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Big Ben and The Palace of Westminster

House of Commons, SW1A 0AA


Big Ben and The Palace of Westminster, exterior picture

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ADDRESS:House of Commons, SW1A 0AA

MAP:See a map

TELEPHONE:+44 (0) 20 7219 3003

NEAREST
STATION:
Westminster



LINK:www.parliament.uk/visiting/

About: The Palace was the residence of the Kings of England from the eleventh to the sixteenth century. In Medieval England Kings simply summoned their courts to wherever they happened to be, but by the fourteenth century the judicial and parliamentary courts resided in Westminster. Though the Lords resided in the Palace, they had no permanent meeting place until 1547 when the Royal Chapel of St. Stephen was given to the commons.
In 1834 almost the entire Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire, with only Westminster hall, the Crypt of St. Stephens Chapel, the cloisters and Jewel Tower surviving the blaze. Westminster Hall and the remains of St. Stephens where then incorporated into the new Houses of Parliament, a building designed by Sir Charles Barry that took more than thirty years to construct.
The Houses of Parliament were hit by an air raid during the Second World War and the House of Commons Chamber was destroyed. The Chamber has since been rebuilt in the image of the original. The houses of Parliament contains one thousand rooms, eleven court yards, eight bars and six restaurants- though none are opened to the public. Members of the public can watch a session of parliament by either the Lords or the Commons from the public gallery.

Official Guided Tours

Insightful and entertaining guided tours last 75 minutes and are available, Monday to Saturday, during August and September and on Saturdays year round.

Led by a Blue Badge Guide, the tours follow the processional route taken by Her Majesty the Queen when she performs the State Opening of Parliament. The magnificent Neo Gothic architecture of the Royal Rooms, such as the House of Lords, are richly decorated with the highlight being the wonderful golden throne designed by Pugin.

The Chamber of the House of Commons is one of the most iconic political arenas in the world and visitors can stand where the Prime Minister takes questions.

The Tour ends at Westminster Hall, which was built in 1097 and is one of the most atmospheric spaces in London. Once the Royal familyís banqueting hall, the great and the good from Britainís past 900 years will have walked on its stone floor.

A gift shop and cafeteria are available at the end of the tour.

Features:
  • Try This
  • Events


    Try This...

    Treasure hunt through Westminster

    A whole lot more fun for the young ones while sight-seeing...
    Take Afternoon Tea with the Prime Minister

    Hob-nobbing... whilst eating hob-nobs

    What's On

    Dec
    3
    Sat
    Family Guided Tours In December
    Time: Saturdays 10 and 17 December 2016 at 1.30pm Thursday 22 December at 1.30pm and 3pm Friday 23 December at 1.30pm and 3pm
    Admission: Children (up to 15): Free Adults: £18.50 Concessions (over 60s, students, UK Armed Forces): £16 Tickets can be purchased online, by calling +44 (0)20 7219 4114 or in person from the Ticke
    Location: Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London

    Dec
    10
    Sat
    Family Guided Tours In December
    Time: Saturdays 10 and 17 December 2016 at 1.30pm Thursday 22 December at 1.30pm and 3pm Friday 23 December at 1.30pm and 3pm
    Admission: Children (up to 15): Free Adults: £18.50 Concessions (over 60s, students, UK Armed Forces): £16 Tickets can be purchased online, by calling +44 (0)20 7219 4114 or in person from the Ticke
    Location: Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London

    Dec
    17
    Sat
    Family Guided Tours In December
    Time: Saturdays 10 and 17 December 2016 at 1.30pm Thursday 22 December at 1.30pm and 3pm Friday 23 December at 1.30pm and 3pm
    Admission: Children (up to 15): Free Adults: £18.50 Concessions (over 60s, students, UK Armed Forces): £16 Tickets can be purchased online, by calling +44 (0)20 7219 4114 or in person from the Ticke
    Location: Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London

    Starts on
    Dec
    22
    Thu
    Family Guided Tours In December
    Time:
    Admission: Children (up to 15): Free Adults: £18.50 Concessions (over 60s, students, UK Armed Forces): £16 Tickets can be purchased online, by calling +44 (0)20 7219 4114 or in person from the Ticke
    Location: Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London

    Starts on
    Dec
    30
    Fri
    Houses of Parliament Tours
    Time:
    Admission: Adult Ticket from £18.50 to £25.50 Child Ticket from 0.00 to £11 Concessions: from £16 to £21
    Location: Houses Of Parliament, Westminster, London





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    The Latest User Reviews of Big Ben and The Palace of Westminster

    TheMog
    London A-List

    Member since: Jun 2004
    Posts: 783
    View Profile

    This place looks more amazing every time I see it. I've lived in London for a while now so the effect should have worn off! It always provokes a feeling of national pride. Shame about the Anti this that and the other protesters who are always camped outside it.


    Added on Mon 19 Jul 2004 at 00:52:09
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