12 August 2018

L is for London

One of the key stops in a tour of Central London are the Houses of Parliament, which is situated on on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster.

The buildings are actually officially known as the Palace of Westminster and it is actually the largest palace in the country. It is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It has been a Grade I listed building since 1970 and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

The Elizabeth Tower and the clock contained within it are both commonly referred to by the name of its main bell, Big Ben, which is itself an iconic landmark of London and the United Kingdom in general.

The Palace of Westminster has eight bars, six restaurants, 1,000 rooms, 100 staircases, 11 courtyards, a gymnasium, a hair salon, and a rifle-shooting range. Despite persistent rumours to the contrary, it has not been permitted to smoke anywhere inside the Palace since 2005. Members of Parliament may not eat or drink in the Parliamentary chamber; the exception to this rule is the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who may have a beverage of the Chancellors' choice while delivering the Budget statement. Traditionally this is an alcoholic beverage, although recent Chancellors have opted for water.

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