The tower itself is actually The Queen Elizabeth II Tower…although we all still use it’s nickname of Big Ben!
Named after a boxer or a politician, nobody knows how the bell got it’s name but it’s been in use since the tower was first constructed in the mid-19 century.
However, that palace was lost in a fire in 1834 and was rebuilt in the neo-gothic style we see today by architect Charles Barry with work by Augustus Pugin.
“Big Ben” is actually the bell inside the world-famous clock-tower that stands here.
Downing Street today only holds two houses: Numbers 10 and 11.
Traditionally, the Prime Minister lives inside Number 10 and the Chancellor of the Exchequer lives at Number 11…but neither are open for public visitation.
[For sites that you CAN NOT see from the bus, you will need to “hop-off.” For sites that you can see FROM the bus, look for the asterisk: *] Westminster Cathedral* This is the mother church of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Then perhaps it's time to think outside the box – and enter The Inner Circle.It is here that we hold royal weddings (the Queen and Prince Philip…William and Kate), coronations (all but two of our Monarchs have had their coronations here), funerals (Diana, Princess of Wales) as well as burials (including Queen Elizabeth I).The Abbey is also the final resting place of non-royals such as Charles Darwin, Issac Newton and Sir Laurence Olivier, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.However, if our tour calendar doesn’t work for you or if you would just prefer to explore London by bus on your own time, then here is an excellent tour for you.With this self guided tour, you will see many major icons such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, and more.