The most famous bell in Europe, perhaps even the world, Big Ben is one of the
iconic landmarks of London. The tower is
the third largest bell tower in the world and is over 150 years old. It was
recently renamed Elizabeth Tower as a tribute to Queen
Elizabeth's 60 years’ of reign.
Part of Westminster Palace, it was designed in the Neo-Gothic style. There is
no elevator, but 334 steps lead to the top; however tours are only available to
British nationals who organize a trip through their Member of Parliament.
Despite having been constructed by an amateur clockmaker, it is known for its
accuracy. The numbers on its face are about 60 centimeters tall and the minute
hand is over 3.28 ft (4 m) long. The main bell weighs over 13.5 tons. During
both World Wars, its face became darkened and in 1976 it had its largest
The skyline in this part of London is
spectacular, so taking pictures of Big Ben with the London Eye in the background
is very popular. As with any tourist spot, beware of pickpockets.
The nearest London Underground station is Westminster, so you just can't get
lost. There are also several bus stops around, such as Westminster, Parliament
Square (stop TB) and Parliament Square (stop H).
Tours take place at set times of 9.15 a.m., 11.15 a.m. and 2.15 p.m. Monday
– Friday (except Bank Holidays).
Open to UK permanent residents only.
Clock Tower tours are currently free of charge but the demand is very high -
the tour must be arranged months ahead.
Phone: +44 20 7219 4272