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Big Ben

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Big Ben

KidRated’s Big Ben Top Tips:

  • Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower tours are now suspended due to refurbishment. Tours are scheduled to resume in 2021 once all the work has been completed.

  • Tours are only available to UK residents over the age of 11.
  • Fear not, seeing the clock from the outside is still spectacular.
  • There are lots of stairs: 334. Stone. Spiral. Stairs.  

Visit Big Ben, one of the most iconic landmarks in London. A lot of people may not know that Big Ben is not the tower but the bell. The name of the tower is actually the Elizabeth Tower, named after Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 for her diamond jubilee. In fact, Big Ben is just the nickname for the bell, its official name being the Great Bell.


Whilst exploring the famous tower, the tour will take you up the 334 stone spiral steps to the top to hear the bell strike the hour. As well as seeing a spectacular view of London from 62 metres up the tower, you will also go behind the clock faces and have the opportunity to visit the mechanism room to learn about how the clock works in the 21st Century.


 Booking Advice:

  • Tours are FREE
  • To book a tour contact your local MP or a Member of the House of Lords





Tours inside Big Ben only when Parliament is out for summer.

Phone number:

+44 (0)20 7219 4272


Opening hours:

See website for full opening hours.

How to get there:

Tube: Westminster
Victoria, Charing Cross and Waterloo are also close by.

For more details on how to get there, please visit their website.

Journey Planner

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Teen Verdict

Family days out, attractions and things to do in London and beyond for kids, older kids and teenagers rated by kids and teens with KidRated


Even as a teenager, it was really interesting actually visiting Big Ben. Getting to know that the tower is actually called Elizabeth Tower and the clock is called Big Ben. We had to organise it through our local MP and it did take quite a long time so I recommend you do it at the beginning of the year if you want to do it in the summer…

The good news is it’s free so i have been able to tick it off my “bucket list”. I’d recommend this to any family or individuals wanting to do some sightseeing in London.

Parent Point of View

Things to do, places to go for kids and teenagers - cool, academic, fun and entertaining in London and beyond with KidRated

Laura Porter

  • Tours only available to UK residents and must be booked via your MP.
  • Book a long way in advance – 3-6 months is recommended.
  • As it’s so tall you can get good views from further away so head across Westminster Bridge and view from the South Bank, in front of St Thomas’ Hospital.
  • Try and time your visit to hear the ‘bongs’ at midday.

You can find loads more information by Laura Porter at 

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One comment on “Big Ben” | Add a comment

  1. Pauline

    As of April 2022, there’s still scaffolding on Elizabeth Tower, but it’s still an impressive sight. The clock face is now clear of scaffolding. We were unprepared for how massive it is. I might wait to visit until it’s been fully restored, but it’s incredible to hear Big Ben (the bell inside) ring on the hour – you can practically feel it. There are a lot of interesting facts about the building that are engaging for young visitors, such as the height of Elizabeth Tower is the same as 22 double decker buses stacked on top of each other and the clock face being 7 meters in diameter. Another being that it’s really the large bell inside that’s called Big Ben, not the whole tower. It’s a beautiful sight and I hope that the scaffolding comes down soon so that it’s even more impressive for all to see.

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