Christmas holidays are the best times to visit those churches that pull off the festival spectacularly. We are referring to all the basilicas and churches that offer impressive decorations, lively Christmas carols, and an ambiance that invokes the right fervour in you…
It was Edward the Confessor who first concentrated English power at Westminster. But for years, the space at its heart – Parliament Square – has been an unsatisfactory urban muddle at the heart of London. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Big Ben – or more properly the Elizabeth Tower – was the most-photographed building in Britain in 2017. However, at present, it is not a space calculated to inspire, impress or delight. A visit involves jostling along crowded pavements and being corralled between unsightly security barriers. The wide roads are busy with fast-moving traffic; step back to admire the architecture and you risk being crushed by a bus or lorry. But there is hope. …Continue reading »
Parliament gets through more than 750,000 throwaway coffee cups, 125,000 plastic bottles and 335,000 sachets of condiments every year, Westminster bosses revealed today.
Chiefs plan to “drastically” curb the culture of single-use plastics across the estate by next year in a huge clampdown inspired by Blue Planet II.
It includes axing plastic carrier bags in gift shops and plastic cutlery and straws in cafes and bars, in moves to “virtually eliminate single-use avoidable plastics” from the Commons and the Lords.
From this summer, plastic bottles of mineral water will no longer be on sale – immediately removing 125,000 items from its yearly waste haul.
Instead, there will be more water dispensers across the Unesco World Heritage Site.
Parliament will stop buying non-recyclable disposable cups, instead opting for a compostable alternative.
It currently disposes of almost 753,000 coffee cups each year but they cannot be recycled due to the plastic coatings which make them watertight.
Ministers, businesses and civic leaders have launched a massive crackdown on plastics since David Attenborough’s iconic Blue Planet II series last year, highlighting the affects of plastics on the oceans.
Vast and sprawling, with dozens of hidden chambers and corners, the Houses of Parliament are tricky to navigate even for veteran pass holders.
But there’s one dedicated team who, between them, have everything covered – and they are hiring new members.
The visitors services team are responsible for showing everyone who comes to Parliament around the UNESCO World Heritage site – from A-list celebrities to school trips.
HuffPost UK caught up with Amy Treble, one of their operations managers, whose career in the Commons began as a tour guide, as her department prepares to recruit 28 new visitor engagement assistants.
“When you start out in the job, it can be a little bit daunting because you have to figure out where all the different rooms are, all the different routes, where the step-free access is [for disabled visitors],” she said.
“I remember being so totally overwhelmed when I first started, and then someone asked me to go and do an escort by myself. I thought I couldn’t do it, but then you do it and it’s great and you realise that you can.
Theresa May likes to avoid awkward rows at all costs: that much we already know. Today’s papers carry two stories showing this: she is said to be abandoning plans to give a Brexit speech just in case it causes further divisions in her Cabinet, and is also racking up what The Times estimates is a £230 million bill by delaying the refurbishment of Parliament.
Both the Cabinet and Parliament are dangerously unstable, with chunks falling from them every day. The latter, though, has been here a long time, is one of the most famous buildings in the world, and attracts vast numbers of tourists. Philip Hammond and Greg Clark don’t raise quite so much interest, oddly.
The Conservatives are keen to push back the decision on the works until after the 2022 general election because they are worried that taxpayers will be angry about the huge bill that it will incur.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, with a legacy dating back more than 1,000 years, Westminster Abbey is among London’s most historic landmarks. The Gothic church is best known for hosting headline-grabbing events involving the British royal family, such as the Queen’s coronation, Princess Diana’s funeral, and Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.
A tour of Westminster Abbey is like taking a walk through British history. Explore independently with an audio guide, on a tour led by a verger (church official), or with a private guide. Tickets include access to all the main areas of the church. The London Pass also grants access to Westminster Abbey.
Things to Know Before You Go
Booking in advance will help you avoid waiting in long lines.
London’s Big Ben was built 158 years ago, two years before the American Civil War. This week it is at the center of a nationwide storm over its famous chimes.
LONDON — Who knew repairing a clock could provoke such outrage?
But this isn’t just a case of winding up an antique timepiece gathering dust in the hall. This is the 315-foot tower commonly known as Big Ben, the iconic landmark synonymous with London’s skyline.
Built 158 years ago, Big Ben has this week found itself at the center of a nationwide storm.
Politicians fumed and newspapers seethed after it came to light the Great Bell would fall silent on Monday, dinging its last dong until 2021 while construction workers carry out £29 million of repairs (around $37 million).
Big Ben bonged for the last time on Monday before falling silent for the longest period in its 158-year history – and what a history.
Big Ben bongs for the last time on Monday before falling silent for four years – the longest period in its 158-year history.
The Elizabeth Tower, home to the Great Clock and the world’s most famous bell, is undergoing a £29million restoration.
The bell will be paused until 2021 to keep workers safe. But it will still ring out on New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday. Steve Jaggs, keeper of the Great Clock, said: “Big Ben falling silent is a significant milestone in this crucial conservation project.
“The public are welcome to mark this important moment by gathering in Parliament Square to hear Big Ben’s final bongs until they return in 2021.”
The Big Ben bell is set to fall silent for the longest period in its 157-year history as part of an extensive renovation project, the House of Commons said on Monday.
The bell’s famous bongs will cease on Monday 21 August and will not ring out through Westminster again until 2021, although it will be brought back into service for special occasions such as New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday.
The hammers which have struck the 13.7 tonne bell every hour for most of the last 157 years will be locked and disconnected from the clock itself, which will then be carefully dismantled and refurbished. One working clock face powered by an electric motor will continue to tell the time until the original clockwork mechanism is restored.
England’s rich and long history is well-presented and well-preserved in these historic sites in the country.
10. Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle, located in the city of Kent, is the 10th most visited historic site in England. The castle, as it is known today, was built in 1119 AD on islands in a lake formed by Len River. The site where the castle sits, however, has been important since as early as 857 AD, when it held a wooden structure owned by Leed, a Saxon chief. In 1976, the castle was opened to the public and in 2009, it received 646,801 visitors. Leeds Castle was once home to an aviary from 1980 to 2012, however, the foundation closed it for budgetary purposes. Today, tourists can make their way through the on-site grotto and maze, play a round of golf, and visit the dog collar museum.