What should I see at London Open House
August 9, 2010 2:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm overwhelmed by the possibilities of Open House London, which sees hundreds of usually inaccessible buildings thrown open to the public. What are the can't-miss places that are worth queuing for? What are the little-known gems I might overlook? (Worth mentioning: I have a particular fondness for the exuberant, the quirky, and the eccentric.)
posted by yankeefog to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The old Beefeater Distillery is pretty hard to get into at other times of the year.

Ditto the Gherkin, unless you know someone who works in it. It's not quirky or offbeat, but hard to see.

I think the Retro Eco House sounds quite interesting.

If they're still participating, 19 Princelet St sounds fascinating, as is the underground bunker in.... Neasden.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:59 AM on August 9, 2010

Best answer: Also: book; You can book the Beefeater Distillery now.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:07 AM on August 9, 2010

Best answer: BVSH HOVSE is going to be a big pull, but it's worth a look, especially as the World Service is likely to move across to Broadcasting House in the relatively near future.

120 Fleet Street, the former Express offices. (Dan Hill's description should whet your appetite.)

The Gunnersbury Park follies.
posted by holgate at 3:41 AM on August 9, 2010

Best answer: Foreign Office is well worth a visit if you've not seen it before. If you can book, do.
posted by crocomancer at 4:15 AM on August 9, 2010

Response by poster: Muffinman: Wow-- bookings just started at 10AM this morning, and the distillery is booked up already! I'll keep on eye on it, though-- maybe there will be a cancellation. Appreciate the other recommendations.

Holgate: Thanks-- those sound great.

Crocomancer: the Foreign Office is actually the one place I managed to visit at a previous Open House. It was gorgeous.

Thanks, all!
posted by yankeefog at 8:22 AM on August 9, 2010

Ah, sorry to hear you didn't get in. I had the same problem last year. Mrs MM got on the case at 10am and booked us a couple of spaces.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:03 AM on August 9, 2010

This list (via the essential-for-Londoners diamond geezer) gives you all the pre-booking properties, saving you from mucking about on the official site. Though many of them will likely be booked, alas.

I was going to mention 55 Broadway, but forgot. Mea maxima culpa.
posted by holgate at 12:10 AM on August 10, 2010

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