There are no further tours available for Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) in 2016. From January 2017, the Tower is closed for a three year renovation project and will reopen in 2020.
The tour office will not be taking bookings for the Tower until late 2019, when the ballot for tours will reopen.
There are no Members tours on Thursdays or weekends.
There are several types of tours of Parliament.
General commercial tours are available for both UK and overseas visitors on Saturdays throughout the year and on most weekdays during parliamentary recesses. Tickets can be purchased in person in advance or on the day (subject to availability) from the Ticket Office located at the front of Portcullis House on Victoria Embankment (post code SW1A 2LW). The Ticket Office is open on Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm, Saturday 8.45am to 4.45pm. Full details can be found here.
There are tours sponsored by MPs which are only available to UK residents and are free of charge. However, they are generally fully booked six months in advance because demand is extremely high. Therefore, if you are interested in booking a tour of Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) or the Palace of Westminster please be flexible regarding dates and times and register your interest with me early by using the form at the bottom of the page.
I can also arrange for UK residents who live in the Greenwich and Woolwich constituency to sit in the public galleries and observe whatever business is taking place in the House of Commons or Lords Chambers at that time. I only have a small allocation of tickets so requests should be made as far in advance as possible. Demand for Prime Minister’s Question Time is exceptionally busy so if you wish to attend this please be advised that the wait will be considerable. To register an interest in sitting in the public gallery, please use the form at the bottom of the page.
Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)
Please note that you must be a permanent UK resident to visit the tower and you will be required to provide security clearance prior to your visit.
Essential works needed to refurbish and repair the Elizabeth Tower and Great Clock will take place over three years, with an anticipated start in early 2017. There are no more tours available until the end of 2016, and there will be no bookings taken until the ballot reopens in late 2019.
Approximately 12,000 places are available for Elizabeth Tower tour visitors annually and I can only request two pairs of tickets each month by ballot. It is, therefore, extremely difficult to obtain tickets to visit and they are usually booked up more than six months in advance. Please ensure that you contact me to request a ticket as far ahead as possible as, if available, they are likely to be booked up quickly.
Visitors must be physically capable of ascending and descending the 334 spiral steps by themselves unaided and sensible footwear must be worn. It should be noted that the tour is not suitable for all visitors.
Tour of Parliament
Tours must be booked in advance and demand is high, so early bookings and flexibility regarding dates and times are an advantage.
Please note, there are no member’s tours on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Gallery and Prime Minister’s Questions
Whenever the House of Commons or House of Lords are in session, members of the general public can come in and watch proceedings from the public Galleries.
General Gallery tickets are much easier to book than Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesdays. MPs are given a very small allocation of tickets for PMQs on a strict rota and only have 6 days a year where they can book PMQs. Thus, please contact me as far in advance as possible for these tickets as they are likely to be booked up quickly.
PLEASE READ: The waiting list for PMQs is extremely long, so please be aware that it may be over a year until you are able to gain tickets.
However, you can request Gallery tickets for other Departmental Questions instead (Treasury, Defence, Education, Health etc.) where the relevant Minister will be attending to answer questions. These will only be available when Parliament is sitting and not during Recess. You can find the Recess dates here.