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Big Ben

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Big Ben

KidRated’s Big Ben Top Tips:

  • 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.


Essential works needed to refurbish and repair the Elizabeth Tower and Great Clock were announced in April 2016. These large scale works will take place over three years, with an anticipated start in early 2017. Tours will be suspended during refurbishment, with the last tour taking place on 16 December 2016.

 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.

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Parent Point of View

About London Laura Porter

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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