Posted on May 1st, 2016
London is synonymous with iconic buildings, none more so than the Houses of Parliament. Visiting this building has been on my wish list for ages, and last week I got to tick it off.
Visit Parliament invited me on an audio tour, and I nearly (well I did) squeal with excitement at the prospect.
I’d always been under the impression that you could only organise a visit through your local MP, when in fact this is wrong, you can visit every weekend and weekdays during Parliament recess.
Let me tell you why you should go and visit this incredible iconic building, and learn about the history behind The Palace of Westminster, and Black Rod’s knocking on the door.
Coming into Westminster Hall, you are reminded of how truly historic the building is. This is where the Queen Mother lay in state before her burial, it’s where President Obama, and Nelson Mandela gave addresses.
It is also where hundreds of years ago King Charles I and Guy Fawkes stood trial – all under the original hammer beam roof, which is the largest in Europe. It is simply stunning. No photo did it justice.
Moving through into St Stephen’s Hall you are constantly reminded of the great speakers of our time and the incredible artistic talent that lies in the art and sculpture.
Into the octagonal central lobby, the vision of Charles Barry’s gothic design is the very heart of Parliament, and therefore considered to be the heart of the United Kingdom. The stained glass and mosaic designs everywhere have to be seen to be believed for their detail and beauty.
As you walk through these great halls and walkways, it is almost a privilege to be able to do so. It’s quite extraordinary how the workings of Parliament still take the lead from centuries ago.
The Royal Gallery is meant to impress, the paintings alone are worth a visit.
I was fascinated to learn that the Queen never walks on anything but a blue carpet when she enters the House – something to watch out for on May 18th when the next State Opening of Parliament takes place.
Everything from the House of Lords to the House of Commons gives you further insight into the beating heart of our democracy.
I cannot recommend the tour highly enough I loved every minute, as did Mr B, and I have been recommending it since to anyone who cares to listen. Next stop Elizabeth Tower aka Big Ben!
Visit Parliament click here for more information on opening hours