Three Ways To See Inside The Houses Of Parliament This Summer

This is a sponsored article on behalf of the Houses of Parliament. 

Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall

The Houses of Parliament are among London’s most iconic buildings. Thousands of Londoners and visitors pass the complex every day and while you may admire it, cross the road to get a better look at it, perhaps even stop and take a picture of it, have you ever actually been inside?

Summer recess offers Londoners and visitors to the capital plenty of opportunities to visit this spectacular set of buildings, culturally relevant today, yet packed with epic history. Venture beyond the gates and try one of these tours.

Audio Tours

This summer, Houses of Parliament has added an audio tour, a great alternative to the traditional guided tours.

Snoop the sweeping corridors, traverse the Royal Gallery, explore the Lords and Commons Chambers, while audio commentary brings to life the history, architecture and art of the buildings. Discover how the spaces operate today as part of a busy 21st century working parliament at your own pace and with your choice of companion. Visitor Assistants are on hand to answer any questions your audio guide does not cover.

If you have a mini London-lover in your midst then choose the audio tour created especially with 7-12 year olds and families in mind. You’ll have fun exploring the Palace of Westminster tuned in to commentary delivered in the style of a ‘live’ news broadcast, replete with time-travelling journalists ‘reporting from the scene’ on key stories and moments in history.

Audio tours cost £17.50/£15 (one child free with each paying adult, £7 per child thereafter) and are available in English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Russian, Mandarin plus a screen-based version in British Sign Language. Find out more and book tickets here

Going through the Central Lobby

Going through the Central Lobby

Guided Tours

Fully guided tours of the Houses of Parliament are hugely popular. Expert Blue Badge guides will lead you through the House of Lords and House of Commons sharing in-depth knowledge on the stunning art and architecture and giving insight into parliamentary life past and present.

The tours have recently been enhanced meaning you’ll work your way through the fascinating building over an hour and a half, visiting spaces such as the Members’ Lobby, Queen’s Robing Room and of course the famous Chambers. Don’t worry about getting tired — there are designated ‘seating stops’ along the way.

Guided tours cost £25/£20 and are available in English, Spanish, Italian, French, German and Russian with other languages available on request for groups. Find out more and book tickets here.

Afternoon Tea in Terrace Pavilion.

Afternoon Tea in Terrace Pavilion.

Afternoon Tea

While you’re in a traditional mood, why not finish off one quintessential London experience with another? Take Afternoon Tea in the Terrace Pavilion.

Adults who feel the need to refuel after their audio or guided tour can do so with afternoon tea in the beautiful surroundings of the House of Commons’ Terrace Pavilion with fine views over the River Thames. Parliament’s own chefs have concocted a tempting menu of savouries and sweets for visitors to try. The produce is seasonal but never fear, the obligatory scones with jam and clotted cream are sure to make an appearance.

Afternoon tea costs £27.50 (in addition to the price of the tour ticket). Find out more about Afternoon Tea and how to book tickets here.

Tours are available to visitors throughout the year. Tickets can now be booked on the following 2014 dates:

  • All Saturdays until 25 October
  • Monday to Friday between 31 July and 29 August
  • Tuesday to Friday between 16 September and 10 October (except 1 October)

For more information and ticket booking, visit the Houses of Parliament website, phone the box office on 0844 847 1672 or keep up to date via their Twitter feed @visitparliament.

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  • Lou Bessette

    O how I wish I’d known this in May when I visited London! The Houses look great inside and I would certainly go for a tea with a view. Next year I hope!