The House of Lords is open to the public. You can watch business in the chamber and select committees or tour Parliament as the guest of a member for free. You can also tour Parliament as a visitor on Saturdays and in summer recess.
Watch the Lords chamber
Everyone is welcome to watch the House of Lords chamber at work from Monday to Thursday and on around 10 sitting Fridays in the year. There is no chamber business during recesses.
All visitors to Parliament must go through airport-style security. You should allow plenty of time to queue and pass security. There can be queues to enter when there are high-profile debates or legislation.
The first 30 minutes of business in the chamber on Monday to Thursday are Lords question time, where government ministers answer questions about government policy. Members then move on to other business, which may be making changes to draft laws, debating current issues or considering a report from a Lords committee. There is no set end time for Lords business and proceedings can run late into the evening.
There are two main ways to gain entry to the chamber:
- Queue up on the day: You can turn up on the day and queue to get into the public galleries at the Cromwell Green visitor entrance to the main building. The queue opens an hour before the proceedings begin.
- Get tickets in advance: You can request tickets from members of the Lords, who each have a small allocation. Find out how to contact a member.
- Plan your visit to Parliament
Watch Lords select committees
The House of Lords has select committees which look at long-term, cross-cutting issues. Everyone is welcome to attend evidence sessions on a first-come, first-served basis.
Visitors should arrive one hour before the session begins and wait at the Cromwell Green visitor entrance.
The main types of tours are:
- Member tours: These are free and take place on weekdays. You can book in advance by contacting a member of the Lords. Available to UK residents only.
- Tours on Saturdays and during Easter, Summer and Christmas: A choice of guided or audio tours is available to visitors from the UK and overseas on Saturdays throughout the year and on most weekdays during Easter, Summer and Christmas. There is a charge for these tours.
- Tour bookings and ticket prices
Visit the Parliamentary Archives
The public are also welcome to make an appointment to visit the Parliamentary Archives for research purposes. The archives date back to 1497 and are housed over 12 floors in the House of Lords’ Victoria Tower.