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Further information before you book

Before booking your ticket, please read the information below on tour suitability, and the booking process. 

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Who is the Big Ben tour suitable for? 

All UK-based and international visitors aged 11 and over are welcome on a Big Ben tour. We do our best to help everyone participate in the tour, however it should be noted that the tour is not suitable for all visitors. This is because the tour includes:

  • 334 steps in a stone spiral staircase, which must be ascended and descended within 90 minutes, without walking aids. 
  • Uneven surfaces and narrow passageways. 
  • Exposure to all weather conditions in the belfry. 
  • Climbing to a height of 62 metres. 
  • High noise levels from the clock mechanism and the bells 

As a result, we regret that due to the historic design of the building, the Big Ben tour is not accessible for all visitorsPlease read and carefully consider the following guidelines on accessing the Tower to assess whether you can complete the climb safely.

Accessing the Elizabeth Tower:

Climbing 334 spiral steps is strenuous and should not be attempted by anyone who has a health condition which could be adversely affected by sustained physical exertion. Additionally, we strongly recommend that those with mobility difficulties or concerns with heights and confined spaces do not undertake the tour. 

If you have any concerns about your ability to undertake the tour or you suffer from any of the following medical conditions, please consult a medical professional who can advise you:  

  • Angina, palpitations or heart conditions such as a narrowed heart valve 
  • High blood pressure / poorly controlled blood pressure 
  • Respiratory conditions such as asthma 
  • Back, joint or limb pain or injury 
  • Arthritis 
  • Labyrinthitis and Ménière's disease 
  • Vertigo 
  • Major surgery in the last 6 months 
  • A fit or seizure in the last 6 months 

Please bring any essential medication with you (for example, asthma inhalers, diabetic medication etc.).  

Any visitor under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance which could impair judgement, co-ordination, and cause risk to yourself, and others will not be admitted to the tour. 

Other considerations 

  • Visitors must be able to climb the Clock Tower within 90 minutes without the use of walking aids, including walking sticks, wheeled walking frames, and crutches. 
  • Good balance, and hand-eye coordination is required due to the narrow passageways, uneven surfaces, and steep climb in the Tower. 
  • There are a number of narrow, enclosed spaces during the tour, including in the stairwells and the Dial rooms.  
  • There is level LED lighting throughout the building. However, in the Dial room and the belfry there is a large amount of natural light which can at times be extremely bright. The Tour Guides will do all they can to manage this, but please do speak to staff if you have any concerns whilst on the tour.  
  • Hearing loops are available for use in Elizabeth Tower. Please speak to staff in Westminster Hall upon arrival, who can supply you with a personal hearing loop which can be worn comfortably around the neck. Please note that hearing aids should be set to the ‘T’ setting in order to connect to the induction loop.  
  • Due to the number of stairs and the noise of the bells chiming, trained assistance dogs e.g. Guide Dogs are not able to go on the tour.  
  • If you require an Assistance Dog to enter the estate, you will need to bring someone who is able to look after them while you go on the tour.  

For any questions about accessibility in Elizabeth Tower please contact the Bookings team so that we can discuss your requirements and ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.  

Please feel free to contact the Bookings team prior to your visit with any additional information which you feel may allow us to support you better on your tour.

Why are there age restrictions?  

As has always been the case with Big Ben tours, visitors are required to be aged 11 or over by the date of their visit and children aged 11-17 require adult supervision. The age limit is due to a combination of factors, including but not limited to, the physical exertion of climbing 334 steps under very strict time pressures and proximity to large exposed moving machinery inside the mechanism room. We reserve the right to request proof of age and deny access if this cannot be provided. This may result in admission being refused without refund.    

Can I visit the Elizabeth Tower if I require step-free access?   

The welfare and safety of all our visitors is important to us so we are working to devise a plan for step-free access, working within the constraints of the Victorian Tower’s tall and very narrow structure. Sign up to our newsletter to hear about step-free visits in due course.   

How much do tickets cost and how do I book?  

The Elizabeth Tower is now open permanently and tickets for a tour are £30 for adults and £15 for children aged 11-17. Tickets can only be purchased online via this See Tickets pageVisitors will be able to book a maximum of eight tickets per person, depending on availability.

UK residents can request a free Big Ben tour by contacting a Member of the House of Commons or House of Lords directly. Please note that free member-sponsored tickets have very limited availability so requests should be made as far in advance as possible.  

What is your refund policy? 

Big Ben tour tickets are non-refundable. In the event of travel disruptions (please check your journey before travelling) or a change of personal circumstances affecting your suitability for the tour, please email visitparliament@parliament.uk. 
 
We reserve the right to cancel your tour at any time for reasons relating to parliamentary business, security or health and safety. In this event, you will receive a full refund for the price you paid for your ticket(s) only. 

Big Ben guide book

This book tells the story of the iconic tower, the Great Clock and bell which became known as 'Big Ben'. Contains over 130 images and illustrations.

Big Ben guide book