Climb up Big Ben, and see the bell (Jan 2017)

, Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, Westminster, London 51.500665 -0.124529
Dates & Time:
They are no longer offering tours of Big Ben due to renovations. The tours are not expected to start again until 2020
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Important note:They are no longer offering tours of Big Ben due to renovations. The tours are not expected to start again until 2020

Big Ben is the most famous landmark in London, but did you know that you can actually get permission to climb the clock tower? A tour will take you up all 334 steps to the belfry, where you'll stand ten feet away from the bell as it strikes the hour (don't worry, earplugs are provided!). It's easily one of the Top 10 things to do for free in London.

On the way up the tower you will stop in two rooms to see the pendulum and mechanism, and on the way back down he'll take you behind all four of the giant clock faces.

Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to get into Big Ben than it is to get into Parliament itself. You can't just turn up on the day and ask for a tour -- you have to jump through a few hoops first.

First of all, you have to be a UK resident, and you must obtain a ticket by writing to your local MP. (Work out who your MP is by looking here.) They will then undertake a security check on your details before giving you a slot. You should be prepared for a very long wait -- tours are often booked up three of four months in advance. You should also expect some very tight security on the day -- you will be expected to bring two forms of ID with you.

Craig has been on this tour himself and thoroughly recommends it. Read his review of the Big Ben tour before you go, so you can get an idea what it's like. Feel free to ask him some questions as well. You can also post a question on the forum.

Whilst you're at the Houses of Parliament you might like to watch your MP in the House of Commons. Or maybe you can come back at the weekend for a Saturday tour of Parliament, and see the rest of the building?


Got a question?
Talk about Climb up Big Ben and see the bell

Admin – “Have a read of the review and it says how many steps you climb at each stage you dont have to climb the whole lot in one go, you do get some rest stops along the way.They're not particularly steep, from my memory they were no steeper than the kind of stairs you have at homeYou wont be given a limitless amount of time to climb them though, because he needs to get you up to the top to hear the bell strike the hour”

 Guest – “Hello again.Thank you ever so much for your reply, it's very helpful. I shall send a link to your blog to the WI ladies. Fab write up by the way.Thanks again.Mel”


More events:
Big Ben events in London

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See London from the top of the London Eye – Every dayEvery tourist should spend an hour riding the London Eye at the start of their break, as it gives a great overview of the city.

Tropical garden at the top of the Sky Garden – Every dayThe Sky Garden is a three-story garden that spans the top three floors of 20 Fenchurch Street (aka the Walkie Scorchie).

Enjoy the view from Primrose Hill – Every dayPrimrose Hill is a lot higher than it looks, and boasts one of the finest views of the London skyline from anywhere in the city.

Whispering Gallery at St. Paul’s Cathedral – Monday to SaturdaySt Paul's Cathedal has got three domes that you can climb up -- the Whispering Gallery, Stone Gallery and Golden Gallery.

Climb to the top of The Monument – Every dayThe Monument to the Great Fire of London has a balcony at the top, which gives tourists some decent views of The City.


If you like Big Ben, then you might also like…

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

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