Travel Videos of Westminster London, UK | Sightseer.tv

Westminster

Westminster

Westminster is not the oldest part of London, but is probably what most tourists would regard as the historic centre of the city. It is where you will find Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Downing Street all within a few minutes walk of each other.

Westminster became home to the Monarchy after the Norman invasion in 1066. The Houses of Parliament may look like a single building but has actually evolved over centuries. The Model Parliament which was the first real parliament in the UK, met at the Palace of Westminster in 1295.

Large parts of the complex were actually built in the 1800s after a fire destroyed much of the palace. If you go on a tour of Parliament you will see how it is a mix of areas like the ancient Westminster Hall, and the more recent Parliamentary chambers.

Westminster Abbey is the other main attraction. This is where Kings and Queens had their coronations and it was also the venue for the memorial service of Diana, Princess of Wales. There is a charge to go in.

Why go to Westminster:

You can enjoy Westminster on many different levels. You could simply walk around, take pictures of some of the major buildings and move on.

If history interests you, you could go on a tour of the Houses of Parliament. On Wednesday, when the House is sitting you could even see Prime Minister's Question Time. This is where the Prime Minister gets a half hour grilling from other Members of Parliament. You will need to join the line early to get into the public gallery.

There has been a place of worship on the site of Westminster Abbey for over a thousand years, but the current buildings has its origins in the 1200s. Besides the royal history, the Abbey is known as a burial place for famous people. Poets corner bears testament to the literary names buried there.

Whitehall is where most of the Government offices are located. Downing Street, home to the Prime Minister, is just off Whitehall. You cannot walk into Downing Street but you can see it through the gates.

If you carry on up Whitehall you will end up in Trafalgar Square.

Did you know?

Big Ben is the name by which Parliament's clock tower is known around the world. This is actually inaccurate. Big Ben is specifically the name given to the bells within the clock tower.

How to get there:

Underground:

District, Circle and Jubilee Lines - Get off at Westminster Station. The Station is pretty much in the heartland of Westminster.

Bus:

Routes 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 159 and 453 pass through the main hub of Westminster close to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

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