A few minutes from Kensington High Street is a remarkable artist’s home, and while it’s undergoing restoration works, there are tours of the building. Leighton House, was custom built in the 1860s for the artist, Sir Frederic Leighton with a huge studio space and rooms for entertaining. It’s a mansion based on an Italian palazzo, austere and plain on the outside, but a festival of decoration inside.

If you’ve ever seen the original video to The Stranglers Golden Brown, the interior scenes were filmed inside the house.

At the moment, the house in the third and final stage of a five year restoration project costing £8 million, and which is due to be completed this autumn, when the building will reopen to the public.

Ahead of the grand reopening, there are a series of behind-the-scenes tours for the chance to have exclusive access to some of the redeveloped areas of the museum, following its major transformation.

The tours introduce the ambitious Hidden Gem to National Treasure project, that has been recently completed across the modern wing and the museum’s famed historic interiors. Visitors will enjoy a sneak peek of the newly created spaces and key features, including Shahrzad Ghaffari’s spectacular 11-metre-high mural Oneness, on the walls of the new helical staircase.

Running for a limited time only, you can go for an afternoon tour or book an extended session in the evening with a guest expert who will discuss specific aspects of the redevelopment, with a chance to ask questions at the end.

Tickets need to be booked in advance from here.

Dates and ticket prices

Afternoon sessions, 3-4pm £20 per person.

  • Saturday 25 June, 3-4pm
  • Monday 27 June, 3-4pm
  • Tuesday 28 June, 3-4pm
  • Wednesday 29 June, 3-4pm
  • Friday 1 July, 3-4pm
  • Saturday 2 July, 3-4pm

Evening sessions, 6-8pm £25 per person

  • Thursday 23 June, 6-8pm
    • Guest speaker: David Artis, Architect Director, BDP
  • Friday 24 June, 6-8pm
    • Guest speaker: Meg Andrews, Antique Textiles consultant
  • Tuesday 28 June, 6-8pm
  • Thursday 30 June, 6-8pm
    • Guest speakers: Dr. Thalia Kennedy, Creative Director and Liz Rose, Creative Project Manager, Turquoise Mountain


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One comment
  1. Chris Rogers says:

    Already booked. It will be interesting to see how it’s been done; having watched the museum evolve over 20 years, am not too sure about two glazed links between the ‘new’ bit and the old. But let’s see…

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