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Exclusive tour: Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey without queuing

Exclusive tour: Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey without queuing

Step into the heart of British democracy with the only fully guided visit to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament

  • More individuality: 20 participants maximum
from 116.50 $ per person
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Step into the heart of British democracy with the only fully guided visit to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament

The facts

Details

  • Languages: English
  • Participants: 1 - 20
  • Duration: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Instant confirmation
  • public (with other participants)
  • mobile voucher is accepted
    Show your booking confirmation or voucher on your mobile phone or tablet. Alternatively, you can almost always also present your booking confirmation or voucher in paper form. You will receive further information in the booking confirmation.

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Your experience

Highlights

  • The only fully guided tour of the Parliament buildings
  • Explore Westminster Abbey and the history of this incredibly iconic church
  • View the main rooms in the Palace of Westminster, including Westminster Hall, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Lobbies Division and much more
  • Immerse yourself in the living history of British democracy with stories, facts and anecdotes from your knowledgeable guide

Description

Only on Saturdays, while the government is in recess, you can visit the House of Commons and the House of Lords and many other fine halls and chambers where Britain's laws are passed. Along the way you will learn about the unique stories, traditions and lore of one of the oldest constitutional monarchies in Europe and experience how past and present unite to form a society that is both modern and deeply rooted in history.

Your day begins with skip-the-line entry to Westminster Abbey at the quietest time to see Britain's most popular church. With roots dating back over 1,000 years, this Gothic masterpiece is the traditional coronation and burial place of kings and queens, along with national heroes such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and William Wilberforce. During your visit, a local expert guide will tell you how the British monarchy helped transform the country into a democracy, as well as some interesting tidbits about Winston Churchill, one of the few non-Royals who was laid out in the Abbey after his death.

Then it is Parliament's turn. While most people see it with an audio guide, you are led around by a tour guide who has spent years studying the facts and events that will really immerse you in the history of this amazing building. The tour begins in the oldest part, Westminster Hall, which has housed state functions for almost 1,000 years and is one of the finest preserved examples of medieval wooden architecture in the world

Among the gigantic woods of 600 ancient oaks, you will learn about the history of the building, how it was almost lost and how it is constantly reinventing itself to welcome new generations of kings and politicians. You will also take a look into the room where the Queen wears her crown and ermine-trimmed cloak before she officially opens the sessions of each new parliament

Next, we go to the engine room of British democracy, the Chamber of Commons, where the elected British MPs (literally) face each other and decide how to govern the country. Here you will see the lines that may or may not have produced the phrase "toe the line" and learn about the centuries-old ceremonies that keep this modern legislator firmly tied to its ancient past - including the reasons why this is the only room in England where the Queen is not allowed to enter

From this hotbed of democratic fervour, the journey continues into the House of Lords chamber, where peers who had inherited their titles once sat. Today, only 92 of the peers have inherited seats - the others have been appointed for their expertise in areas such as sport, medicine and technology. They may have less power than their elected colleagues, but their chamber is even more opulent

After experiencing some of the highlights of the building's history, including a failed terrorist attack in 1605 that the British are still celebrating today (ever heard of Guy Fawkes Night?), you'll move on to two of the building's most unique rooms: the Division Lobbies. In these rooms, according to a tradition that goes back to ancient Rome, opposing sides gather before a parliamentary vote, in one room the "Ayes", in another the "Noes", and are then counted when they leave it.

As you stroll through these halls, you will literally follow in the footsteps of men like Henry VIII and Winston Churchill. History, legend, lore and a lot of splendour mix and mingle as you hear of almost a thousand years of history from one of the best guides in London

Please note

Additional information

Westminster Abbey may be closed during special celebrations, including the Easter festivities. Should this be the case during your visit, we will create an alternative itinerary that shows and explains the abbey from the outside.

Photography is not permitted in Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

Please note that for security reasons, bag searches are carried out at Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

Unfortunately we cannot accommodate guests with reduced mobility, wheelchairs or prams on this tour.

Comfortable hiking boots recommended

Included in the price

  • - Entrance to Westminster Abbey
  • - Entrance to the Parliament buildings
  • - Full tour of the Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey
  • - Headsets
  • - Small groups of 20 people
  • - Food & Drinks
  • - Tips
  • - Pick up and return to/from the hotel

Meeting point

This tour starts at the statue "Winston Churchill", Parliament Square, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JX The Winston Churchill statue is the largest and is located at the northeast corner of the square closest to Big Ben. The nearest underground station is Westminster. Please be at the meeting point 15 minutes before the start

Cancellation Conditions

No refunds or rebooking will be given for late arrivals or no show after tour start.

This deal can be cancelled for free up to 3 days before the date of the activity.

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