Open House Header - Maker Street
Talks and tours
21 & 22 Sep 2019

Open House London

21 & 22 Sep 2019
Somerset House &
King's College London

The capital's largest annual festival of architecture and design. Join us for two days of special tours and the chance to explore the secret parts of the building usually hidden from public view.


All tour tickets can be reserved online from 17 Sep 2019. A small number of tickets will be available on each day from the Information Desk in the Seamen’s Hall, South Wing from 11.00.

Somerset House Studios Tours 
21 & 22 Sep 2019 | 13.00 & 15.00

Meet in New Wing Reception, New Wing

Somerset House Studios is an experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences in the former Inland Revenue offices. Open to the public as part of Open House London, discover how we’ve transformed this wing of our building into a working space for creatives in the heart of the city.

The tour explores parts of the New Wing where work is shown and developed, visits some communal spaces that our Studios residents share and gives a glimpse behind the scenes into artists' studios. Included in the tour is Maker Street, a dramatic alleyway visible from Waterloo Bridge where many of the studios are located.

This tour takes approximately 45 minutes and is wheelchair accessible.

The Hidden Traces Tour - Somerset House and King’s College London
21 & 22 Sep 2019 | 13.00, 14.15 & 15.30

Meet in Seamen's Hall, South Wing

Somerset House was once the home of three Catholic queens - Anne of Denmark, Henrietta Maria and Catherine of Braganza - and played a vital part in the crisis of the Stuart dynasty. We're teaming up with our neighbours King's College London to offer a special tour exploring the history of the site before the current building existed. Special highlights of the tour include King's College London's Archaeology Room and access to the "Roman" Bath. 

The Hidden Traces tour is step-free up to and including the Quad in King’s College London. This is about ¾ way through the tour. From that point, the route is unfortunately not step free or wheelchair accessible.

The tour will take approximately 60 minutes. 

From Setting to Screen: Film Locations Tour
21 & 22 Sep 2019 | 12.00 & 14.00

Meet in the Great Arch Hall, Embankment level, South Wing

From The Duchess to X-Men: First Class, find out more about film locations at Somerset House. Visit places that have at one time been turned into sinister Victorian backstreets, an asylum and a grand palace courtyard.

This tour takes around 45 minutes and is wheelchair accessible.

Explore Somerset House

Throughout the weekend you'll be able to pick up a fact sheet and explore the building at your own pace. Our team of knowledgeable explainers will be on hand to give insight into each location, it’s history and current use. You'll find them in the following locations throughout the day between 11.00 and 17.45.
  • Miles Stair - West Wing
  • Stamp Stair - South Wing
  • Nelson Stair - South Wing
  • Lightwells & Deadhouse - via Great Arch Hall, Embankment level, South Wing
  • Portico Rooms - South Wing
  • Navy Board Rooms - South Wing