Westminster Palace, Clock Tower and Big Ben -Touring London

Updated on 26 Nov 2022

Visiting London is a fantastic experience and there are many things to see. The Big Ben, the Tower of London, and the Changing of the Guards are just some of the things to see. But if you’re looking for something a little more cultural, the Westminster Palace and the National Gallery are also great places to visit.

Big Ben and the Clock Tower

Probably the most famous landmark of Britain, the Clock Tower (also called St. Stephens Tower during Victorian Times and now called Elizabeth Tower) houses the world’s largest chiming four faced turret clock. Its construction was completed by 1858. This tower forms part of the north-eastern corner of the Houses of Parliament building. This tower is very often erroneously referred as “Big Ben”. Big Ben is actually the largest of the five bells within the tower. This thirteen ton Bell was named after the first commissioner of works, Sir Benjamin Hall. It was cast by the foundry, Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London. In 1834 a disastrous fire had destroyed the old palace of Westminster. The tower was begun in the rebuilding process. It is 316 feet high. The spire is built with an iron frame. This supports the weight of the bells.

Clock Tower London
Clock Tower London (Photo: Henry Be, Unsplash)

This beautiful landmark is located right beside the Houses of Parliament. It is also part of the London Eye. The clock tower is a neo-Gothic structure that was designed by Augustus Pugin. The clock is an accurate timepiece that consists of three hundred and twelve pieces of glass. The dial measures seven meters in diameter.

The Clock Tower is a Grade I listed building. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This landmark has been featured in many films and photographs. It is the focus of New Year celebrations in the United Kingdom.The Clock Tower has undergone some renovations. Currently, parts of the tower are covered in scaffolding. These renovations will take at least four years to complete. This will include installing new toilets and lifts. The whole tower will be refurbished.

The Clock Tower is known to have a unique twang. This twang was caused by a cracked bell in 1859. It was a problem until the bell authorities opted to rotate the bell clockwise.

The name “Big Ben” is derived from the Great Bell of the striking clock inside the tower. It weighs about 15.1 tons and is a massive symbol of the city.

It was originally referred to as the “Clock Tower” but it was renamed “The Queen Elizabeth II Tower” in 2012. It was also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The tower is also known for its Ayrton Light. This lantern is above the belfry and is lit after dark.

The Clock Tower had the largest four faced clock until 1962 when the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower in Milwaukee, Wisconsin took its place. However the Clock Tower still remains the largest Chiming clock.

Visiting Big Ben is a must for those who visit London. The clock tower is an iconic landmark that has been around for decades. It’s been refurbished to its former glory, and you can get a free tour of the tower. You can also take a tour of the Houses of Parliament.

Visiting Big Ben is the perfect way to end a day exploring London. You can see the clock tower from the outside, but there are a few areas that are off-limits.

The Big Ben clock tower is located near Westminster Abbey. The tower was constructed in 1834, and the bell weighs about the same as two African elephants. Its clock has survived World War II bombings, and continues to function accurately. You can also visit the London Tower Museum, which is also located near the Big Ben clock tower.

The Big Ben clock tower has a few other features, namely a four-meter long pendulum. The bell itself is a little spherical. It’s also the largest bell in the Elizabeth Tower, which is home to five other bells. It’s also the largest four-faced clock in the world.

Visiting Big Ben is a great way to learn about the history of the tower and the clock. It’s also a great place to sit down for a picnic lunch. You can also get a great view of the Houses of Parliament from the River Thames. Visiting Big Ben is a great way of soaking up some London history.

The Big Ben clock tower has been refurbished and you can take a tour. It’s also worth the trip to see the London Eye. The tower is a fun sight to see, and you can take a tour of it for free. You can also take a free tour of the Houses of Parliament, which is attached to the Big Ben clock tower.

Westminster Palace

This is where both the houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom ( The House of Lords and The House of Commons) are housed. The other Government buildings in Whitehall are close by. The royal family lived where Parliament is now situated until 1512, when during Henry VIII’s reign a fire forced them to move out. However, the site remained a Royal Palace; therefore, its official title is the Palace of Westminster. Westminster Hall dates back to around 1097 A.D. The palace has been rebuilt over the centuries especially after the 1834 fire and the WW II bombing.

Westminster PalaceLocated near Westminster Abbey, Westminster Palace is a huge complex of over 1,000 rooms. It is one of the largest parliament buildings in the world. In addition to its impressive architecture, it also has a beautiful public garden. It is also the site of important state ceremonies, such as the State Opening of Parliament.

