9 dog-friendly Open House London venues (& how to make a dog day out of it)

Dog outside the Wilton's Music Hall

After the Open Garden Squares, it is time for Open House London 2018, coming on 22 and 23 September 2018. We went on the hunt for some dog-friendly Open House London houses and venues and give you some inspiration to plan a complete dog day out.

Dogs at Open House London 2018: dog-friendly houses & venues

Dog-friendly venues for Open House London: Wilton's Music Hall

In two weekends, on 22-23 September, is taking place Open House London 2018: an initiative promoting architectural appreciation among the general public by giving free access to the best buildings in town. This year the initiative involves over 800 building, walks, talks and tours.

After discovering by chance last year that one of the venues was dog-friendly, we decided to dig out some interesting (or at least so we hope) houses and venues allowing dogs that participate to Open House London 2018, and put together a little guide for you and your dog.

There are many venues that don’t welcome dogs (such as the Airport House Museum in Croydon), and unfortunately Open House London’s organisers do not hold information about the dog policy applied by each venue, so we selected a few of them and after some legwork came up with a list of 9. For each, we thought to give you some tips to make it a dog day out in the neighbourhood, so you can explore the area in a canine fashion.

 

North London

#1. Markfield Beam Engine & Museum

Markfield Beam Engine and House, in Tottenham, is a Victorian industrial building that served as sewage treatment works and pumping station until the ’60s. It is open not only in occasion of the Open House London, but also on other dates throughout the year, and you can also get to see the steam engines in action at selected times.

Dog-friendly tips for the day plan

To make the most out of the day with your dog, you can combine a visit with a dog walk along the River Lea, down to Walthamstow Marshes. Or, you can hire a dog-friendly cargo bike at CarryMe Bike, in Lower Clapton (about which we are going to tell you next on the blog!), for the day, and ride on the Capital Ring route on the River Lea to the Markfield Beam Engine and House.

Practical information

When: Saturday 22nd & and Sunday 23rd September, 11-5pm
Where: Markfield Road, South Tottenham, N15 4RB
Nearest tube station:
Official listing: here

Markfield Beam Engine Museum The Engine
Markfield Beam Engine Museum The Engine | Photo credits: Markfield Beam Engine Museum

 

East London

#2. Crossness Southern Outfall

A couple of months ago, in view of a visit, we confirmed with the staff that the Crossness Pumping Station, in Woolwich, welcomes dogs. This Victorian industrial dinosaur, which opened in 1865 as sewerage system and was in use until 1914, will be also opening its doors for the Open House London.

Unfortunately, no access to the Beam Engine House is allowed due to asbestos. The Crossness Southern Outfall is currently looking to secure funds (and you can make a donation towards the cause), to be able to carry out the necessary works to get rid of the asbestos and re-open to the public the Beam Engine House.

Dog-friendly tips for a day out

From there, you can:

  • enjoy a walk on the Thames Path towards Woolwich,
  • cross the river taking the Woolwich Foot Tunnel (in probably an hour and a half or two),
  • and go and see the Thames Barrier (a useful leaflet for this Thames Path walk is available here).
  • You could then call it a day, but if you are still in for more, you could keep walking to reach Silvertown and combine some dog-friendly places to eat and drink and a ride on the Emirates Air Line Cable Car (more about these in this blog post).
Practical information

When: Sunday 23rd September, 10.30am–4.30pm (closed 1-2pm)
Where: The Old Works, Thames Water Sewage Treatment Works, Bazalgette Way, SE2 9AQ

Nearest station: Abbey Wood railway station
More information in the official listing: here 
Registration: this event is free of charge, however registration must be made on Eventbrite here. For the Open London House day, there is a cap of 200 visitors.

Three Mills Locks
Three Mills Locks | Photo credits: Open House London

#3. Three Mills Locks (Canal River Trust)

If you are an East Londoner, there are a few dog-friendly options for your Open House London visits. Near Hackney and Stratford, you can access the Three Mills Locks with your dog, as confirmed with the Customer Operations Supervisor of London Docklands & Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Making a dog day out of it

An idea to organise a dog day out including a visit to the Three Mills Locks is again to hire a dog-friendly cargo bike at CarryMe Bike, in Lower Clapton (watch the blog for our review very soon), for the day and ride on the Capital Ring route on the River Lea, running along Hackney Marshes and the Olympic Park. It is about 4 miles to reach the Three Mills Locks.

Just a few minutes far there is also another venue participating to the Open House London: Abbey Mills Pumping Station (for this latter venue, booking is essential and can be done here). We weren’t able to confirm whether also this venue is dog-friendly, so in case register and go with a friend, so one of you can wait outside with the dog in case your pooch is refused access.

Practical information

When: Saturday 22nd Sunday 23rd, on both days 10am–5pm
Where: Three Mills Lock | Prescott Channel, Three Mills Island, Bromley-by-Bow, E3 3DY (near the Olympic site)
More information on the official listing: here

West India Impounding Station_credits Canal River Trust
West India Impounding Station | Photo credits: Canal River Trust

#4. West India Impounding Station (Canal River Trust)

Moving more towards Canary Wharf, you can find the West India Impounding Station. When we got in touch to confirm whether the venue was dog-friendly, Carli-Jo Chapman, Customer Operations Supervisor London Docklands & Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park gave the best answer: “The answer is absolutely yes”.

