As befits a Constitutional Monarchy, Britain’s Houses of Parliament, the nation’s highest legislature, meet in a palace — the Palace of Westminster, Charles Barry’s Perpendicular Gothic masterstroke from 1853. A guided or audio tour brings to life the history and detail of this splendid building and its complex workings. Among the highlights: the House of Commons and House of Lords, where issues are debated; historic Westminster Hall, the only surviving portion of the site’s original 11th Century palace; the gilded Queen’s Robing Room, where Her Majesty dons robe and crown before addressing the House of Lords; the magnificent Central Lobby (marble statues, chandeliers, stained glass windows), and more.
As a politics/policy nerd from a commonwealth country with a Westminster-style government, visiting the UK Parliament was an absolute must for me. Our tour guide, a charming old British man named Reg (of course) led us on a comprehensive visit of the building, following the Queen’s path when she comes to address parliament and give the Speech from the Throne. We got to stand amongst the members’ benches in the House of Commons (which is surprisingly small, compared to Canada’s!) and our high tea by the Thames was delicious. Would definitely recommend to anyone interested in history/government!
The tour you can take on the weekend is well worth it. Ensure you book tickets before and don’t bring a lot of stuff as there is a full airport style security. Once in you get to see both Houses of Parliament and learn about its history and ways of working. Very educational
My wife and I took a 90 minute guided tour. It was a great experience and very informative. There was no pictures allowed during the tour. The tour guide was kind and very knowledgeable. The tour takes you through Queens Robing Room, Princes Chamber, Lords Chamber,Central Lobby, and Commons Chamber. I would recommend this tour.
Good that you can take a tour while the speakers are in action and there isn't any need to book in advance or wait long to get in.
A magnificent building full of history and has lots of stories to tell. You can't help but feel amazed as you walk through the corridors, lobbies and the two houses of parliament. Love the fact you get free roam of the building's public areas and that you can go around at your own pace. It really helps you take it all in.