This is an annual event that is free that you can just go along to and see lots of buildings etc that are not normally open to the public. Some that take place are open normally but it increases the public’s awareness of them. Some are pre book while others have an allotted amount of time/people that can go in at one time. These are guided usually too as there sensitive to time, the elements etc. It takes place in the third week of September all across London. Some places have very long queues so it pays to come early. Some places are open both days and some just one of the 2 days so you need to plan your route carefully as you will only be able to a max of 5 plus you have to factor in the travel between them all. There is an increasing amount of modern buildings/green spaces creeping into the listings this year as its promoting businesses as well as heritage now. Also you need to be aware of the openings hours as some are afternoon only and others close early. If you are in a queue and you find out that you will be waiting until after it closes to get in you best go somewhere else as you will be wasting your time otherwise.
One of the highlights is the bank of england which is always available but always has a massive queue. You need to get here early for this as only a certain amount can get in at once. The history of our economy is contained within those walls. I have seen a great many other buildings too. Some are really good, some are ok and some like Asia House this year are a pure ‘we do language courses here and there is a tea room’ all set in a building where it takes you 5 minutes to see the architecture and a very strange art gallery.
I saw a church that was in Islington this year and that was the surprise hit as it has views all round London from the church tower and the priest in training was a very nice lady who was quite informed about her church and the area it was in. We were looking for Osbourne House but there is about 3 in London in different places and spellings so we got quite frustrated trying to find it. We also wanted to get in a masonic temple but the queue was too long as was that for a building with a celebrated new lift system. I did however visit Portcullis House which is where Parliament has some new offices and your scanned to make sure your not a modern day Guy Fawkes. This was quite interesting and they gave you a goodie bag to take away as well. It had information about the paintings, tapestry projects, history, workings of parliament, youth projects, Big Ben and stationary.