Over the past few years, there has been a very gradual countdown of sorts to the end of a vast conservation project that saw Big Ben wrapped in scaffolding and curiously silent. Slowly, the layers of scaffolding have been peeled away, and the iconic clock tower’s ‘bong’ has even been heard through London again. Now, with the almost six-year project coming to a close, Big Ben will open up to the public – just in time for summer. And tickets go on sale at 10am, today (June 14), here.
Clock fans, people named Ben, and others keen to see the inner workings of the tower can join 90-minute-long guided tours that take them up a whopping 334 stairs. The vertical trek will take visitors all the way up to the Elizabeth Tower Belfry as the famous clock chimes sound around them. Along the way, visitors will get to see the clock mechanism room, behind the four clock dials , and, of course, the Belfry (where the famous bell itself is located).
When will Big Ben open?
The Big Ben tours will start in July, with initial ticket sales covering tours through July, August, and September. Tickets go on sale today (June 14) at 10am. You’ll want to be sure to act quickly, too, as they’re expecting considerable interest. In fact, there’s a strong possibility of them selling out on the day!
However, all is not lost if you miss out on the first ticket release. Each month they’ll release more tickets for upcoming tours. These ticket drops will happen on the second Wednesday of each month, at 10am.
It’s important to note that there are some restrictions on who can do the tours. All visitors must be over 11 years of age. They also must be able, and comfortable, to climb the 334 stairs without aid. Additionally, due to security, healthy and safety, and copyright restrictions, there is no photography allowed inside the Elizabeth Tower. You can, however, take photographs inside Westminster Hall before or after the tour.
Adult tickets will run £25, with £10 tickets available for children aged 11-17.
Buy your ticket to the Big Ben tour here, from Wednesday, June 14, at 10am.