Next weekend is London Open House, when all London-based readers of this blog should, unless they have a damned good excuse, be out exploring the architectural secrets of the capital. But the rest of the country plays the same game this weekend, under the Heritage Open Days umbrella. And some bits of London choose to join in, either because they don't believe they are part of London or because they're too mean to pay the subscription. So here's a list of Heritage Open Days events you can take part in inside the capital either today or tomorrow. And if you're too late to make plans, there's no excuse for not planning ahead to next weekend already.
• Red House (Sat 11-4): The National Trust are opening up William Morris's Arts & Crafts home for free today. And their new cafe's open.
• Battle of Britain Bunker (Sat 10-5) (Sun 10-5): Deep under RAF Uxbridge the Battle of Britain was plotted. Who'd not want to take a look into the command room, and associated museum, 76 steps down. I really enjoyed my trip.
[Kingston loves to believe it's still in Surrey, hence there's a full programme of 40 Heritage Open Days events this weekend and nothing next. Here are a few highlights]
• County Hall - Heritage Day (Sat 10-4.30): That's the official seat of administration for Surrey, which is in London. Take a guided tours and see the Grand Hall, Council Chamber and former courts and cells.
• The Guildhall (Sat 10-12): See inside various rooms, including the Council Chamber, and meet the Deputy Mayor in the Mayor's Parlour.
• John Lewis Kingston Riverside (Sat 10-4) (Sun 10-4): Probably the only department store with the foundations of a medieval bridge perfectly preserved in its basement.
• Kingston Crematorium (Sat 10-1): Hourly tours behind the scenes of the crematorium. "Your questions answered".
• New Malden Library Tour (Sat 11 & 3.30): Let the librarian lead you on a tour of this hybrid Art Deco/WW2 styled building.
• Coombe Conduit (Sat 12-4) (Sun 12-4): A Tudor conduit house built to supply water to Hampton Court Palace. Small, subterranean, suburban and fascinating.
• Memorial Community Church (Sat 1-5): For those who've always wanted to explore a Plaistow belfry, and play the bells themselves.
• Carshalton Water Tower (Sun 1-5): It's not on the official list, but the gem I told you about yesterday is open tomorrow.