London area of Westminster guide
What to do and where to stay in London's Westminster neighbourhood
The area of Westminster is dominated by the business of government, and the great symbols of British greatness. The Houses of Parliament, with its mighty bell Big Ben that can be heard throughout Central London chiming the hours, is a far more imposing building than Buckingham Palace, reflecting the power of the oldest elected government in the world. In the early twentieth century more than a quarter of the earth’s population was directly ruled from Westminster, and the imposing statuary and huge ministries of Whitehall reflect this legacy. At the top of Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column are considered the heart of the nation - and a large proportion of hotels are concentrated here - while British monarchs have been crowned in the imposing Gothic edifice of Westminster Abbey since 1066. The National Gallery is the repository of Britain’s best international art collection while Tate Britain, in the attractive riverside area of Millbank, has the best permanent exhibition of British Art in the world.