Almost everyone knows about Big Ben. This iconic landmark is one of the most popular locations in the UK. It is a tower located near the Houses of Parliament. This 96-meter tower is surrounded by four clock faces. The clock face is illuminated all night long. It is located in the heart of the capital and can be spotted almost everywhere. The Clock Tower is the main focus of the countdown to the New Year in the UK.
During your visit to Big Ben, you can do a number of activities. You can take a tour of the tower, learn more about its history, and even listen to the famous bell, enjoy a number of wonderful views of the city from the tower, and also watch the chiming of the clock and watch the fireworks explode in the clock tower at midnight. To take a tour of the Tower, you will need to book a six-month advance booking. You will then be escorted by a guide, and climb the 334 steps to the top of the tower.
When the Parliament is in session, the special light above the clock faces lights up. You will also see the flag outside the Victoria Tower flying. It is best to visit during the golden hour, which is just before dusk. This is when the gold sparkles and the bells and clocks are illuminated. You will then have the chance to take photos of the iconic bell. The chimes of the clock will also be broadcast to the whole country during New Year’s celebrations.
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The Houses of Parliament, which is next to Big Ben, was originally built as a royal palace by Henry VIII. In the late 18th century, the building was rebuilt by British architect Charles Barry in a Gothic revival style. After a fire in 1834, the building was restored to its former glory. It was then renamed Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth II. During your visit to Big Ben, you should also check out the Palace of Westminster. This is the meeting place for both houses of the UK Parliament. There are plaques to commemorate historical events. There is also a statue of Winston Churchill on Parliament Square. Watch the Petitions Committee, which checks petitions directed to the Parliament. International visitors are allowed in the meetings.
You will not be able to tour the inside of the tower if you are not a resident of the United Kingdom. However, there are a number of tours to do outside the Elizabeth Tower that will give you a chance to learn more about the famous bell. You could take a walk along the streets surrounding the clock tower, you can go for a cruise, or ride the London Eye to view the landmark. You can also use the hop-on-hop-off bus to get there. There are several bus routes in the area, and all buses pass by the tower. You can also walk to Big Ben from Waterloo station or Embankment station. The nearest parking lot is at Great College Street, one-third mile away.
If you are planning on visiting Big Ben, you should also be aware of the refurbishment that is taking place. The restoration is part of the Great Clock project, which is working to repair and safeguard the clock. It is expected to last until late 2020 or early 2021. In addition to replacing the hands on the clock, the refurbishment includes repairing the cast iron framework and cleaning the four dials.
Each clock face is made of 312 sections of opal glass. The dials are 7 meters in diameter. They are lit using 28 85-watt bulbs. The lights tell a story of the UK’s Houses of Parliament.
Big Ben was being refurbished, which is why the clock will only chime on special occasions. It was renovated to a more energy-efficient design. The renovation was completed in 2021. The chimes of the Big Ben bell are broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation. This was done to avoid disruption during World War II. In 1923, the bell was also coordinated with the Royal Greenwich Observatory. The bell was named after Edward Bradbury, who was the First Commissioner of Works for the British Parliament. The chime of the bell is usually very accurate. However, in August of this year, the clock went silent. It was a precautionary measure to protect restoration workers. Big Ben is a great place to dive into the history of London. It has been voted the most iconic landmark in the United Kingdom. It is also the most Instagrammed location in the UK. You can also explore the tower on a tour. This is only available to residents of the United Kingdom. Next blog post