Big Ben  

 
 
ADDRESS
Parliament Square, Westminster, St Margaret Street, London SW1A 0AA
 
 
TELEPHONE
 
OPENING TIMES
Tours Mon to Fri 9.15am, 10.15am, 11.15am & 2.15pm | Max number: 16 people per tour
 
PRICES
Free - but by prior arrangement only
 

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Big BenSir Charles Barry sought advice from Benjamin Lewis Vuillamy - clockmaker to the Queen - and Augustus Pugin when it came to designing the clock tower that is affectionately known as Big Ben today. The most famous clock tower in the wiorld, attached to the Houses of Parliament, has become a familiar and much loved landmark, its great bell chiming on the hour (and every quarter of an hour too) keeping time with Greenwich meantime. The name Big Ben was initially given to the Great Bell which was created at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and first struck in 1859. The most likely explanation of the name it that it comes from Sir Benjamin Hall, First Commissioner for Works from 1855-1858 whose name is inscribed on the bell. Now the moniker is the accepted name for the whole of the Clock Tower - albeit begrudgingly by some. Weighing in at 13.7 tonnes, at the time of its casting Big Ben was the largest bell in the British Isles and the clock face the second largest in the country (after the Liver Building in Liverpool). UK residents can arrange a free tour of Big Ben through their local MP but space is extremely limited and you'll need to book three to six months in advance. Overseas visitors cannot currently visit the tower.

 

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Big Ben   

   
Big Ben

Big Ben  


LondonTown.com - Big Ben Location Map

 
 
 

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What to do in London throughout 2020

With an exciting calendar of entertainment, 2020 is another special year in London. Find out what's happening throughout the capital with our thorough guide to the best 2020 London events.

 
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Conrad London St. James
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel   from £188  36% off
22-28 Broadway, SW1H | 7 minutes from Big Ben
With Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, St James's Park and the Thames all on its doorstep, Conrad London St. James is the ideal option for ... More
 
 
 
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel London
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel   from £120  36% off
Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 | 7 minutes from Big Ben
The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is a modern, design-led hotel a short walk from some of the city's most iconic attractions, such as Big Ben and ... More
 
 
 
Park Plaza County Hall Hotel London
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel   from £119  36% off
1 Addington Street, SE1 | 7 minutes from Big Ben
Close to Waterloo, the 4 star Park Plaza is - as the name suggests - just behind County Hall. Near to the Thames, it's also convenient ... More
 
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Houses of Parliament
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
Parliament Square, St Margaret's Street, Westminster, London SW1A | Same location as Big Ben
Now more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, the Palace of Westminster began life in 1042 as a royal residence under Edward the Confessor. The ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
House of Lords
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1P | 1 minute from Big Ben
The Upper House of the British Parliament, the House of Lords is part of the Palace of Westminster, more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament. ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
St Margaret's Church
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
St Margaret's Church, Westminster, London SW1P | 2 minutes from Big Ben
Standing between Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, St Margaret's Church is commonly called "the parish church of the House of Commons". A fine 16th ... More
 
 
 
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Sights and Attractions near Big Ben

The best museums, galleries, attractions near Big Ben
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Westminster Bridge
London > Attractions > Boats and Bridges
Victoria Embankment, Westminster, London SW1A | 2 minutes from Big Ben
Westminster Bridge lies on the Thames between the Houses of Parliament and County Hall with the delights of the Southbank Centre and the National Theatre beyond. ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Churchill War Rooms
London > Attractions > Museums
Clive Steps, King Charles Street, Westminster, London SW1A | 5 minutes from Big Ben
Winston Churchill directed the troops during World War II from a small warren of underground rooms, which are now open to the public. Visitors ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Downing Street
London > Attractions >
Downing Street, SW1A | 6 minutes from Big Ben
Best known for the house at no. 10, Downing Street is at the heart of Westminster and British politics. Closed to members of the public, the ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Events near Big Ben

Near Big Ben
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Ongoing
Witness For The Prosecution
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 6th October 2017 to 13th September 2020
Big Ben, Belvedere Road, SE1 | 6 minutes from Big Ben
Set the Debating Chamber of London's County Hall - a room which resembles a courtroom in every way - Lucy Bailey's site-specific staging of Agatha Christie's ...More
 
 
 
Ongoing
Nightingale in 200 Objects: Leader, Icon And Pioneer
London > Events > Exhibitions  Dates: 8th March 2020 to 7th March 2021 - 10am-5pm
Big Ben, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 | 6 minutes from Big Ben
Exhibitions & Art, Multimedia....More
 
 
 