For a dog day out

A travel to Heron Quay only to see the impounding station may be a bit wasted, so better to combine it with some other activities in the neighbourhood. Some inspiration:

  1. visiting dog-friendly Mudchute Park and Farm, where you can see sheep, llamas, goats, pigs and many other farm animals
  2. enjoying a walk on the Thames Path
  3. reaching and crossing the Greenwich Foot Tunnel to get on the other side of the river (you can find our review about it in this blog post).
Practical information

When: Saturday 22nd September, 10am–5pm
Where: West India Dock Impounding Station | Western end of Marsh Wall, E14 8JT
More information: here

3 dog-friendly venues near Wapping

There are at least three dog-friendly venues around Wapping, in East London, that are participating to Open House London (and about which we are going to tell you below): the Hermitage Community Moorings, the Thames River Police museum, and the Wilton’s Music Hall.

Some tips to plan your visits:

  1. OPTION 1: All of them are open on Saturday 22nd September (while the Wilton Music Hall will remain closed on Sunday), so you could visit them all three.
  2. OPTION 2: You can pick one of them (if you have to choose, the Wilton’s Music Hall is spectacular, but we haven’t visited the Thames River Police Museum yet so can’t tell which is the best between those two) and then head to the dog-friendly Tower Bridge Exhibition which is just a short walk away, to bring your dog walking on the glass floor overlooking the Thames and down in the old engine rooms.
  3. OPTION 3: You can also stop and have a pint at BrewDog Tower Hill (in the neo-Gothic Minster Building at the corner of Great Tower Street and Mark Lane, EC3R 5AR), which recently launched a dog party service too.
Dog at Hermitage Community Moorings
Hermitage Community Moorings

#6. Hermitage Community Moorings

Last year Argo and I discovered Hermitage Community Moorings by chance, during Open House London 2017. You can have a walk on the docks and take a sneak peek into the life of this community. Just note that access during Open House London is granted to the moorings and visiting vessels, but not to private residential vessels. There is a maximum of 60 visitors.

When: Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd September, 11am–4pm
Where: Hermitage Community Moorings, Anna Versteeg & Ollie Price Place, 16 Wapping High Street, E1W 1NG
More information: here

#5. Thames River Police Museum

This little museum in Wapping, which offers insight into the history of the world’s first police force, will be open during Open House London, while on other dates visits must be arranged by prior appointment (and are conducted by the Honourary Curator, a retired serving officer with many years experience of policing the river). We got in touch to confirm their dog policy, and the Hon. Curator said “We are very dog friendly and we have never had a problem with dogs that have visited us in the past”.

When: Saturday 22nd Sunday 23rd, on both days 11am-5pm
Where: Thames River Police | 98 Wapping High Street, E1W 2NE
More information: here

Dog-friendly Open House London Wilton's Music Hall
Bar at the Wilton’s Music Hall | Also see the cover photo for the external part of the building

#7. Wilton’s Music Hall

The Wilton’s Music Hall is one of our favourite places in London. Said to be the oldest grand music hall in the world, it was relatively recently re-discovered and restored. The Wilton’s is regularly open and, although you dogs are not allowed at the theatre performances, you can enjoy its dog-friendly Mahogany Bar and Cocktail Bar, serving drinks, snacks and pizzas (also with a gluten-free option). We will tell you more about it on the blog in a dedicated post, but for now just a tip: don’t miss it!

When: Saturday 22nd September, 10am-1pm
Where: Graces Alley, Shadwell, E1 8JB
More information: here

 

South London

Peckham Levels at sunset
Peckham Levels

#8. Peckham Levels

 Peckham Levels was a multi-storey car park, which was converted into a creative space and community venue. The venue is normally dog-friendly (“We have decided it just wouldn’t feel right asking the gorgeous Pancake [a lovely doggie] here to leave. We do ask however, that they are kept on a lead and are not in the building during peak evening hours Thurs – Sat after 6pm, for their own safety and enjoyment”, they said in a public message a while back) and for Open House London architect led tours will be taking place every 30 mins (between 10am-12.30pm), which are open to a maximum of 12 people per tour.

If you visit it in the afternoon, you can also consider to continue your day by paying a visit to Bussey Building’s Rooftop Bar or to the Rooftop Film Club, which are also dog-friendly, to make the best of it before the season ends.

When: Saturday 22nd September, 10am-11pm.  First come first basis.
Where: 1 to 6 Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Ln, SE15 4ST
More information: here

The London Animal Hospital
The London Animal Hospital photo credits: Jack Hobhouse / courtesy of The London Animal Hospital

 #9. The London Animal Hospital

Last but not least, in Camberwell you can combine architectural insight and love for animals visiting The London Animal Hospital with your dog! Architectural studio Alma-nac worked “to transform a 450sqm dilapidated industrial building into a welcoming, state of the art, 24-hour animal hospital”. The result is this very cozy vet practice in South London.

When: Saturday 22nd September: you can join a founder or architect led tour (Architect-Led Tour every 120 mins (10am-12pm) max 10 per tour; Building Tour every 120 mins (2pm-6pm) max 10 per tour) | Sunday 23rd September: Building Tour every 120 mins (10am-6pm) max 10 per tour. If you can’t make it for the Open House London, you can take part to one of their free “Behind the Scenes” tours (dates and registrations here).
Where: 7 Kenbury Street, Camberwell, SE5 9BS
More information: here. Register for a free tour on Eventbrite here.


E N J O Y !


If you are looking for some dog event instead, remember that on Sunday 23rd September there is the Chiswick House Dog Show! The largest fun dog show you can join in town!


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