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London: Houses of Parliament Tour

#westminsterpalaceWaking up on the last day of our most recent visit to London, we had big plans! A tour of Westminster Palace and the Houses of Parliament! We’d walked by and photographed this iconic and historic building on many occasions, but we’d never been inside.

View of the London Eye and Big Ben from the security line

Embracing the idea that guided tours are a good thing and always up for visiting another palace I signed us up! I was pretty excited about finally getting a peek inside. In fact our visit to this historic and important place was a highlight of our entire six week adventure!

Guided tours of the Houses of Parliament are available on most Saturdays and on weekdays when Parliament is in recess. The tours are timed and I highly suggest arriving slightly before your scheduled time, as the check-in and security lines can be long. If you find yourselves with some time to spare before your tour you can enjoy a coffee in the onsite cafe and have a look around the gift shop.

While on the 90 minute tour you’ll be treated to 1000 years of history, modern politics, and amazing art and architecture. Highlights include visiting both the Lord’s and Common’s Chambers, the Queen’s Robing Room and the Royal Gallery.

You’ll meet your guide in Westminster Hall, one of the few places photos are allowed, and proceed to walk quickly through the entire building, catching only glimpses of all the amazing art and ornate decor, before finally stopping at the other end where the tour will officially start. Don’t worry, you’ll be walking back at a much slower pace and will be able to enjoy the amazing artwork of kings, queens and politicians of past and present while you listen to your guide tell you their history.

I absolutely loved this experience, our guide was so knowledgeable and funny and the interior spaces were so beautiful I was in awe of my surroundings the entire visit.  Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one who loved this activity, all three of my boys loved it too!

Photo opportunities were very limited, but I managed to get in a few snaps!

Westminster Hall

St. Stephen’s Hall & New Dawn Stained Glass

The Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben

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