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Big Ben
Holiday Travel Guide

Big Ben featuring a city, heritage architecture and a monument
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 metres) 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 honour 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. 

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.

Top things to do in Big Ben

Top Trending Hotels Near Big Ben

The Tower Hotel
The Tower Hotel
4 out of 5
St Katharine's Way, London, England
Free cancellation
The price is £99 per night from 22 Jun to 22 Jun
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tower Bridge, Tower of London and HMS Belfast. The Shard and Excel Exhibition Centre ...
4.2/5Excellent! (2,646 reviews)
"Location"

Reviewed on 20 Jun 2021

The Tower Hotel
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
4 out of 5
200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
The price is £169 per night from 12 Jul to 12 Jul
Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital ...
4.3/5Excellent! (3,719 reviews)
"I’ve stayed here a number of times now and it never disappoints. Fantastic hotel in an amazing location. The staff are friendly and the food and cocktails are excellent. Even with lockdown restrictions it was a seamless experience. We didn’t quite know how breakfast would work but the system they ..."

Reviewed on 15 Jun 2021

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
St Martins Lane London
St Martins Lane London
5 out of 5
45 St Martin's Lane, London, England
The price is £198 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square. Piccadilly Circus and Big Ben are also within ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (985 reviews)
"The hotel is very unique, with great decor! Staff were extremely helpful and pleasant throughout our stay."

Reviewed on 28 May 2021

St Martins Lane London
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Big Ben

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Top Hotel Deals

The Tower Hotel
The Tower Hotel
4 out of 5
St Katharine's Way, London, England
The price is £99 per night from 22 Jun to 22 Jun
The Tower Hotel
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
4 out of 5
200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
The price is £169 per night from 12 Jul to 12 Jul
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
St Martins Lane London
St Martins Lane London
5 out of 5
45 St Martin's Lane, London, England
The price is £198 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
St Martins Lane London
The Strand Palace Hotel
The Strand Palace Hotel
4 out of 5
372 The Strand, London, England
The price is £134 per night from 2 Jul to 2 Jul
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The Royal Horseguards
The Royal Horseguards
5 out of 5
2 Whitehall Court, London, England
The price is £192 per night from 24 Jun to 24 Jun
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Corinthia London
Corinthia London
5 out of 5
Whitehall Place, London, England
The price is £520 per night from 17 Jul to 17 Jul
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Citadines Trafalgar Square London
Citadines Trafalgar Square London
4 out of 5
18/21 Northumberland Avenue, London, England
The price is £116 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
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The Clermont London, Charing Cross
The Clermont London, Charing Cross
4 out of 5
The Strand, London, England
The price is £144 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
The Clermont London, Charing Cross
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.