A huge, breathtakingly beautiful building of a sandy colour by the river Thames, Perpendicular Gothic style and two majestic towers – one of them with an eye that witnesses how time passes. Yes, we are of course referring to the Houses of Parliament – the popular name for the Palace of Westminster, that besides hosting two of the most important institutions of the United Kingdom (the House of Commons and the House of Lords) constitutes one of the icons of the capital of England.
The Houses of Parliament also include the famous Elizabeth Tower. You’re probably wondering now how can it be so famous if you’ve never heard of it – but, in fact, you have! The Elizabeth Tower is the real name of what it is popularly known as the Big Ben! In fact, the Big Ben is just the clock at the top of the tower.
The current Houses of Parliament were built from 1840 to 1870. However, they existed before: what is known as the Old Palace was destroyed by a fire, like many other landmarks of London, in 1834.
If you book one of our apartments near the Houses of Parliament, you will be in the Inner Borough called the City of Westminster, one of the most densely populated ones in London and, since it’s right in the centre of town, a real melting pot of ethnicities and religions. Besides the people who populate the area, if you book one of the apartments near the Houses of Parliament you need to know that you will have other extremely important neighbours in the form of landmarks: The Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye and the Tate Britain are just a short walk away!
Are you sure you’re going to have time for shopping, surrounded by the breath-taking beauty of the Houses of Parliament? Or will the Westminster Abbey lure you in, once you leave your apartment? Well, if you are, you will find some options in the area. If you book one of the apartments near the Houses of Parliament, you will be very close to Victoria district, where you can find two shopping centres that will most likely cover all your needs, Cardinal Square and Victoria Place.
The Houses of Parliament also count, of course, with a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs. For instance, you will find many books that portray key moments in British history that have been lived inside those beautiful walls, as well as many different gifts, like tote bags of key chains. The most unique part is that you can also buy Parliamentary Documents!
Transportation is very easy if you book one of the apartments near the Houses of Parliament. Right in front of them you will find the Westminster Tube Station (Circle and District Lines) - in fact, exiting this Tube Station and seeing the top of the Big Ben from the stairs is one of the images that remains imprinted in visitor’s memories! If you walk towards the river, you will find the Westminster Pier, where you can choose the most beautiful transportation possible: A riverboat! It will take you up the river Thames, and you will be able to spot many of London’s great attractions.
But the best transportation means if you book one of our apartments near Houses of Parliament are your own feet: You just need to go up Whitehall road and you will arrive to Trafalgar Square, where you will also find Charing Cross train station, in case you need to travel somewhere further away. Trafalgar Square is one of the neuralgic points of London, so it will make you pretty close to many other important spots, such as Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Street.
Finally, all sightseeing buses stop by the Houses of Parliament, so you can just jump on one of them and see where it takes you – it will be worth it for sure!
If you book one of our apartments near the Houses of Parliament, you already know which is the mandatory visit, right? Of course, the Houses of Parliament themselves, with their beautiful and iconic Big Ben! There are many options for visitors: You can book one of the tours around the Houses of Parliament, including audio tours, private ones and also an option that includes afternoon tea. The basic guided tour costs 25 pounds. It has discounts for children, seniors and special fares for families and groups. Keep in mind that you can only visit the inside of the Houses of Parliament on Saturdays, unless you happen to travel to London during the Parliamentary recesses in February and Easter. There also the option to visit the Elizabeth Tower and the Big Ben, but, unfortunately, that one is only available to UK residents.
There are many other things around worth visiting if you book one of our apartments near the Houses of Parliament – in fact, you will be very close to London’s main tourist attractions! The Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square and its National Gallery, the Tate Britain and Buckingham Palace are all very close to the Houses of Parliament. Make sure to plan ahead so you have time left to get to another neighbourhood, like the City or Tower Hamlets.
There are many places to grab a bite around the Houses of Parliament, such as Cellarium Café, the café of the Westminster Abbey, or St. Stephen’s Tavern. There are also some great places around the Houses of Parliament to have coffee or tea, such as the Café Nero or the Afternoon Tea at the Library Lounge (remember that you have to book in advance for this one). If you’re travelling with kids, you can have a quick bite that they will love at Big Ben Pizza.
If you book an apartment near the Houses of Parliament, you may want to know about a little place where you can have some great breakfast: Pickles! You will recognise it for its cute green door. If you want to enjoy the good weather, you can also take your food to go and enjoy it in the park.
There are many pubs in the area where the Houses of Parliament are located, like the Red Lion, a tiny bit north of the Westminster Tube Station, a nice place with beers for all tastes and a restaurant in the first floor, in case you want some dinner. You can also walk a little bit towards the Soho, the greatest entertainment area in town. But there is another place close by that you can’t miss, especially if you’re interested in politics and gossips: The Westminster Arms is one of the political centres of London – yes, a pub! Since it’s right next to the Houses of Parliaments, it’s where they go have a drink and a bite after a day’s work. Of course, there are many journalists that mingle there as well. Do you think you’ll be able to steal a scoop out of them?