Advice about living in, visiting or
moving to the UK
Here’s something that not many London locals know let alone tourists – There is a tour which lets you climb to the top of Big Ben!
The Clock Tower is the name of the famous tower of Parliament - more popularly known as Big Ben. Although often referred to as Big Ben, this is actually the nickname of the bell housed within the Clock Tower - and Big Ben's official name is the Great Bell.
What the tour covers
A tour will take you up the 334 spiral steps to the top of the 150 year old Clock Tower to hear Big Ben strike the hour. As well as seeing a spectacular view of London from 62 metres up the tower, you will also go behind the clock faces and have the opportunity to visit the mechanism room to learn about how the clock works in the 21st Century.
Times and availability
Tours are at set times of 9.15am, 11.15am and 2.15pm Monday – Friday, (except Bank Holidays)
Booking your tour
Clock Tower tours are currently free of charge. Tours must be arranged ahead of your visit with bookings being taken up to four months in advance. Demand is high so early booking and flexibility regarding dates and times is recommended. Children under 11 are not permitted on Clock Tower tours. Groups of 14 students must be accompanied by two adults.
Arriving at Westminster
■ Visitors for Clock Tower tours should enter by the main entrance to Portcullis House on the Victoria Embankment, facing the river.
■ Visitors should allow at least 20 minutes to pass through security, and will be subject to a security scan and bag search.
■ Visitors on Clock Tower tours may not leave the tour once it has started unless escorted by a member of staff.
Please note: An admission fee will be applicable to all visitors taking a tour of the Clock Tower after July 2nd 2012.
Visit the UK Parliament website for more details.