Tours of Osterley House

View of the front of Osterley House

Discover the secrets of Osterley on a fascinating guided tour.

From March 2, the Principal Floor of Osterley House is open for visitors to explore at their own pace. However, if you want to get a special insight into the rooms in the House which are rarely open, then come and join one of our regular tours of either the basement level or top floor rooms.

The steward's room in Osterley House
The Steward's Room
The steward's room in Osterley House


The basement at Osterley was once home to the servants’ quarters. Living spaces, bedrooms and work spaces such as the scullery and beer cellar are all found in this rambling maze of rooms. These spaces are best seen on one of the exclusive Life Below Stairs tours where you will not only be guided around these atmospheric areas – so different from the glitz and grandeur found upstairs - but also learn about the lives of the men and women who worked at Osterley: their names, their relationships and possible feuds.

The scullery at Osterley House
The scullery at Osterley House
The scullery at Osterley House


In contrast, the tours of the Top Floor give you a chance to glimpse the more private, intimate lives of Mr and Mrs Child – the owners of Osterley in its heyday of the late 1770s and early 1780s. While the wonderful rooms on the Principal Floor showcase all that was fashionable in the mid to late eighteenth century, with no expense spared, the rooms on the second floor are smaller and more modest, displaying items which are personal rather than designed to impress.

Detail from Mr and Mrs Child's bed
Detail from Mr and Mrs Child's bed
Detail from Mr and Mrs Child's bed


Three out of the four rooms covered by this tour were for private, daily use by Mr and Mrs Child, including the very modest bedroom they shared. The fourth room on this tour is the only exception - the Yellow Taffeta Bedroom was the best guest bedroom and like much of the Principal Floor was designed by Robert Adam in the 1770s.


Whichever tour you join us on, you will get a real insight into the history and secrets of the House. Our guides are passionate about sharing the hidden stories of Osterley – from the dramatic elopement to Gretna Green of the Childs’ only and much beloved daughter, Sarah Ann in 1782 to the mystery of Mrs Bunce, the upper servant whose time at Osterley raises more questions than we can perhaps answer. Join us on a tour to learn about the hidden Osterley.


Top Floor Tours


2 March – 22 May / 5 September - 1 November
Open daily, tours at 11:00 and 11:45
Available by tour only, spaces limited - please book at the Kiosk


Life Below Stairs Tours


23 May - 4 September
Open daily, tours at 11:00 and 11:45
Available by tour only, spaces limited - please book at the Kiosk