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Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey Sightseeing Walk

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Published June 21st 2012
This is an easy 10 minute walk starting from Westminster Tube Station, and taking in the sights of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey.

It's perfect for first time visitors to London, backpackers and people on a budget because following this walk will cost you nothing.

If you want to go inside the Abbey (or even just buy food on the way), it will obviously cost you money. But this walk gives you a quick look at the sights so you can decide whether they are worth any extra expense.

After exiting Westminster station onto Bridge St, you are only a few short steps away from the religious and political centres of England.

houses parliament westminster palace
Houses of Parliament (Westminster Palace)


Directly across the road is the Palace of Westminster, otherwise known as the Houses of Parliament with Big Ben's clocktower dominating the view in front of you. Many people don't realise that Big Ben actually refers to the bell inside, not the clock or tower.

To get a better view, I prefer to walk left and across the bridge over the Thames where you can truly appreciate the scale of the building and take photos easier.

big ben westminster palace
Houses of Parliament from Broad Sanctuary


Otherwise walk right on Bridge St and follow St Margaret St south around Parliament Square.

westminster abbey north entrance
Westminster Abbey North Entrance


As you follow the crowds past the 16th century St Margaret's church on the left you will see the incredibly ornately detailed North entrance to Westminster Abbey. The informative Wikipedia page tells us that a church of some form has been on this site for over a thousand years, but the present building is truly spectacular and awe inspiring.

Walk on a little further and the Western Facade of the Abbey can be seen.

historic westminster abbey
Western facade of Westminster Abbey


You can find the map for this walk here.

Enjoy your visit to these impressive sights!
And please leave a comment to say what you thought, or if you would like to see more London Walks on Weekend Notes.

If you would like to do a longer walk which includes sights along the River Thames, historic Fleet Street, the 1000 year old Temple Church, and St Paul's Cathedral, click here.
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Why? See Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey
When: Anytime
Where: Westminster
Cost: Free
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