5D/4N Backpacking London Without A Tour – Free & Easy (Part 11) : A Memorable Time at Big Ben Clock Tower, the Palace of Westminster & London Eye

The Great Bell, also fondly known as Big Ben clock tower located on the north end of the Palace of Westminster is a famous landmark in London. Both Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster are listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and are visited by millions of tourists and visitors every year. 😀

 

Look Up & You’ll See Big Ben!

It is easy to get to Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster via public transport. My sister and I took the London Underground/Tube from Russell Square Station which was a short walk from Generator Hostel London and made our way to Westminster Station.

At the train station, we did not hesitate to ask the police officers on duty for the directions to Big Ben clock tower. They merely smiled and told us to go out to the main street and look up. We did as told and saw Big Ben staring down at us. Blimey, what a breathtaking sight it was! 😀

We simply could not contain our happiness to see Big Ben with our own eyes in fascinating London, United Kingdom! All these while, we only saw pretty postcards and photos of the clock tower, but on that fateful day, we finally met Big Ben in person.

Our biggest achievement was braving ourselves to ask and take a photo with the friendly British police officers on duty in the compound of the Palace of Westminster. Yay! 😉

 

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Big Ben clock tower as seen from the entrance/exit of London Underground station
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The famous Big Ben clock tower in London
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Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) and the Palace of Westminster, London
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The scenic view at Westminster Bridge, London
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Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) and the Palace of Westminster, London
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Erika with Big Ben clock tower in the background at the Palace of Westminster, London

 

The Palace of Westminster a.k.a Houses of Parliament

The Palace of Westminster is a monumental eye-catching Neo-Gothic style building situated by the River Thames in the City of Westminster, Central London. It is the meeting place of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, hence the Palace of Westminster is also known as the Houses of Parliament. 😀

Despite being one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, overseas visitors are not allowed to visit the interior of the building. Residents of the United Kingdom are able to arrange tours in the building through their Member of Parliament.

The Palace of Westminster features three main towers – Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben), Victoria Tower and the Central Tower. Besides that, the building is surrounded by a number of small gardens such as Victoria Tower Gardens, Black Rod’s Garden, Old Palace Yard, and Cromwell Green to name a few.

For more info, kindly visit the Palace of Westminster’s official website here. My sister and I took our time to admire the intricate architecture of the building and took lots of photos for remembrance too despite the tight security in the area. 🙂

 

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Greenery at the Palace of Westminster also known as the Houses of Parliament, London
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The Palace of Westminster also known as the Houses of Parliament, London
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Friendly British police officers on duty at the Palace of Westminster, London
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Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, London
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Erika posing for a photo with the friendly British police officers on duty at the Palace of Westminster, London
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Awe-inspiring Neo-Gothic architecture seen on the facade of the Palace of Westminster, London
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The Palace of Westminster, London
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The pedestrian street and tight security at the Palace of Westminster, London
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Westminster Abbey, London

 

The London Eye a.k.a Millennium Wheel

Another famous tourist attraction located on the South Bank of the River Thames, nearby Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster is the London Eye. The giant Ferris wheel that is visible from the Westminster Bridge is also known as the Millennium Wheel.

For your info, the London Eye is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel. It is open daily from 10:00 to 20.30 (depending on the month), except Christmas Day (25 December). Besides the London Eye, there is also the London Eye River Cruise. 🙂

The London Eye River Cruise operates daily with cruises departing hourly starting from 10:45 to 19:45. However, do take note that the opening times may vary depending on the seasonality and special events of the month. For more info, kindly visit the London Eye’s official website here.

 

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Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster, London
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The intricate carvings and interior design of Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster, London
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The impressive and beautiful ceiling of Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster, London
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Erika at the gate of Victoria Tower, the Palace of Westminster, London
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The London Eye and River Thames as seen from Westminster Bridge, London
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A beautiful street lamp on Westminster Bridge, London
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The surrounding buildings and London Underground station at Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, London

 

Up next: A visit to Green Park and Buckingham Palace

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