The Palace of Westminster was built to incorporate murals and statues. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the most visited tourist attractions in London. There are thousands of rooms to visit and four acres of gardens to enjoy.

The Palace of Westminster contains public galleries, where you can view the Parliament in session. You can also take a free guided tour.

Westminster Palace London
Westminster Palace, London (Photo: Deniz F, Unsplash)

The House of Commons and House of Lords are also part of the Palace of Westminster. They are home to 646 elected members. These members meet regularly to discuss political issues. They also take summer recess.

The House of Lords is a bit more luxurious than the House of Commons, and the interiors are decorated with stained-glass windows. You can also see statues of early monarchs. You can learn the history of the House of Lords with a guided tour. You can also take a family tour if you have young children. This is shorter than the regular tours and is suitable for children ages 7-12.

You can take pictures of the Houses of Parliament with a camera. However, there are strict rules when visiting the Houses of Parliament. For example, you cannot take weapons with you, and you must have your bag x-rayed at the airport-style security checkpoint.

The Houses of Parliament offer guided tours on selected days of the week. This is the best way to experience the Palace of Westminster. You will learn about its history, and hear the voices of important figures in Parliament. The tours are free for UK residents. However, foreign visitors must purchase tickets in advance.

A tour can be arranged through your local MP. More details about the available tours of the parliament and the Clock Tower for UK visitors and overseas visitors are given in http://www.parliament.uk/about/visiting.cfm

One can also take a virtual tour through the following link – http://www.parliament.uk/about/visiting/contemporary-virtual-tour/index.htm

How to reach Westminster Palace, Big Ben –
The best option would be to take the Underground to the Westminster Tube Station on the Circle, District or Jubilee lines. Full details available at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/

Tower of London

Whether you’re a history buff or just interested in seeing the Tower of London, you’ll find many things to see and do. The Tower of London is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The structure is made up of 13 towers, which are linked together by walls.

The Tower is home to the Crown Jewels. This collection contains the world’s most exceptional diamonds. The crown worn by the British monarch is also on display. It is the only set in active use today.

Tower of London
Tower of London (Photo: Nick Fewings Unspalsh)

The Crown Jewels also include the Imperial State Crown, which is worn by the queen during the State Opening of Parliament. There is also the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross. The Prince of Wales’ Investiture Coronet will be included in the Crown Jewels Exhibition in 2020.

You can also visit the Chapel Royal, which is the final resting place for those executed by the Tower. It also includes prayer services. You can also see the Royal Armouries, which contains Henry VIII’s armor.

A popular way to visit the Tower of London is by taking a Beefeater tour. These tours are led by Yeoman Warders who regale visitors with tales of the tower’s bloody past. A Beefeater tour usually begins at 10am, and will last around two and a half hours.

You can also take an unguided tour. This will allow you to walk around most of the battlements. You can also purchase an audio guide on site. An audio guide for PS5 costs an extra fee.

When visiting the Tower of London, you can also take a cruise along the River Thames. This is a great way to end a day in London. The cruise offers views of the River Thames and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.

Changing of the Guards London

Changing of the Guard is an event held at the Queen’s Palace, or Buckingham Palace in London. This is a military ceremony and it is performed by highly trained infantry soldiers. They are sentries who wear distinctive scarlet tunics and bearskin caps.

This is an extremely long ceremony and you should arrive at least an hour before the event. This is especially true in the summer months. If you have any doubts, you should ask a police officer. They will be able to tell you if it is going to happen.

The ceremony is also called the Guards of Honour. It is performed by seven regiments, the Household Division. The Changing of the Guard in London is a spectacular military ceremony.

The ceremony is performed on a daily basis during the summer and on certain days during April, May, June, and July. The exact date for this event is only known a few days in advance.

The ceremony is not a ticketed event. The ceremony can be cancelled at short notice if the weather is bad. You should check the Met Police website for the latest information. The best time to watch the ceremony is at 11 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The Changing of the Guard in London is not always a fun experience. The ceremony can get extremely long, and there is a lot of monotony. It is also subject to security concerns. Pickpockets have been known to operate in this area. It is best to report suspicious behaviour to a police officer.

The Changing of the Guard is not a difficult ceremony to follow, but it can be hard to find a good spot to view it. The best place to view it is on the Victoria Memorial, which is outside the palace. You can also see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.