The centre of political life in the UK, housed in the Thames-side Palace of Westminster.
Tours of the Houses of Parliament offer a unique combination of one thousand years of history, modern day politics and stunning art and architecture. A highly recommended audio tour brings this to life through the House of Lords and House of Commons and takes around 60 to 75 minutes, featuring leading Parliamentary figures such as Mr Speaker and Black Rod.
Most of what is seen on the tour was built in the mid-19th century following a devastating fire in 1834, but the route also incorporates the magnificent Westminster Hall dating from 1097. Other highlights include the Queen’s Robing Room, Royal Gallery, Lords Chamber, Central Lobby and the Commons Chamber, scene of many lively debates. A family version of the audio tour, aimed at children aged 7 to 12, is in the style of a ‘live’ news broadcast with time travelling reporters ‘reporting from the scene’ on the many historical events associated with Parliament.
For those not able to visit the Houses of Parliament in person, a new 360-degree virtual tour is now available on the website, allowing jazzy panoramic views into some of the most famous rooms, with clickable facts and historical stories as you virtually snoop around.
These new virtual tours, the ticketed guide-led tours and solo-audio tours are all in addition to the free tours that continue to be available to UK residents via local MPs or members of the House of Lords.
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Pre-booked audio tours: £18.50, £16.50 concs, £7.50 child (5-15), free under 5’s.
OTD audio tours: £20.50, £18 concs, £8.50 child (5 -15), free under 5’s.
Pre-booked guided tours £25.50, £21 concs, £11 child (5-15), free under 5’s.
OTD guided tours: £28, £23 concs, £12 child (5-15), free under 5’s.
|Venue name:||Houses of Parliament||Contact:|
Palace of Westminster
|Opening hours:||Saturdays throughout the year and most weekdays during holiday periods including Christmas, Easter and the summer. See venue website for full details.|
|Price:||Pre-booked audio tours: £18.50, £16.50 concs, £7.50 child (5-15), free under 5’s|
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Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:26
- 4 star:9
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As a born and raised Londoner I don't know how I made it to the age of 38 without ever stepping inside the Houses of Parliament - but so pleased I finally did! This building is every bit as stunning on the inside as it is on the outside, and our Tour Guide was brilliant in giving us the overarching history but also interesting little nuggets of information. Such as Guy Fawkes was tried in the Great Hall and Winston Churchill was laid out in his coffin there before his funeral. The Queen never sits in the throne chair in the room she gets ready for the opening of parliament in, she prefers the sofa - however Queen Victoria did used to sit in it, and the weathered looking seat isn't from use, it's from sun damage, which is why thin gauze blinds now cover all the windows. For major votes the House of Commons divides into the voting lobbies, two corridors that run either side of the chamber, and members are counted as they enter into each. They have just 15 minutes to assemble once the vote is called, and on one infamous occasion an MP thought he had got in just in time by ramming his foot into the door, but he was bluntly told 'you vote with your head, not your foot" and refused entry, thus missing the vote. Just quirky, interesting little facts like that were a pleasure to hear and made the tour all the more memorable. I would thoroughly recommend going with friends, family or alone - you won't regret discovering more about this historic and fascinating building.
I really enjoyed the tour. It was great fun to see the House of Lords and house of common. It was just wonderful to have a look on the inside of the Westminster.