Experience the Houses of Parliament & Skip-the-Line Westminster Abbey Tour
Step into the heart of the British democracy with the only fully-guided visit through Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Only a handful of London tour guides are allowed to lead Parliament tours, so you're extremely fortunate to have one just for your small group on this all-access visit inside London's most exclusive building. Visiting only on Saturdays, you'll be able to visit the House of Commons, as well as many of the other beautiful halls and chambers in which the laws of Great Britain are decided.
Your day begins with first entry into Westminster Abbey, the most serene time to see Britain's most cherished church. With roots dating back over 1,000 years, this Gothic masterpiece is the traditional coronation site and burial ground of kings and queens, along with national heroes like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and William Wilberforce. In more recent history, Wesminster Abbey hosted the somber funeral of Princess Diana, and happier events such as the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Then it's on to Parliament. The tour begins in the oldest part, Westminster Hall, which has been hosting state functions for nearly 1,000 years and is one of the finest surviving examples of medieval timber architecture in the world. You'll peek into the room where the Queen dons her crown and ermine-trimmed cape before she officially opens the sessions of each new parliament. Inside, you’ll learn how people become peers based on their expertise in fields like sports, medicine, and technology. After learning some of the highlights of the building's history, you'll head into two of the most unique rooms in the building: the Division Lobbies. It's in these rooms that, according to a tradition that dates back to Ancient Rome, opposing sides gather before a parliamentary vote, the 'Ayes' in one room, the 'Noes' in another. As you stroll these halls, you are walking in the footsteps of men like Henry VIII and Winston Churchill.
History, legend, lore, and a lot of pomp and circumstance mix and mingle as you take in nearly 1,000 years of history from one of the most knowledgeable expert guides in London.