Behind the Scenes Parliament Tour - Fully Guided Tour at Closing Time
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Peek behind the scenes in the Palace of Westminster and walk the same route as the Queen during the State opening of Parliament. See major attractions, including the Queens Robing Room and House of Commons, but the main highlight is the House of Lords. This is the most intimate experience you can have with one of the beating hearts of global democracy.
Our guide to Behind the Scenes Parliament Tour - Fully Guided Tour at Closing Time
Your tour starts in Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Palace and also one of the most impressive, just as the Palace of Westminster begins to close for the day. Then you will head straight to the Royal Staircase where your guide will give you a brief history of the building, including how and why it was constructed over hundreds of years and how it remains intimately connected with Queen Victoria.
Next, head into the Queen’s Robing Room to see frescoes by William Dyce, gorgeous bas-reliefs and the Chair of State, where the Queen sits while donning her robes and the Imperial State Crown. Every inch of this room is packed with mythic symbolism and heraldic images. Your guide will help you decipher it all while telling you about Augustus Pugin, the Victorian genius who willed the structure into existence.
Your next stop is the Royal Gallery to see where the members of the House of Lords meet and politic informally when Parliament is in session. You will take in immense paintings by Daniel Maclise and learn why they were so difficult to create and maintain before passing into the Prince’s Chamber to see portraits of the Tudor Dynasty and learn about their fascinating history.
Your tour includes an assortment of other rooms and lobbies, including the House of Commons, but the highlight is one of the grandest rooms ever designed for politics: The Chamber of the House of Lords. This is where the appointed members of Parliament meet to debate, and where the Queen comes to sit on her throne during the State Opening. As you stand in it with only a handful of other visitors, your guide will tell you about the history of the room and some of the interesting things that have taken place inside.
This is the ultimate experience for lovers of architecture and royal history. There is simply no feeling quite like exploring the United Kingdom’s premier palace without the normal daytime crowds.
March - October
Around 2 hours
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for Behind the Scenes Parliament Tour - Fully Guided Tour at Closing Time
- You will receive a voucher for this experience. Please read it thoroughly.
- Itinerary subject to change without notice.
- Gratuities to guides are appreciated but never obligatory.
- Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no-shows after tour commencement or departure.
- Please note that for security reasons, airport-style bag searches will take place at the Houses of Parliament.
- Photography is not permitted inside Houses of Parliament.
- Comfortable walking shoes recommended.
- Cancellation Policy: A full refund will be given on cancellations made more than 72 hours prior to tour commencement. Cancellations received within 72 hours prior to the tour are non-refundable. We will, however, do our best to reschedule you for another tour. Please note, this is subject to availability and price changes.
- Tours depart precisely at the scheduled tour start time. If you show up late or cannot find the meeting point, for any reason, refund requests are not honoured per policy. For most tours, it is not logistically possible to join the group after it has started.