Big Ben is not open to the public.Possibly the most famous clock face andchimes in the world, Big Ben is actuallythe name of the biggest bell (13.5 tons).Built in 1858. The clock’s four dials eachhave a diameter of 23ft, the minutehands are 14ft long and the numerals oneach face are nearly 2ft high. The placingof old pennies in the mechanismcontrols the accuracy of the clockmovement, yet it is incredibly accurate.The tower which houses Big Ben hasbeen called by many names, one of themost popular is St Stephen’s Tower.
Buckingham PalaceBuckingham Palace has been the official London residence of Britains sovereigns since 1837 andevolved from a town house that was owned, from the beginning of the eighteenth century, bythe Dukes of Buckingham. Buckingham Palace is the London home of The Queen and PrincePhilip. In 1845 Queen Victoria asked for the Palace to be extended to make more room for hergrowing family of four children. As part of the alterations, Marble Arch, which was originally theentrance to the palace, was moved to a new position at the corner of Hyde Park. After a seriousfire damaged Windsor Castle in 1993 the Queen allowed the Palace State rooms to be openedto the public for the first time, to help pay the Windsor Castle repair bill. When not away, TheQueen and Prince Philip spend most weekends at Windsor Castle, where they enjoy horseriding.
The Palace of Westminster began life as a royalresidence in 1042. The major structure tosurvive various fires, Westminster Hall, wasbuilt between 1087-1100 and is one of thelargest medieval halls in Europe with anunsupported hammerbeam roof. Following afire in 1512, decide to abandon the palace andfrom this moment onwards it became home tothe two seats of parliament - the Commonsand the Lords. However, it was to suffer fromanother disastrous fire in 1834 and everythingwas lost except Westminster Hall and the JewelTower. A competition was launched toredevelop the whole site. Sir Charles Barry wasresponsible for the mock gothic building thathas become such a familiar landmark today;including the Clock Tower that houses Big Ben,the bell that chimes on the hour, and is hometo the largest clock face in the country.
At the Tower BridgeExperience visitors can seeone of the most famousbridges in the worldand spectacular views fromthe high levelwalkways 140ft above theThames. In the twotowers, theres anexhibition which explainsthe history of Tower
At The Tower of London,guarded by the celebratedBeefeaters, visitors can seeTraitors Gate, the pricelessCrown Jewels and the famousravens. Over the centuries, thisamazing building has beenfortress, prison, palace – andeven a zoo. The carefullyrestored medieval part of theTower is brought alive bycostumed guides. There is alsoexhibitions of armour andswords and you can see the spotwhere Henry VIIIs Queen, AnneBoleyn, was beheaded.
It would seem all roads lead to TrafalgarSquare, and most cars seem to end up there, ina perpetual traffic jam. So if Nelsons column ison the agenda, get the tube and leave the carbehind. The statue of Admiral HoratioNelson, buried at St Pauls Cathedral, standshigh above the traffic at Trafalgar square.Below him, tourists gather to feed thefrightening number of pidgeons who sweep inand out of the crowds and accross to St Martinin the Fields, a church which has been standingsince the thirteenth century. Worth avisit, especially for its stunning interior.