Florence Nightingale And Inspiring Friendships
London > Events > Tours  Dates: Sunday 23rd August 2020 - 2pm-3pm
Big Ben, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 | 6 minutes from Big Ben
...More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Entertainment near Big Ben

Near Big Ben
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
St John's Smith Square
London > Entertainment > Classical Music
Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1P | 5 minutes from Big Ben
Situated in the heart of Westminster, this stunning 18th century church was designed by architect Thomas Archer and completed in 1728. It is considered one of ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Slug And Lettuce
London > Entertainment > Comedy Clubs
County Hall, 5 Chicheley Street, South Bank, London SE1 | 8 minutes from Big Ben
Situated in the heart of London at Southbank, and right in front of tourists' favourite the London Eye, The Slug and Lettuce is the perfect place ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Vaults
London > Entertainment >
10 Leake Street, South Bank, London SE1 | 8 minutes from Big Ben
The Vaults under Waterloo are an intriguing venue that play host to a number of underground events. Prime among them is the annual ... More
 
 
 
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Shopping near Big Ben

The best shops and markets near Big Ben
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Crockatt and Powell
London > Shopping > Books
119-120 Lower Marsh, South Bank, London SE1 | 9 minutes from Big Ben
If you hate the commercial, branded feel of mega bookshops like Waterstones and Borders this one's a treat. Crockatt and Powell is an independent bookshop that ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Vintage Vauxhall Antiques Market
London > Shopping > Markets
The Workshop, Lambeth High Street, SE1 | 10 minutes from Big Ben
On the second Saturday of the month Vintage Vauxhall brings together collective of dealers specialising in vintage, antiques, architectural reclamation as well ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Foyles Royal Festival Hall
London > Shopping > Books
Riverside, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, South Bank, London SE1 | 10 minutes from Big Ben
The family-run Foyles book shop has been in the book selling business since 1906. Around 30,000 books are stocked at this branch on a broad range ... More
 
 
 
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Restaurants near Big Ben

What are the best dining options near Big Ben London?
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Houses of Parliament - Afternoon Tea
London > Restaurants > Afternoon Tea
Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London SW1A | Same location as Big Ben
Enjoy afternoon tea in one of the world's most iconic buildings, The Palace of Westminster. More commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, the palace's history ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Caffe Nero
London > Restaurants > Cafes and Delis
1-2 Bridge Street, Westminster, London SW1A | 2 minutes from Big Ben
Nero is probably the best of the Capital’s coffee shop chains. Offers a wide range of authentic Italian coffee in a pleasant relaxed environment. Snacks include ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Cellarium Cafe and Terrace
London > Restaurants > British restaurants
20 Dean's Yard, Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London SW1P | 3 minutes from Big Ben
British Cuisine... More
 
 
 
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Education near Big Ben

Near Big Ben
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Courtauld Institute of Art
London > Education > Arts and Drama
Somerset House, Covent Garden, London WC2R | 16 minutes from Big Ben
The Courtauld is one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, affiliated with the Oxbridge system and boasting a huge private location and prime ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The London Film School
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
24 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H | 18 minutes from Big Ben
The London Film School is the oldest-established international school of film technique in the world. The school has contributed significantly to ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
London College Of Communication
London > Education > Professional Training
Elephant & Castle, Elephant and Castle, London SE1 | 21 minutes from Big Ben
From a clutch of excellent courses in London, this is the best and among the premier specialist media courses in the world. Formerly London College of ... More
 
 
 
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Leisure near Big Ben

Big Ben gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
London Marriott Hotel County Hall Spa
London > Leisure > Health and Beauty
Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1 | 6 minutes from Big Ben
Fancy detoxing in the building where the Greater London Council used to run the city? The Spa at the London Marriott County ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Jubilee Gardens
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
3 Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1 | 6 minutes from Big Ben
The concrete promenade along the South Bank greatly benefits from this large patch of green grass for striders, strollers and sightseers to relax on. Not ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Garden Museum
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
Lambeth Palace Road, South Bank, London SE1 | 7 minutes from Big Ben
Adjacent to Lambeth Palace on the banks of the River Thames , the Garden Museum provides an insight into the ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Pubs near Big Ben

The best pubs near London Big Ben.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Red Lion Pub
London > Nightlife > Pubs
48 Parliament Street, Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A | 3 minutes from Big Ben
Right across the street from the Houses of Parliament, the Red Lion is perfectly positioned for politicos to pop in for a pint after a heated ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Two Chairmen Public House
London > Restaurants > Gastropub
39 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London SW1H | 6 minutes from Big Ben
Two minutes away from Parliament Square and the Cabinet warm rooms, the Two Chairmen Public House is an olde worlde pub that retains a number of ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Clarence
London > Restaurants > Gastropub
53 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A | 9 minutes from Big Ben
Just a hundred yards from Trafalgar Square, the MOD and the Horse Guard's Parade, The Clarence has an undeniably impressive location that attracts both locals and ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Nightlife near Big Ben

