NileGuide Expert Says:
Skip the crowds close to the buildings, cross the Thames and view these iconic structures from the South Bank.
Westminster, London, United Kingdom
020 7219 4272
NileGuide Expert tip:
The bell weighs approximately 14 tons!
Think of London and the very first image that springs to mind will be that of the grand clock towering over the Thames river. Big Ben is actually the nickname given to the bell inside the tower. The tower is officially called St. Stephen's Tower. Ben chimes every hour on the hour and the smaller bells ring every 15 minutes. Unfortunately, as much as it beckons, only UK residents are allowed to tour Big Ben and even this has to be arranged well in advance by their MP. The good news however is that next to the famous clock tower, the Houses of Parliament - which are made up of the House of Lords and the House of Commons - can be toured by overseas visitors. The building which is home to both "houses" is the (former royal) Palace of Westminster, once home to the British monarchs. Every year in England, November 5th is commemorated with fireworks and bonfires which celebrate the foiled gunpowder plot of Guy Fawkes in 1605. Listen to the chimes of Big Ben