At least once a week, our office receives an inquiry about how to visit the HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT while in London. In previous years, we knew certain Blue Badge guides who had connections and could arrange a tour. But after 9/11, both the United States and Britain took security measures which put an end to these specially arranged visits. While I was gathering information for this blog last month, I made a special visit to the security guard for information. He pointed to a metal announcement board opposite the Houses of Parliament, attached to a railing, which gave the information I was seeking. I am attaching a photo of this announcement so you can see the source of my information.
The sign says that the Houses of Parliament are open for Blue Badge Guided Tours AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER. I assume this period is when the House of Commons and the House of Lords are not sitting, allowing access to these incredible chambers and to the throne. Tours take place during the afternoon during a five-hour period. There are no tours Sunday and Bank Holidays. The cost is 11.70 pounds per adult. There are student and family discounts. The security guard will give you information about where and when to buy tickets. IF YOU ARE IN LONDON DURING AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER, THIS IS A LEVEL #1 SITE TO VISIT. I have been through the building many times when it was more accessible to the public, and my visits were always very worthwhile. Imagine the impact on an American student standing in the rooms where Churchill spoke, where the Queen delivers the Government’s speech for the Opening of Parliament, where a visitor can see a real throne and stand right next to it, where some of the greatest debates of the Western World have taken place. IF YOU ARE IN LONDON DURING THIS PERIOD, DON’T MISS IT. For those who have visited, let us have your reports. Thanks. It will be helpful to others. TOM http://londonconnection.com