The Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Situated by Westminster Bridge and Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster is probably the most iconic sight in the city of London.

The Palace of Westminster is the seat of government in England. It is home to both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which is why it is often referred to as the Houses of Parliament. The building officially belongs to the crown, and although no members of royalty live there it is still considered a royal residence.

You can book a 90 minute guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. This allows you to see Westminster Hall, the Commons Chamber and the Lords Chamber. Tours are available every Saturday, and on weekdays when parliament is not in session. Adult tickets cost £26.50 and can be booked online.

As well as the guided tours, there are also audio tours, family tours and tours that include afternoon tea. It is worth checking out the options to find something that suits you.

Attending Debates and Prime Minister’s Questions
It is free to attend the house of commons to observe debates. The times vary, so it is worth checking before you go. There are no tickets required for this, and you can just turn up and wait to be admitted. If you particularly want to watch Prime Minister's Question time, then you will need to request a ticket in advance.

Things to know before you go
Because the Palace is the home of the British government, there are security protocols to be followed. You should expect the same kind of security checks as when boarding a plane.

Getting there
The best stop for the Palace of Westminster is Westminster Station, which is a short 3-minute walk away. A lot of underground lines stop here, so there are myriad ways of arriving. If you are travelling from the Darlington Hotel then the most straightforward route is to get on the Circle line at Paddington station and ride the nine stops to Westminster.