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Victoria Tower

Bring your family to the adjacent gardens and playground of this Gothic masterpiece that plays a key role in the U.K.’s parliamentary history. 

The tall Gothic features of the 19th-century Victoria Tower can be seen rising above the riverside cityscape in central London. Home to the Parliamentary Archives, the tower hoists an iron flagpole that announces whether the ruling monarch is present. Stand in front of the tower and gaze up for a sense of its sheer size. 

Designed to hold the historic records of the British Parliament, the tower was completed in May of 1860. It was one of the final additions to the new incarnation of the Palace of Westminster that replaced an older building destroyed by fire 26 years earlier.

Capture photos of the enormous arch at the tower’s base, harboring a black-and-gold railing and rows of stained-glass windows. Marvel at the intricate carvings adorning the four sides of the square tower. Above this entrance archway are the floors containing parchment scrolls dating back to 1497. It is said the largest of these scrolls is 1,132 feet (345 meters) long when unfurled.

Notice the large octagonal hole in the vaulted ceiling of the entrance arch. It was used to pull heavy items up to the higher levels of the tower.

Bring supplies for a picnic on the grassy Victoria Tower Gardens, which is flanked by rows of trees and dominated by a view of the tower itself. The park contains several memorials on the theme of freedom. 

Study the Buxton Memorial that pays tribute to the abolition of slavery and admire the Burghers of Calais work by renowned French artist Auguste Rodin. Let your kids frolic around the dance chimes, water feature and sandpit of the Horseferry Playground.

Victoria Tower rises from the southwestern corner of the Palace of Westminster in the center of London. Arrive by Tube to the stations of St. James Park, Westminster or Lambeth North, which enclose the River Thames. Explore the area for such sights as Westminster Abbey, Lambeth Palace and the Imperial War Museums.


Guide to Exploring Victoria Tower


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Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London £159
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    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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    Marlin Waterloo £138
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      Park Plaza London Waterloo £131
      Park Plaza London Waterloo

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      6 Hercules Road, London, England
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Florence Nightingale Museum, Imperial War Museum and The Vaults. Southbank Centre Book Market and Lambeth Palace are also within 10 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes by foot and Waterloo Underground Station is 11 minutes.

        The Strand Palace Hotel £150
        The Strand Palace Hotel

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          DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster £127
          DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster

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            St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London £205
            St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

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              Park Plaza County Hall London £159
              Park Plaza County Hall London

              Park Plaza County Hall London

              1 Addington Street, London, England
                 
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                Park Plaza London Riverbank £119
                Park Plaza London Riverbank

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