Skip the Line into Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey Fully-Guided Tour

Duration: 3 hours 45 minutes
Destination: United Kingdom, England, London
from
8183

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  • 3 hours 45 minutes
  • London
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable

Overview

Step into the heart of the British democracy with the only fully-guided visit through Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. With an expert guide and small group, this an intimate and informative way to visit London’s most exclusive building.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Pass By: Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3BD England

Parliament Square

Stop At: Westminster Abbey, 20 Dean's Yard Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3PA England

Visiting only on Saturdays, you’ll be able to visit the House of Commons and House of Lords, as well as many of the other beautiful halls and chambers in which the laws of Great Britain are decided. Along the way, you’ll learn the unique stories, traditions and lore of one of Europe’s oldest constitutional monarchies and see how the past and present combine to create a society that is both fiercely modern and deeply steeped in history.

Your day begins with skip the line entry into Westminster Abbey, the most serene time to see Britain’s most cherished church. With roots dating back over 1,000 years, this Gothic masterpiece is the traditional coronation site and burial ground of kings and queens, along with national heroes like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and William Wilberforce. On your visit, you’ll learn from a local expert guide how the British monarchy helped shape the country’s conversion to democracy, as well as a few interesting tidbits about Winston Churchill, one of the only non-royals to ever lay in state in the Abbey after his death.


Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, London SW1A 0AA England

Then it’s on to Parliament. While most people see it with an audio guide, you’ll be shown around by a tour guide who has spent years studying the facts and events that really immerse you in the story of this amazing building. The tour begins in the oldest part, Westminster Hall, which has been hosting state functions for nearly 1,000 years and is one of the finest surviving examples of medieval timber architecture in the world.

Beneath the titanic timbers of 600 ancient oak trees, you’ll learn about the history of the building, how it was almost lost to fire numerous times, and how it keeps reinventing itself to accommodate new generations of royals and politicians. You’ll also peek into the room where the Queen dons her crown and ermine-trimmed cape before she officially opens the sessions of each new parliament before heading inside the Chamber of the House of Lords, one of the most impressive rooms in the Palace. Inside, you’ll learn how people become peers based on their expertise in fields like sports, medicine, and technology.

Next, you’ll head into the engine room of British democracy; the Chamber of the House of Commons, where Britain’s elected Members of Parliament come to face off (literally) over how to run the country. Here you’ll see the lines that may or may not have spawned the phrase ‘toe the line’, and learn about the centuries-old ceremonies that keep this modern legislative body firmly connected to its ancient past - including why this is the only room in England that the Queen is not allowed to enter.

After learning some of the highlights of the building’s history, including a failed terrorist attack in 1605 that the British still celebrate today (ever hear of Guy Fawkes Night?), you’ll head into two of the most unique rooms in the building: the Division Lobbies. It’s in these rooms that, according to a tradition that dates back to Ancient Rome, opposing sides gather before a parliamentary vote, the ‘Ayes’ in one room, the ‘Noes’ in another, and are then counted as they leave.

As you stroll these halls, you are literally walking in the footsteps of men like Henry VIII and Winston Churchill. History, legend, lore, and a lot of pomp and circumstance mix and mingle as you take in nearly one thousand years of history from one of the best guides in London.


Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Pass By: Walks, London England

Take Walks

Inclusions
  • Headsets
  • Entrance to Westminster Abbey
  • Entrance to Houses of Parliament
  • Fully guided tour inside Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey
  • Groups of 20 until 29 February 2020/ From 1st March 2020 Groups of 25
  • Expert Guide
  • Entry/Admission - Westminster Abbey
  • Entry/Admission - Houses of Parliament

Exclusions
  • Food & Beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel Pick-Up/Drop-Off
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate guests with mobility impairments, wheelchairs or strollers on this tour.
  • Comfortable walking shoes recommended.
  • Please note that for security reasons bag searches will take place at Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament.
  • Near public transportation
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
Departure Point

Sir Winston Churchill Statue, Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3JX, UK


Return Details

Houses of Parliament, Bridge St, Westminster, London SW1A 2PW, UK

Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Duration

3 hours 45 minutes

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

User's Reviews

Image - 26 Aug 2019 -

Rebecca E

This was an amazing experience! Our guide, Rosie, was fantastic and really kept the tour moving but without sacrificing any details. I learned so much and enjoyed every minute of it! Bypassing the queue is the way to go!

Image - 31 Jul 2019 -

Yvonne H

My husband and I visited London for the first time and were thrilled to have a guided tour of Westminster Abbey and both Houses of Parliament. Both guides took their time and thoroughly explained the history and answered all questions. This excursion was worth it!

Image - 03 Jul 2019 -

Adriana Z

Our guide, Nick, was excellent. I learned so much. Although it was hot, crowded, and lots of walking, Nick made it very easy.

Image - 03 Jul 2019 -

Steven H

For an in depth look into the "behind the scenes" of British politics past and present, this tour manages to provide a wealth of information. First stop was Westminster Abbey, truly a sight to behold. As you walk around you will the see the grave markings of many notable people buried there, like Issac Newton (who has a monumental statue), Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Charles Darwin. British monarchs are also buried there, most notably Edward the Confessor, who eventually became a saint. Speaking of monarchs, King Edward's chair (aka the Coronation chair) is also on the display. The architecture is also spectacular...one outstanding note, check out the pendant fan vault ceiling in the Henry VII chapel. The second part of the tour focused on the House of Parliament, the place where British legislation is conducted. It is an informative look at the inside of the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Sovereign branches. All in all, this tour was fascinating, I would highly recommend it.

Image - 23 Jul 2018 -

Viator

This was an excellent tour conducted by a very thorough and excellent Guide - who gave us many details and answered numerous questions from the group

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