The Houses of Parliament is a site rich with English heritage and history. The oldest portion, Westminster Hall, dates back to the eleventh century reign of William II. Westminster has been used by Parliaments since 1295 A.D.
The buildings have survived such significant acts as the Gunpowder Plot, fires and World War II. In modern times, the Houses of Parliament is home to the House of Lords and the House of Commons among other important aspects of British government.
Visitors to the Houses of Parliament are treated with exceptional guided tours. UK citizens have more options than overseas visitors, though all visitors can attend debates, watch committee, and take tours. Tours are limited to Saturdays and the Summer Opening for overseas visitors. UK citizens can arrange free guided tours throughout the year and climb up the Clock Tower, affectionately known as Big Ben, by contacting their MP or a member of the House of Lords.
Visitors can learn about the process of British government and its rich history on the tours. Guides are friendly and knowledgeable. Guides will often tailor their tours to the level of knowledge their guests have about British government. Foreign language tours are even available for visitors on Saturdays and Summer Openings. Tours last around 75 minutes and depart every five minutes. This is the perfect amount of time to see the Houses and the Hall without occupying an entire day on a visit to London. The site is also conveniently close to other famous London landmarks.
The Houses of Parliament are available to tour on Saturdays from 9:15 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. During the Summer Opening, times vary by day and month. Visitors should check with the attraction to determine when tours are available. On non-sitting days, tours are also available from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Though it is encouraged to buy tickets in advance, there is a queue at the site to purchase tickets. To reach the attraction, visitors may use the District, Circle or Jubilee lines on the London Underground and embark at the Westminster station.