Clearly visible at the south end of Whitehall is one of London’s best-known monuments, the Palace of Westminster, better known as the Houses of Parliament. The city’s finest Victorian Gothic Revival building and symbol of a nation once confident of its place at the centre of the world, it’s distinguished above all by the ornate, gilded clocktower popularly known as Big Ben, after the thirteen-ton main bell that strikes the hour (and is broadcast across the world by BBC radio).

The original medieval palace burned down in 1834, and everything you see now – save for Westminster Hall – is the work of Charles Barry, who created an orgy of honey-coloured pinnacles, turrets and tracery that attempts to express national greatness through the use of Gothic and Elizabethan styles. You get a glimpse of the eleventh-century Westminster Hall en route to the public galleries, its huge oak hammer-beam roof making it one of the most magnificent secular medieval halls in Europe.

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Along the Thames: a step-by-step London itinerary

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London grew up around the Thames, and a stroll (or a boat ride) along its banks is one of the city’s real treats. This step-by-step itinerary, adapted from ou…

31 Aug 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
You can now play cult 90s gameshow The Crystal Maze for real in London

You can now play cult 90s gameshow The Crystal Maze for real in London

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22 Aug 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
We slept with the lions in London Zoo – and now you can too

We slept with the lions in London Zoo – and now you can too

Wondering where to stay when you next visit London? London Zoo just made your decision a bit easier. Forget glitzy hotels in Covent Garden or banged-up hostels …

09 Jun 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
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