Listen to MPs in the Houses of Commons

Address:
, Parliament Square, Westminster, London 51.499437 -0.124738
Dates & Time:
Usually 2.30 PM to 10.30 PM (Mon); 11.30 AM to 7.30 PM (Tue-Wed); 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM (Thu); 9.30 AM to 3 PM (some Fri)
Note: The House of Commons does not usually sit during the 1st week of Jan, middle two weeks of Feb, last week of May, 1st, 3rd and 4th week of June, last week of July, all of Aug, 2nd half of Sept, 1st half of Oct, 2nd week of Nov, and last two weeks of Dec
Tickets & Cost:
Free. No ticket required (accept for )
See for more information
Minicabs:
Book a minicab near Houses of Parliament
Buses:
The following bus routes go near Houses of Parliament: 11, 24, 148, 211
London bus fares 2017
Trains:
The best London underground train station to visit Houses of Parliament is Westminster
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Disclaimer: London Drum has no association with Houses of Parliament. Whilst we make every effort to ensure the event information is accurate, talks in London are sometimes cancelled or amended without us being notified. You should always reconfirm the talk with Houses of Parliament before making plans

Videos give an impression of the event only

Read The London Craig blog> Read Craig’s review  I’ve tried this event myself. Check out my London blog for a full review, with photos and a video.  Ask me a question about this event

UK residents and overseas visitors can enter the Houses of Parliament for free and watch MPs debating in the House of Commons. The public gallery is above the back of the chamber, looking down upon the MPs' heads, so you get a great view of the Front Benches and Speaker's Chair.

All you have to do is queue up outside the Cromwell Green visitor entrance (directly opposite the back end of Westminster Abbey) and tell the steward on the gate that you'd like to sit inside the House of Commons. If he tells you the queue is quite lengthy then tell him you'd like to visit the House of Lords instead. He will then issue you with a card and point you towards the airport-style security.

Once you're past the security guards you will enter the historic Westminster Hall (this is almost worth going for alone!). This medieval hall dates back to 1097 and witnessed the trials of Charles I, Guy Fawkes and Thomas More.

You will then have to wait in St. Stephen's Hall for a place to become available. The number of seats in the public gallery is quite limited so you might have to queue for 30-60 minutes. (Note: The queue for the House of Lords is usually a lot shorter than the Commons.)

Be advised that you will have to leave your camera and bags in the cloakroom before you enter the Chamber. You will also need to fill in a form with your personal details -- so bring a pen.

Important note: The most popular debate is held at 12 noon every Wednesday -- Prime Ministers Questions. But this debate is a bit different to the other ones, because 1) it's only open to UK residents, not tourists, and 2) you must write to your local MP beforehand to request a ticket. If you fancy trying that one then have a read through our Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) page.

Craig has been to see everything at Parliament -- the debates, the tours, everything! -- and has written a big series of reviews on his blog. Here's his review of the House of Commons. And here's his review of the House of Lords. He has also written a review of Prime Minister's Questions. Feel free to ask him some questions about the House of Commons before you go, if you're worried about the process of getting inside. Or post your own question on the forum. You might also like to read about his tour of Parliament as well.

If you enjoy watching political debates then Craig also recommends a visit to Mayor's Question Time at City Hall, and the Common Council at the medieval Guildhall. Or how about spending a wet and rainy Sunday morning watching speeches at Speakers' Corner?

 

Got a question?
Talk about Listen to MPs in the Houses of Commons

 Guest – “I remember going to this many years ago, when Tony Blair was still Prime Minister (that's how long ago it was!) and it was very entertaining.I went during Prime Minister's Questions, which was very difficult to get tickets for. I seem to remember that we had to write off for tickets and the date we were given was several months away. I don't recall us having a choice on the date -- we got what we were given.The session didn't last very long, and i must say it sometimes seemed very childish. A lot of the questions were not really questions to the Prime Minister at all, but were just a way for the party to have a pop at the other party. A lot of them were clearly scripted, with Tony Blair having a ready-made answer at his fingertips.But it was very worthwhile and a very enjoyable morning, and I heartily recommend it. I think we should all, as voters, go and watch our MPs in action at least once in our lives.”

 
 

More events:
Houses of Parliament talks in London

If you like talks at Houses of Parliament, then you might also like these other London events…

Attend PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions) – Every WednesdayYou can watch the Prime Minister get grilled by the House of Commons every Wednesday, at Prime Minister's Questions.

Saturday tour of the Houses of Parliament – Every Saturday (up to 30th September 2017)The Houses of Parliament opens guided tours on most Saturdays of the year, when the MPs return to their constituencies.

Houses of Parliament tour — with afternoon tea – Every Saturday (up to 30th September 2017)Enjoy a Saturday tour of Parliament, and then enjoy a special afternoon tea on the Terrace Pavilion overlooking the Thames.

Listen to a speech at Speakers’ Corner – Every Sunday (around noon)Listen to a speech at Speakers' Corner, where the public can discuss whatever they like -- all in the name of free speech.

Common Council meeting, with the Lord Mayor – 12th Jan, 9th Mar, 27th Apr, 25th May, 22nd Jun, 20th Jul, 14th Sep, 12th Oct and 7th Dec 2017Attend a meeting of the Common Council at the Guildhall, and see the Lord Mayor of London dressed in all their finery.

Alan Bennett in LondonAlan Bennett, talking to Nicholas Hytner – 3rd May 2017Celebrated playwright Alan Bennett will be interviewing Nicholas Hytner about his time as director at the National Theatre.

Michael Palin in LondonMichael Palin talking about his favourite paintings – 5th May 2017Michael Palin will be revealing his favourite paintings at the National Gallery, and discussing what they mean to him.

 

If you like Houses of Parliament, then you might also like…

> Big Ben events If you like the Houses of Parliament then you might like these events at London’s Big Ben as well
> Parliament Square events If you can’t find any events at the Houses of Parliament then maybe you can try the Parliament Square in London
 

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