Political attractions in London

The two must-see political attractions are Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. If you’re more daring then you can watch a debate inside the House of Commons. You can also go on a tour of Parliament and see inside the medieval Westminster Hall. Check out our guide to upcoming political events in London.

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Recommendations Craig recommends… Everyone should go on a tour of Parliament. I also recommend PMQs (or just watch a debate inside the Commons).

Bank of England

The UK’s central bank is the eighth oldest in the world and has been issuing the country’s money for over 300 years. It contains an interesting museum.

Big Ben

Big Ben is not the tower – it’s the bell inside the belfry. The clock tower was renamed the Elizabeth Tower as a gift to the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee.

Churchill War Rooms

This was where Winston Churchill met his wartime cabinet during the dark days of the Blitz, and it has remained largely undisturbed ever since.

City Hall

The teardrop-shaped building next Tower Bridge was designed by the architect Norman Foster, and is where the Mayor of London has his offices.

Common Council at the Guildhall

Every month the Lord Mayor meets with the Aldermen to discuss the City of London in the Court of Common Council.

Downing Street

The British PM has been living at No.10 Downing Street since 1735. You used to be able to walk up the street, but now you have to peer through the gate.

Guildhall

The City of London has been holding meetings inside the Guildhall for more than eight centuries, going right back to the days of Dick Whittington.

House of Commons

Did you know that the public can sit inside the House of Commons and watch a debate for free? They don’t even need a ticket (except for PMQs).

House of Lords

The House of Lords is much more ornate than the House of Commons, and is filled with famous faces from yesteryear – ex-ministers and cabinet members.

Houses of Parliament

Parliament is one of the must-see sights in London – buy yourself a guided tour ticket and see all the spectacular rooms inside as well.

Jewel Tower

The Jewel Tower is a miraculous survivor from the original Palace of Westminster. It was built in the 14th-century as a store for Edward III’s valuables.

Mansion House

The Corinthian columns on Mansion House are one of three stand-out facades at Bank – the others being the Bank of England and Royal Exchange.

Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall

Go and watch the Mayor of London getting grilled by the London Assembly at the monthly Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall.

Old Bailey

London’s Central Criminal Court is better known as the Old Bailey. Its most notorious cases include the trials of Dr. Crippen and the Kray Twins.

Parliament Square

Parliament Square is bordered by Big Ben and Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Supreme Court, the Foreign Office and the Treasury building.

Portcullis House

Portcullis House is situated directly across the road from Big Ben, and is where most of the Westminster MPs have their day-to-day offices.

Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs)

British citizens can write to their MP and get a ticket to watch Prime Minister’s Questions – one of the best events in London.

Remembrance Day Parade

Every November war veterans and members of the Royal Family gather at The Cenotaph to honour the fallen soldiers of all wars.

Royal Courts of Justice

This Victorian gothic building looks like a cathedral inside, and it’s worth going to watch a court case simply to see its fantastic interior.

Speakers’ Corner

The north-east corner of Hyde Park is famous as a place for free speech. If you visit at Sunday lunchtime then you can enjoy the entertaining hecklers.

State Opening of Parliament

The Queen goes to open Parliament every year in her State Coach, accompanied by mounted soldiers of the Household Cavalry.

Westminster

Westminster is where you’ll find Big Ben and Parliament, the Prime Minister’s home at No.10 Downing Street, and all the great offices of State.

Whitehall

Whitehall is where you’ll find the Cabinet Office, Foreign Office, Treasury and Ministry of Defence, as well as the PM’s home at No.10 Downing Street.
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