy ones. Last year we saw people queuing from 6am outside the Gherkin, so we recommend you get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
#2 Do your research
Know where you want to go ahead of the weekend and read about the history of each building. This will make your experience that little bit more enlightened.
#3 Pack some water and snacks
Getting hungry and not having anything to satisfy your belly can really put a downer on a good day out, so get that picnic basket out the cupboard and be prepared.
#4 Drag a friend along!
Queues are always more enjoyable with some company, and they will also help in buildings with long queues when you want to pop to the toilet without giving away your spot!
#5 Don’t forget your umbrella!
No matter how good a building is, exploring it drenched from head to toe is no fun at all.
We hope you enjoyed this guide. If you see us queuing outside any of the afore-mentioned buildings, come and say hello 🙂 !
You may also want to check our post featuring the best Free London Festivals till the end of 2004.