UK

A QUICK GUIDE TO THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, LONDON

The home of British politics

Westminster – the seat of government

Approaching from Westminster Bridge, you’ll get a fantastic view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. If you’re lucky, you may even hear the famous chimes. The first time I heard the big clock, it was a couple of days before Christmas at around 5 PM. I was so excited that I got to listen to the official “DONG! DONG!” This was a very special moment.

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Big Ben covered in scaffolding – if you come to Europe and don’t see many of your Bucket List items covered with the stuff, you are a very lucky individual!

Big Ben is only a small part of the Houses of Parliament. This is where British law is decided, legislation is debated and decisions are made by MPs who often proceed to do as they please! But despite all that, its history is fascinating, with some parts of Westminster are approaching 1000 years old. Up until the 1500s, it was used as a royal residence called the Palace of Westminster. The structure you see today was constructed mainly in Victorian times after a terrible fire destroyed large parts of the original building. If you look closely at the façade, you’ll see it has been adorned with many statues of past Kings and Queens like Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as many other high ranking priests and political leaders from throughout British history.

The wonderful façade of Westminster Palace

Perhaps most importantly however, it is where the famous HP Brown Sauce got its name. What is HP Brown Sauce I hear you ask? It is the best sauce you will ever eat (I may be a little biased here!). Eaten mainly at breakfast, it is somewhat of a staple in the north of the country, however it is enjoyed by Londoners also. You may find that your hotel will have a bottle at breakfast, so do yourself a favour, the next time you are able to, try some HP Brown Sauce poured over your bacon and eggs… yum yum. My mouth is watering! 

The back of the Palace of Westminster

Now back to business. In order to check out the interior, you can do so. If you’re on a tight budget fear not, you can visit the the House of Commons and House of Lords through the Public Galleries free of charge, or if you prefer, you can take a guided tour for around £18.00 per adult. Children between the ages of 5-15 and free of charge with one paying adult and additional children are £7.50 each.

Westminster, London SW1A 0AA | www.parliament.uk

Thanks so much for reading my post today on my visit to the Houses of Parliament. I’ve visited this area several times yet I always find it so exciting. I can’t wait to go back as I’ve committed to checking out the interior and possibly even listen to the politicians arguing about who’s the best.

Have you been inside the Houses of Parliament? Did they sell HP Brown Sauce? Was it worth the price?

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If you’re looking at more things to do in London then check out my next blog post Things To Do In London.

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