Big Ben

About the Big Ben

Big Ben, a London landmark and global icon, refers not only to a magnificent clock but also to the towering structure that houses it. Big Ben Tower has captured the imaginations of people worldwide. While many associate the name “Big Ben” with the towering clock itself, it originally referred to the immense hour bell housed within. This majestic structure, officially known as the Elizabeth Tower since 2012, stands proudly at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament, situated in Westminster, London.

Rising to a remarkable height of 315 feet, the tower’s grandeur is matched only by the precision of its clockwork. Its hands, measuring 9 and 14 feet, respectively, gracefully sweep across the clock face. The chimes of Big Ben have been broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a daily time signal since 1924, a tradition stemming from its synchronization with the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

Though inside Big Ben the interior remains largely off-limits to the public, taking a Big Ben tour provides a glimpse into the intricate mechanisms of this historic timepiece. The clock’s hands, measuring 9 and 14 feet, sweep gracefully across its face, ensuring precise timekeeping.

Surrounded by the political hub of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben is not just a clock; it’s a symbol of London’s rich history and architectural excellence. It stands as a testament to human ingenuity and remains a timeless emblem of the city’s enduring legacy.

History of the Big Ben

An architectural marvel and symbol of London, Big Ben’s history is steeped in fascinating details. Its official name, the Elizabeth Tower, was bestowed in 2012 in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. However, the name “Big Ben” originally referred to the colossal hour bell housed within the tower.

Big Ben construction was part of the massive rebuilding project for the Palace of Westminster, after a devastating fire in 1834. Designed by Sir Charles Barry, the tower’s construction began in 1843 and took 13 years to get complete. John Dent was appointed to build the clock to the designs of Edmund Beckett Denison. The Big Ben clock and bell were installed together in 1859. On 31st May the clock started ticking and on 11th July for the first time ever the strike of Big Ben bell was heard.

Inside Big Ben, one finds the impressive Great Clock of Westminster. This remarkable timekeeping mechanism has been responsible for the famous chimes of Big Ben, which have resonated since 1924 as a daily time signal broadcast by the BBC.

Big Ben ceased ringing on August 21, 2017, since the tower was undergoing a four-year renovation project, during which the bell was planned to strike solely for exceptional occasions, most notably New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday. Now, since 2022 it is again in operation and open to the public.

Tips for your visit

  • Big Ben Tour: Consider taking a guided tour to explore the inside of Big Ben. While access to the clock mechanism is limited, it offers unique insights into its operation.
  • Tickets: Be sure to secure your Big Ben tickets in advance for a guided tour. Availability can be limited, so booking early is advisable.
  • Arrive Early: Arriving early in the day will help you avoid the crowds, providing a more enjoyable Big Ben tour.
  • Respect the Tower: Remember that Big Ben is not just an iconic landmark; it’s also a functioning parliamentary building. Respect any restricted areas and follow visitor guidelines for Big Ben parliament.
  • Photography: Capture the beauty of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from various angles. The tower’s impressive height makes for stunning photographs.
  • Check Opening Times: Ensure you know the tower’s opening hours to plan your visit accordingly.
  • Security: Be prepared for security checks before entering. Follow any instructions from security personnel.


Embark on a captivating guided tour of Big Ben, the symbol of London. Secure your Big Ben tickets today for an unforgettable experience. Prices are incredibly reasonable, with tickets priced at £25 for adults and just £10 for children aged 11-17. Children under 11 can join for free. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to explore the history and architecture of the iconic tower up close with a knowledgeable guide. Book your Big Ben tour now!

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How to arrive

To arrive at Big Ben, you can use various modes of public transportation, as it is located in the heart of London. Here are some options:

By London Underground (Tube): The closest Tube station to Big Ben is Westminster Station, served by the Circle, District, and Jubilee lines. From there, it’s just a short walk to the tower.

By Bus: Several bus routes pass near Big Ben, and you can plan your journey using Transport for London’s (TfL) bus services. Buses include 148, 211, 24, 453, 88, and 91.

By Train: You can take a train to either London Waterloo Station (approximately a 17-minute walk away) or London Victoria Station (approximately a 20-minute walk away).

Taxi or Ride-Sharing: Taxi and ride-sharing services are widely available in London. You can get dropped off near Big Ben.

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