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Big Ben – the big clock that stands tall in London

Big Ben is one of the most famous landmarks in Britain.  It is often the first choice of destination for tourists visiting London from both overseas and from the UK.  Could there be a more English experience than hopping on a red London bus and taking a ride to have a look at the impressive structure as it stands over 60m in the air?  The clock itself is notable for its reliability; the four meter long pendulum swings its three hundred kilogram weight once every two seconds and the innovative and groundbreaking (at the time) clock mechanism has shown the time reliably to the City of London and its inhabitants for over 150 years.

As with the London Eye, Big Ben has become a national symbol of Britain.  It is used extensively in television and film as it can convey in a second the location and tone of whatever is being filmed.  The up-lighting on the tower is best seen at dusk when the sky is darkening and the deep blue black hues of the evening best compliment the striking architecture highlighted by the soft orange lights and dark shadows created by the intricate stonework.  The clock faces beam out to the north, south, east and west as a beacon and a welcome to anyone visiting the city.

The Elizabeth Tower

The Elizabeth Tower is the official name for the large clock tower in central London that is affectionately and commonly known as Big Ben, one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the world.  Seen at dusk, lit up next to the Palace of Westminster, it is one of the most breathtaking views on offer in the city centre.  The nickname Big Ben originally referred to the main bell, called the Great Bell which is housed within the tower and has been sounding the hour in London for over a century.  The tower itself, which was designed in the gothic revival style by architect Augustus Pugin, actually has a slight lean to it, and tilts over to the North-West by 290mm.  Visiting the inside of the tower is harder than you might think.  The tower is closed to all overseas visitors, but British residents are able to book tours well in advance through their MP.

Westminster Bridge


Westminster Bridge is a majestic construction linking both sides of the river Thames in London.  The bridge is for use by both vehicles and pedestrians and links the areas of Lambeth on the South side of the river, with Westminster on the North side.  The bridge leads to the famous Big Ben and the House of Commons which lies on the East side of the Palace of Westminster.  It is painted green emulating the famous green leather seats within the House of Commons.  The bridge frames the view toward these iconic buildings and is often used to capture the familiar skyline of London with the clock tower rising into view at the end of it.

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