Interested in quirky architecture or modern art? Want to go somewhere different in London? Off the beaten track? This is the place! Designed by Erno Goldfinger(not the chap in the Bond film!), it’s a house he built for his family in 1939(opposite Hampstead Heath) Full of fascinating period pieces like sculptures by Moore and Ernst. There’s art by Ben Nicholson and Bridgit Riley and others. It’s now owned by the National Trust, so if you’re a member why not make a day of it and check out nearby Fenton House too? (nb they don’t have a public loo, so find somewhere to ‘go’ first!)
Place rating: 5 Dorking, United Kingdom
Owned by the National Trust and built on the site of some old farm labourer’s cottages, 2 Willow Road is the homelier side of architectural brutalism. When it was built it sparked controversy, but today it looks in keeping with the rest of Willow Road. Inside is a well-designed, comfortable living space which was arranged for the parties the Goldfingers used to throw. There is a film showing the history of the site and the lifestyle of the family who lived here. The furniture was specially designed and includes a wonderful desk. The only part of the plot which the Goldfingers weren’t bothered for is the garden — so most of this land was given over to the neighbours. Opening times are irregular, so worth checking before visiting.