Whitehall, London, SW1A 0AA
You may have noticed that large bell tower looming over the Houses of Parliament and presumed that everybody else had noticed it as well. But there are secrets within and to get to them you really do need some insider knowledge. Free guided tours of Big Ben – well, the Clock Tower in which Big Ben the bell hangs – are available to everyone, but you have to write to your MP to request access (UK residents only). It’ll take at least six months before you’re offered a place, and only 10,000 constituents get to go each year. It’s well worth doing: if you can face the 334 spiral steps up, the views across the spiky gothic spires of Westminster are, of course, spectacular, and Londoners will get a kick from standing within touching distance of the clockfaces and Big Ben as he chimes the hour. Earplugs are, thankfully, supplied.