Palace of Westminster

We headed over to the Palace of Westminster, home of the UK Parliament, for the self-guided multimedia tour. Photography is only allowed in a few areas of the building so there isn’t too much to share here.

We headed out this morning to Westminster Palace for a 10am self-guided tour. We passed by this lion as we crossed the bridge into the City of Westminster.

There was a nice view of the entire Palace of Westminster, as well as the Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben, technically just the bell, from the left side of the bridge.

We passed by Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben on our way to the visitor entrance at Cromwell Green.

We arrived early as suggested by the booking email but we were not able to go in until exactly 10am. We did have a nice view of part of the palace while we waited though!

After passing through a security check, we entered Cromwell Green. This monument is dedicated to Oliver Cromwell who was responsible for ending the monarchy, though later on it was restored. At least, that’s my rough understanding of it as an American.

After passing by Cromwell Green, we entered the Palace of Westminster.

The first room is Westminster Hall. Many well known events have taken place here throughout history. The most recent is the lying in state of Queen Elizabeth II after her death last year. She was right there, in the middle of the room.

Looking up at the center of Westminster Hall.

A stained glass window on the far side of Westminster Hall. Does this look out over the Thames?

The entrance to the next room on the tour route. The circles above the door are to honor women’s suffrage in the UK. It is titled New Dawn.

The next room is St. Stephens Hall. It is the final room where photography is permitted.

After passing through various rooms, including the House of Lords and House of Commons, we returned to Westminster Hall to end the tour.

The stained glass window above the entrance to Westminster Hall. It was created for Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee, her 60th anniversary as Queen.

After exiting the building, we crossed the road to Parliament Square. We had this nice view of the top of Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben from here!

Unrelated to the Palace of Westminster, later on in the day we ended up at King’s Cross. We went to take a look at platform 9¾, where the students of Hogwarts board the Hogwarts Express. It was very busy with a long queue!

When I visited previously in 2015, there was nobody there, though it looks like I visited early in the morning before 8am. Also, at the time there was not a Harry Potter store here. The staff who were minding the queue also provided various props such as wands and scarves. We decided it wasn’t worth the time to queue up.

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