Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)

Price £25

Elizabeth Tower is one of London’s most famous landmarks. The 96m (315ft) clock tower at the Houses of Parliament is often erroneously called Big Ben, but Big Ben is the name of the largest of the five bells, not the name of the tower.

Elizabeth Tower is one of London’s most famous landmarks. The 96m (315ft) clock tower at the Houses of Parliament is often erroneously called Big Ben, but Big Ben is the name of the largest of the five bells, not the name of the tower. During Victorian times the tower was known as St Stephen’s Tower and more recently was simply called the Clock Tower. It has been called Elizabeth Tower since 2012, in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee.

Elizabeth Tower recently underwent a four-year restoration between 2017 and 2021, during which time the tower was covered in scaffolding and Big Ben did not ring on a regular basis.

The tower has a slight 0.2º incline, although it certainly is not as noticeable as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

What to see at Elizabeth Tower

Guided tours allow visitors to climb the 334-step spiral staircase where you can see Big Ben and learn about the recent restoration project. The tour also lets you see the workings of the clock mechanism and stand next to Big Ben as it strikes on the hour.

Visiting Elizabeth Tower

Tours of Elizabeth Tower are popular with limited spaces available and it is often necessary to book several months in advance. Tours cost £25 (£10 for children) and must be booked in advance at www.parliament.uk/visiting/visiting-and-tours/big-ben-tour/

Tours are currently booked out until the end of August 2024 and tickets for tours in September 2024 will only become available at 10am on Wednesday 12 June 2024.

Photography is not permitted on the tour and visitors must pass through an airport-style security checkpoint and place any belongings, including bags, cameras and mobile phones, in a locker prior to joining the tour.

Despite a lift being installed during the recent restoration project, all visitors are required to climb the staircase and tours with step-free access are currently unavailable.

The guided tour experience lasts 90 minutes.

Amenities
  • Guided tours (paid)

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