Fancy a day out ruling the country? On Saturdays, and during the Summer Recess, the Houses of Parliament are open to the public. On your tour, you get to see the debating chambers and key state rooms, but sadly can't vote!
Tours are also available throughout the year for UK residents by prior arrangement.
Visitors are accompanied by a trained guide. The rooms visited include the Queen’s Robing Room, the Royal Gallery and Westminster Hall. The tour lasts about 75 minutes.
Foreign language tours are available on Saturdays and during the Summer Opening.
UK residents and overseas visitors can also attend debates and committees throughout the year by prior arrangement. See Parliament’s web site for more details.
Tours are not recommended for very young children as there is a lot of walking. Pushchairs are allowed, but larger models will not fit in certain areas.
Please note that bags or luggage larger than those permitted in aircraft cabins may be refused entry. Parliament has no facilities for leaving items; commercial outlets are available nearby at Victoria and Charing Cross stations.
Bookings: 0844 8471672
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Tube: Westminster Station (District, Circle or Jubilee lines).
Rail:Victoria, Charing Cross and Waterloo mainline stations are 5-10 minutes away by tube and also have connecting buses.
Bus:Many buses stop near Parliament Square in Victoria Street (opposite the Houses of Parliament) and further up towards Trafalgar Square, in Whitehall.
Car: Coming by car is not recommended as parking is expensive and severely limited, and you will often be subject to the congestion charge. There is however a commercial car park close by near Victoria Tower.
Saturdays and Summer Opening in 2012:
- Saturdays throughout the year: 9.15am-4.30pm.
- 29 July to 3 September: 9.15am-4:30pm.
- 19 September to 1 October: 9.15am-4:30pm.
- Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays.
- Tours typically run every 15 minutes from 9.15am to 4.30pm and take 75 minutes.
You are advised to buy tickets in advance, either online through Ticketmaster or by phoning 0844 8471672. However, you can also queue on the day.
Foreign language tours are offered at set times in French, Spanish, Italian and German.
Please note that tours can be cancelled at any time if Parliament has to meet, eg, due to an emergency.
Free Tours Organised via MPs & Lords (UK residents only)
Free tours are held throughout the year, and you can arrange a place through your MP or a Lord. Please note that tours are very popular and places are limited, and generally have to be booked about six months in advance.
Tours start every 5 minutes and last approximately 75 minutes.
When parliament is in session:
- Mon, Tue: 9am-12noon full tour.
- Wed: 9am-9.55am full tour and 10am-12noon partial tour of Lords only.
- Fri: 3.30pm-5pm full tour.
- Sat: 9.15am-4.30pm full tour.
- Closed Thu, Sun.
During non-sitting days and recesses:
- Fri 9.30am-5pm.
- Easter, Spring & Whitsun weekdays: 9.30am-5pm.
- Jul-Aug, Wed, Thu 9.30am-12noon.
- Sep-Oct, Tue, Wed, Thu 9.30am-12noon.
- Closed Christmas & New Year recess.
Child (5-15): £6.00.
Under 5s: Free (but ticket required, and tour not really suitable).
Family (2+2): £39.00.
Please note that tours organised through MPs and Lords are free to UK residents.
We've tried really hard to make sure that all of this information for this day out is accurate and up-to-date, but please contact Houses of Parliament before you go, just to make sure.