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Big Ben

While most of you probably associate the name 'Big Ben' with a large tower and a huge, chiming, clock, the name actually only represents the Great Bell itself, hidden behind the clock face. The towers actually name is the 'Elizabeth Tower', re-named from the simple 'Clock Tower' in honour of the Queens Diamond Jubilee, and is home to the largest four-faced clock in the world. It was originally built as part of the design for a new palace, after the old Westminster Palace was was annihilated during a fire in October 1834, and was architect Augustus Pugin's last design before he went mad and eventually died. Mr. Pugin himself said he had never worked so hard on a design. The tower was completed in 1858, and since then its clock has been famous worldwide for it's accuracy and reliability. Very rarely has it stopped or malfunctioned, and not without good reason! For example -

The bells were silenced and the clock face remained un-lit for two years during World War I, to prevent it from being heard or spotted at night by German zeppelins, thus causing the City to be attacked.

The same was done during the World War II Blitz, though this time the bells continued to chime.

On New Years Eve 1962, the clock hands were so weighed down with heavy ice and snow that the pendulum of the mechanism became detached, and reliable old Big Ben was a whole 10 minutes late in welcoming in the new year.

In October 2005 the clock was manually stopped for maintenance. This took 33 hours - the longest manual shut down in 22 years.

Unfortunately, believe it or not, the inside of Big Ben is not open to tourists or people who live overseas. Even UK residents have to contact their member of parliament well in advance if they wish to arrange a tour - and then have climb a whopping 334 limestone steps to get all the way to the top! But don't let that dishearten or discourage you from visiting what is potentially Britain's most well-known attraction - it's beauty and majesty can be appreciated and admired from the outside just as much as from the inside.


Hotels near Big Ben


Please select a hotel from the list of hotels in and near Big Ben. The list below displays hotels within 30 kilometers of Big Ben.
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HOTEL IMAGE
London Marriott Hotel County Hall

London County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road , London , SE1 7PB

London Marriott Hotel County Hall is 0.32 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 196

Check availability and book online.
Guest Reviews
8.3 out of 10

From 337 Reviews
Starting From
£ 196
HOTEL IMAGE
Premier Inn London County Hall

Belvedere Road , London , SE1 7PB

Premier Inn London County Hall is 0.44 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 149

Check availability and book online.
Guest Reviews
8.8 out of 10

From 5444 Reviews
Starting From
£ 149
HOTEL IMAGE
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Westminster Bridge Road , London , SE1 7UT

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London is 0.44 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 160.65

Check availability and book online.
Guest Reviews
8.7 out of 10

From 10123 Reviews
Starting From
£ 160.65
Premier Inn London Waterloo

York Road, Waterloo , London , SE1 7NJ

Premier Inn London Waterloo is 0.50 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 159

Check availability and book online.
Guest Reviews
8.5 out of 10

From 2574 Reviews
Starting From
£ 159
Park Plaza County Hall London

1 Addington Street , London , SE1 7RY

Park Plaza County Hall London is 0.52 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 135.2

Check availability and book online.
Guest Reviews
8.4 out of 10

From 3905 Reviews
Starting From
£ 135.2
The Sanctuary House Hotel

33 Tothill Street , London , SW1H 9LA

The Sanctuary House Hotel is 0.58 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 98

Check availability and book online.
Guest Reviews
8.6 out of 10

From 1409 Reviews
Starting From
£ 98
The Royal Horseguards

2 Whitehall Court , London , SW1A 2EJ

The Royal Horseguards is 0.59 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 188

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Guest Reviews
9.1 out of 10

From 3016 Reviews
Starting From
£ 188
Corinthia Hotel London

Whitehall Place , London , SW1A 2BD

Corinthia Hotel London is 0.59 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 427.5

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Guest Reviews
9.4 out of 10

From 410 Reviews
Starting From
£ 427.5
Valet Apartments Whitehall

53 Whitehall , London , SW1A 2HP

Valet Apartments Whitehall is 0.63 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 249

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Guest Reviews
9.2 out of 10

From 64 Reviews
Starting From
£ 249
The Walrus Bar and Hostel

172 Westminster Bridge Road , London , SE1 7RW

The Walrus Bar and Hostel is 0.64 kilometers from Big Ben. Room prices starting from £ 18.5

Check availability and book online.
Guest Reviews
8.2 out of 10

From 699 Reviews
Starting From
£ 18.5