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Big Ben

Places to go

Get out and about to see our Big ben related places to visit.

Houses of Parliament

The site of the Houses of Parliament (including Big Ben) is the Palace of Westminster, a royal palace and former residence of kings. The layout of the Palace is intricate, with its existing buildings containing nearly 1,200 rooms, 100 staircases and well over two miles of passages. Among the original historic buildings is Westminster Hall, used nowadays for major public ceremonial events.

Visitors can take a tour of the awe-inspiring Palace of Westminster, known as the Line of Route tour. 

Address: Palace of Westminster

Whitechapel Bell Foundry

An entry in the Guinness Book of Records lists the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as Britain's oldest manufacturing company, having been in continuous business  since it was established in 1570.

After the first Big Ben bell cracked after testing in 1856, George Mears of Whitechapel Bell Foundry undertook the casting of a new bell. Transporting the bell to the Houses of Parliament was a major event and the streets were decorated to mark the occasion.

Visitors to the foundry pass through a full-size profile of the bell that frames the main entrance. The original moulding gauge used to form the mould to cast Big Ben hangs on the end wall of the foundry above the furnaces to this very day!

Address: 32/34 Whitechapel Road

Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory, home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian line, is one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. It was founded by Charles II in 1675 and is the official starting point for each new day, year and millennium.

Fascinated by time? Visitors to the Observatory can stand in both the eastern and western hemispheres simultaneously by placing their feet either side of the Prime Meridian - the centre of world time and space.  The Observatory galleries unravel the extraordinary phenomena of time, space and astronomy.

The Planetarium lets visitors explore the wonders of the heavens and Flamsteed House, Sir Christopher Wren’s original building, also has London's only public camera obscura. 

Address: The Royal Observatory, Greenwich

Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral is the impressive seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Foundations date to the 10th century, and it has survived eight centuries with all its associated buildings still around it – the Charter House, Vicar's Hall, Cloisters and the unique Vicar's Close.

The Wells Cathedral clock is one of the oldest clocks in the world. It has been dated to 1392, although the dial was probably added many years later. The clock has been frequently updated and revised over the years, and the original works are now in the London Science Museum, still working (and ringing).

The Wells clock is unique because it still has its original medieval face, and when the clock strikes every quarter, jousting knights rush around above the clock and the Quarter Jack bangs the quarter hours with his heels!

Address: Wells Cathedral, Chain Gate, Wells

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