Beginning of main content
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Big Ben

One of London’s most resounding landmarks is a treasured emblem of England.

Catch a glimpse of Big Ben across the River Thames and you’ll know you have truly arrived in London. Featured in British films, such as “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Notting Hill” and “Love Actually,” Big Ben is best viewed from the Thames’ east bank or while strolling along Westminster Bridge, on route to see the Houses of Parliament.

Big Ben was the name originally given to the largest of the clock tower’s bells. The Great Bell, as it is otherwise known, weighs 13 tons (13,760 kilograms). Listen for its deep knell as it strikes on the hour, peeling high across the rooftops and rush of London’s traffic. Nowadays, the name Big Ben is synonymous with the bells, the clock and the tower.

Since first sounding in July 1859, the clock’s reliability and reassuring chime have become a national symbol of British resilience. When the sun sets, its four ivory-tinted faces are illuminated so the clock can still be seen from miles away. The faces have only ever been dimmed in times of national crisis: for two years during World War I, to avoid German zeppelin attacks, and at night during World War II to disorient German Blitz pilots. 

Completed in 1858, the clock tower was supposedly named after London’s Commissioner of Works, a large man called Benjamin Hall. Designed by architects Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin in classic Gothic Revivalist style, the brick and limestone tower rests atop Britain’s Houses of Parliament. The clock is the largest four-faced chiming clock in Great Britain. Each face is 23 feet (seven meters) in diameter and contains 312 pieces of opal glass. 

Despite its status as a popular landmark, Big Ben only opens its doors to British citizens who can schedule a tour through their parliamentary representatives. Still, this exclusivity won’t stop it from giving you a little rush of excitement the first time you see and hear it.

In June 2012, Big Ben was officially renamed Elizabeth Tower, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee, but it is still known colloquially as Big Ben. 

Big Ben is located in central London. The nearest Underground station is Waterloo. 


Guide to Exploring Big Ben


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,140 Hotels near Big Ben
£126
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

200 Westminster Bridge Road, London
4.4
of 5, from 8,518 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly London hotel is located in the historical district, just steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes.

£106
Park Plaza London Riverbank

Park Plaza London Riverbank

18 Albert Embankment, London
4.2
of 5, from 3,247 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Kennington, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tate Britain, The Oval and Houses of Parliament. Big Ben and London Dungeon are also within 1 mile (2 km).

£84
The Strand Palace Hotel

The Strand Palace Hotel

372 The Strand, London
4.0
of 5, from 8,317 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Covent Garden Market and King's College London. Royal Opera House and London Coliseum are also within 10 minutes.

£123
Park Plaza County Hall London

Park Plaza County Hall London

1 Addington Street, London
4.4
of 5, from 4,095 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Lambeth, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. The Vaults and Jubilee Gardens are also within 5 minutes.

£86
Park Plaza London Waterloo

Park Plaza London Waterloo

6 Hercules Road, London
4.5
of 5, from 920 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Lambeth, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Florence Nightingale Museum, The Vaults and Imperial War Museum. Old Vic and Southbank Centre Book Market are also within 10 minutes.

£118
Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square

Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square

8 Northumberland Ave, London
4.3
of 5, from 3,057 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Nelson's Column, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and National Gallery. Trafalgar Square and London Coliseum are also within 10 minutes.

£171
St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

54 Buckingham Gate, London
4.4
of 5, from 2,035 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Buckingham Palace, Victoria Palace Theatre, and St. James Park. Big Ben and Westminster Abbey are also within 15 minutes.

£119
The Grand at Trafalgar Square

The Grand at Trafalgar Square

8 Northumberland Avenue, London
4.3
of 5, from 3,813 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Nelson's Column, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and National Gallery. Trafalgar Square and London Coliseum are also within 10 minutes.