Open House Header - Maker Street
Talks and tours
16 & 17 Sep 2017

Open House London

16 & 17 Sep 2017
Somerset House &
King's College

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. 


Somerset House Studios Tours 
16 & 17 Sep 2017 | 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 15.00  & 16.00

Meet in New Wing Reception, New Wing

Tickets available 30 minutes before each tour from New Wing Reception, maximum 4 tickets per person booking. Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

Somerset House Studios is a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences in the former Inland Revenue offices. Open to the public for the first time 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 will take you into spaces where work is shown and developed, visiting the communal spaces our Studios residents share and giving you a glimpse behind the scenes into artists' studios. A highlight of the tour will be the chance to explore Maker Street, the dramatic alleyway visible from Waterloo Bridge where many of the studios are located.

This tour is fully accessible and open to all with the exception of the Gym which has a number of steps. The Gym however is at the end of the tour and therefore can be missed.

The tour will take approximately 45 minutes. 

The Hidden Traces Tour - Somerset House and King’s College London
16 & 17 Sep 2017 | 13.00 & 14.30
Meet in Seamen's Hall, South Wing

Tickets available 30 minutes before each tour from Information Desk, Seamen’s Hall, maximum 4 tickets per person booking. Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

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. 

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 be able to find them in the following locations throughout the day from 12.00 and they will be in position for 45 minutes from the hour until 17.00

  • Miles Stair - West Wing
  • Stamp Stair - South Wing
  • Nelson Stair - South Wing
  • Lightwells - Meet at The Great Arch entrance on Victoria Embankment
  • The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court