In the Palace of Westminster, as its official name is, the UK bicameral
parliament meets. It is made up of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
The original edifice was built in 11th century with Edward the Confessor being
the initiator of constructing the palace. During the Middle Ages, it was a major
residence of monarchs. However, in 1834, a fire broke out and most parts of the
palace were destroyed. Afterwards, it was reconstructed and started to be used
as the residence of the Parliament.
The style of its design can be called Perpendicular Gothic. It has three main
towers. The tallest of them is the Victoria Tower, with a height of over 321ft
(98 meters). The Elizabeth Tower, previously called Big Ben, is a bit shorter.
The third one is the Central Tower. More than 1,100 rooms are in the palace!
The most famous of them are Westminster Hall, Commons Chamber and the
Queen’s Robing Room. The interiors are just splendid with all the decorations
and furniture! The palace owns several collections of coins, medals, and archive
materials. There are several parks and gardens around the Houses of Parliament.
Victoria Tower Park is accessible to everybody.
Tthe Palace of Westminster is accessible to overseas tourists on Saturdays
and during the Parliament summer break. Tickets can be booked online or by
telephone. UK citizens can arrange tours via their Member of Parliament to enter
the House of Commons or for their Lord to enter the House of Lords.
You can view the Palace of Westminster from either side of the River Thames.
It is quite easy to get to. Get off the Underground at Westminster. There are
also several bus stops around, such as Westminster, Parliament Square (stop TB)
or Parliament Square (stop H). Keep your personal belongings close!
Sat 9.15 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.
27th July to 1st September: Mon to Sat 9.15 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Mon: 9 a.m. - noon
Tue, Wed: 9 a.m. - 9.55 a.m. (full tour) and 10.00 a.m.- noon (partial tour of
Fri: 3.30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
The guided tour lasts about 75 minutes.
Tours are free of charge for UK visitors if booked in advance.
For overseas visitors:
Child (5-15 years): £6
Child (under 5): Free
Concessions (students, over 60s and members of the armed forces): £14
Phone: +44 (0)20 7219 4272