Palace of Westminster

The Houses of Parliament also known as the Palace of Westminster is where British MPs conduct parliamentary business and shape the law of the British Isles. The English Parliament is made up of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The Houses of Parliament lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster. It is situated close by other government buildings in Whitehall.

houses of parliament london england


Westminster Hall, which is the oldest part of the Palace still in existence, dates from 1077. Most of the present structure dates from the 19th century, when the Palace was rebuilt after it was almost entirely destroyed by a fire in 1834. Rebuilt between 1840 and 1888 by architects Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin.

One of the Houses of Parliament's most famous features is the clock tower, which holds the famous bell known as Big Ben.

Security is very high and very visible around the Houses of Parliament. Entrance to Westminster Hall is only allowed as part of a guided tour. Westminster Hall is imposing in size and d├ęcor. It was originally used as a court of law until the 19th century. It was here that Guy Fawkes was tried and found guilty of attempting to blow up the House of Lords on 5th November 1605.

westminster victoria tower london


If you want to see some of Britain's well known politicians visit the Houses of Parliament during Prime Minister's Question Time. You must book a ticket through your MP or embassy. Prime Minister's Questions take place every Wed. from 12-12.30pm.

The House of Lords sit on Mon-Wed from 2.30pm. On Thurs from 3.00pm. If a sitting takes place on Friday it begins at 11.00am.

On the official tours photography is allowed in Westminster Hall only. Camera bags should be no larger than what you could take on an aircraft.

Nearest Tube: Westminster.

prebooked tickets phone: 0844 847 1672