Big Ben clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Bassoon Bar
London > Nightlife > Bars
Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall Place, Westminster, London SW1A | 8 minutes from Big Ben
The cocktails in the Bassoon Bar are very good, expensive, yes, but very, very good. Not only that but the bar has a piano which is ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Tapster
London > Nightlife > Wine Bars
3 Brewers Green, Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London SW1H | 9 minutes from Big Ben
Wine Bar ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Walkers Of Whitehall
London > Nightlife > Bars
15 Craig's Court, St James's, London SW1A | 10 minutes from Big Ben
Built in 1694 on Craig's Court, just south of Trafalgar Square, Walkers of Whitehall was originally ... More
 
 
 
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Meeting venue hire near Big Ben

Where to have your meeting, conference, exhibition, private dining or training course near Big Ben.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Westminster Abbey
London > Business > Venue Hire
Victoria Street, Westminster, London SW1P | 3 minutes from Big Ben
Conference facilities can accommodate for up to 1100 people.... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
London > Business > Venue Hire
Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P | 4 minutes from Big Ben
Seven floors of purpose-built meeting space in the heart of Westminster, the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEIICC) is a well known permanent conference space situated ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Central Hall Westminster
London > Business > Venue Hire
Storey's Gate, Westminster, London SW1H | 4 minutes from Big Ben
Central London's largest conference and events venue has welcomed an array of illustrious speakers through the ages - including Gandhi, Churchill and the Prince of Wales. ... More
 
 
 
 
 

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What's On Today

Near Big Ben

 
 
 
Nightingale in 200 Objects: Leader, Icon And Pioneer
Exhibitions | Until 7th March 2021 

Florence Nightingale Museum 6 minutes walk from Big Ben

Exhibitions & Art, Multimedia....More

Witness For The Prosecution
Witness For The Prosecution
Theatre | Until 13th September 2020 

The Debating Chamber, County Hall 6 minutes walk from Big Ben

Set the Debating Chamber of London's County Hall - a room which resembles a courtroom in every way - Lucy ...More

 
The Seagull
The Seagull
Theatre | Until 30th May 2020 

Playhouse Theatre 10 minutes walk from Big Ben

Emilia Clarke from Game Of Thrones makes her West End debut as Nina in Anya Reiss's modern update of Anton ...More

 
Rirkrit Tiravanija: Untitled 2019 (The Form Of The Flower Is Unknown To The Seed)
Exhibitions | Until 6th June 2020 

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) 10 minutes walk from Big Ben

A sake bar with communal seating and tables containing artworks and special lighting challenges the traditional exhibition format in favour ...More

Underbelly Festival
Underbelly Festival
Theatre | Until 27th September 2020 

Underbelly Festival 10 minutes walk from Big Ben

The unrivalled Underbelly Festival presents over 70 shows for five months of comedy, cabaret and children's shows. In a temporary ...More

 
Fourth Plinth: Heather Phillipson THE END
Fourth Plinth: Heather Phillipson THE END
Exhibitions | Until 26th March 2022 

Trafalgar Square 11 minutes walk from Big Ben

London born artist Heather Philipson puts an ice cream with a cherry on top on The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar ...More

 
Jack Absolute Flies Again
Jack Absolute Flies Again
Theatre | Until 20th June 2020 

National Theatre: Olivier Theatre 11 minutes walk from Big Ben

Oliver Chris and Richard Bean - the writer responsible for One Man, Two Guvnors - present their new play, Jack ...More

 
Costume at the National Theatre
Costume at the National Theatre
Exhibitions | Until 27th June 2020 

National Theatre: Olivier Theatre 11 minutes walk from Big Ben

Featuring costumes from Follies and Antony and Cleopatra, Costume at the National Theatre shows just some of the exquisite outfits ...More

 
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Exhibitions | Until 31st August 2020 

Tate Britain 12 minutes walk from Big Ben

Tate Britain presents the first major survey of London-based painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye with a showcase of more than 80 paintings ...More

 
POSTPONED: Artemisia Gentileschi
POSTPONED: Artemisia Gentileschi
Exhibitions | Until 26th July 2020 

National Gallery 13 minutes walk from Big Ben

Artemisia will not open as originally planned on 4th April 2020 due to current global travel restrictions. The National Gallery ...More

 

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