Map of London Westminster tube station

Big Ben is actually the name of the bell in the clock tower, the Houses of Parliament are more properly called the Palace of Westminster, but other than that, you probably know where I mean.

This is the home of parliament in the UK. There are two debating chambers - the House of Commons (elected), and the House of Lords (unelected). Visitors may attend Parliamentary debates held in the afternoons and evenings - queue at St Stephens entrance.

Just across the river from the Palace of Westminster is the impressive County Hall - ex-home of the Greater London Council. In the early 1980s when Margarate Thatcher was Prime Minister, she got fed up with London voting for a socialist Greater London Council, so she simply abolished it. The building has stood empty ever since, though recently it has been sold to a Japanese consortium for conversion into a hotel.

The Palace of Westminster backs onto Parliament Square, which also holds Westminster Abbey, where British monarchs are crowned, and where many are buried. For an insight into why our governments are as they are see Westminster School, which is in the ground of the Abbey.

From Parliament Square, you can walk along Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square. You can also walk from here along the riverfront towards Charing Cross and the City of London.

You can click and drag the map around to find nearby restaurants, attractions and pubs nearby: