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Big Ben

Since first sounding in 1859, Big Ben has been one of the most treasured symbols of Britain.

Nothing lets you know you’re in London more than the sight of Big Ben. This iconic clock tower is used in many well-known British films such as Bridget Jones’ Diary, Notting Hill and Love Actually to set the scene of the action. Positioned on the bank of the River Thames, you’ll get the best view of it if you walk along the South bank of the river or cross over Westminster Bridge, heading toward the Houses of Parliament.

Although this magnificent clock tower is usually referred to as Big Ben, this is actually the nickname of the largest of the clock’s bells, the one that chimes on the hour – an unmistakable deep sound that resonates across the city.

The tower itself, previously named the Clock Tower, was designated as Elizabeth Tower in June 2012, in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. This, however, has not stopped the popular tradition of referring to it simply as Big Ben.

The construction of the classic Gothic Revivalist-style tower was completed in 1858 and it forms part of the Palace of Westminster, re-built on the site following destruction of the previous structure by a fire in 1834.

At 96 metres high, Big Ben is the largest four-faced chiming clock in the British Isles. Each face is seven metres in diameter and consists of 312 pieces of opal glass held in an iron framework. The hour and minute hands are 2.7 and 4.3 metres long respectively. At sunset, the four clock faces are lit up so that they are visible across the city. Originally lit by gas-lamps, now replaced by electric lights installed behind each of the translucent clock faces, Big Ben appears to glow from within.

Despite being a world-famous tourist attraction, only British citizens are able to gain access to Big Ben, by scheduling a tour via their member of parliament. However, the thrill you’ll get when first set eyes on this magnificent building, and on hearing its majestic chime more than makes up for this.

Big Ben is located in central London, North of the River Thames. The nearest Underground station is Waterloo.


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Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London NZ$235
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.

    ME London NZ$428
    ME London

    ME London

    336-337 The Strand, London, England
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Lyceum Theatre, The Strand and Aldwych Theatre. Covent Garden Market and Royal Opera House are also within 5 minutes. Temple Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 7 minutes.

      The Grand at Trafalgar Square NZ$183
      The Grand at Trafalgar Square

      The Grand at Trafalgar Square

      8 Northumberland Avenue, London, England
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in London City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps away from Charing Cross and The Strand. Trafalgar Square and National Gallery are also within 5 minutes. Charing Cross Underground Station and Embankment Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s NZ$191
        Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s

        Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s

        10 Godliman Street, London, England
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower of London. Tower Bridge and The British Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km). Blackfriars Underground Station and St. Paul's Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          The Rubens At The Palace NZ$397
          The Rubens At The Palace

          The Rubens At The Palace

          39 Buckingham Palace Road, London, England
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Victoria Palace Theatre and Apollo Victoria Theatre. Buckingham Palace and St. James Park are also within 15 minutes. Victoria Underground Station and London Victoria Rail Station are within a 5-minute walk.

            London Marriott Hotel County Hall NZ$478
            London Marriott Hotel County Hall

            London Marriott Hotel County Hall

            London County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of London Eye and Big Ben. Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral are also within 2 mi (3 km). Westminster Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 6 minutes.

              St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London NZ$353
              St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

              St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

              54 Buckingham Gate, London, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Buckingham Palace, Apollo Victoria Theatre, and St. James Park. Westminster Abbey and Victoria Palace Theatre are also within 10 minutes. St. James's Park Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Victoria Underground Station is 7 minutes.

                Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square NZ$202
                Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square

                Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square

                8 Northumberland Ave, (adjacent to Trafalgar Square), London, England
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in London City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps away from Charing Cross and The Strand. Trafalgar Square and National Gallery are also within 5 minutes. Charing Cross Underground Station and Embankment Station are within a 5-minute walk.