The clock's minute hands are fourteen feet long and weigh about a hundred kilograms each. Keep your eyes peeled for the light that illuminates the clock face when parliament is in session. Renamed the Elizabeth Tower for the Queen's Jubilee in 2012, Big Ben is a must-see London attraction.
The nearest Underground station to Big Ben is Westminster, which lies on the Jubilee, Circle and District lines. This iconic building is within the congestion charging zone, so arriving by car is inadvisable, unless you opt for a classic black cab. There are several London bus routes running past the tower, which is also served by several river buses.
The tower is open Monday to Friday 9.15am until 10.15, and then 11.15am until 2.15pm.
You can book an official tour of the Elizabeth Tower for free on both weekdays and Saturdays. Hour-long talks offer you an insight into the history and cultural significance of the capital city's timekeeper. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or in person from the Ticket Office.
Looming over central London, Big Ben looks out on some of the city's most iconic attractions. History gushes from every cranny of the City of Westminster, which is carved by the mighty Thames.
Discover the seat of Britain's democracy when you visit the splendid House of Lords and House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament. JMW Turner immortalised the burning down of the 11th century Old Palace in paint in 1834. The present Gothic revival building is the work of architect Charles Barry, and comprises over a thousand rooms fanning symmetrically from central courtyards.
According to records, a church has stood here since the 7th century. 16 royal weddings have taken place here since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066. Numerous monarchs are buried here, along with Geoffrey Chaucer, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and most recently Stephen Hawking.
The famed junction of the West End with the City of Westminster has been largely pedestrianised, and its neon signs are an attraction in their own right. Traffic still swirls around a statue commonly thought to be Eros but which is in fact his brother, Anteros.