Yesterday (Thursday) my Mum and I went down to London for a tour of Big Ben. Amazing! Stunning.
There’s some work happening near to Westminster Bridge and there’s this sign:
After passing through airport-style security in the entrance to Portcullis House, we sat and waited for it to begin. I hadn’t looked into it any further than booking the tour back in October so I wanted with great anticipation.
The tour began and the ascent started. We stopped three times before the bells with roughly equal intervals. With a total of 334 stone spiral steps, these informative talks of the history of Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) was also a nice chance to have a rest.
One stop before last we went into each of the clock faces. So bizarre and wonderful seeing the other side to the face which for the last 156 years Londoners and passers by have looked up to, to historically set their watches, or just to tell the time.
The last stop before the belfry was the mechanical room. Seeing the clock mechanics – which has to be so very precise was amazing. All controlled by a swinging pendulum adjusted by adding or taking away an 1d (penny)!
The experience in the Belfry was magnificent. Despite the incredible cold and high winds, standing and hearing and feeling the bells – the quarters and Big Ben – strike at three o’clock was superb.
As we were leaving our tour guide pointed our the microphones installed by the BBC 90 years ago!
Mum and I walked to Trafalgar Square and met up with Mum’s cousin, Maureen. We had a lovely chat and coffee in the crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields for a few hours. We then headed to Chinatown. I hunted down an all-you-can-eat Chinese and we were sorted!
No photographs are allowed to be taken inside Big Ben but in case you forgot what it looks like: