Visitors to the bustling City of Westminster will often flock to one of the most iconic buildings in the whole of the UK, with the Palace of Westminster the seat of British democracy and home to the houses of parliament.
One of the world’s great institutions
One of the oldest continuous representative assemblies in the whole world, the British parliament has developed out of more than a 1,000-year history to represent the will of the British people, while managing a system of checks and balances that ensure no one group can disproportionately sway government policy in their favour.
Housed in the Palace of Westminster, this is one of the most iconic institutions of London and the UK as a whole, and remains a popular draw for visitors from across the globe.
The differences between Britain’s main political parties
Any elected representative can sit in the House of Commons, while peers alone can sit in the House of Lords. That said, there are a number of distinct parties that exist within the UK electoral system, and here they are:
Conservatives (centre-right, these individuals are typified by a belief in less state interference in the daily lives of the public, as well as increased privatisation and a strong commitment to encouraging people to help themselves).
- Labour (centre-left, typified by a sense of the state as a key support for the people of the UK, these members of parliament demonstrate a commitment to increased public spending/services).
- Liberal Democrats (centre, a pro-European party with a mixture of Conservative and Labour elements, Lib Dems hold a commitment to the preservation of free markets but without overbearing interference from the state).
- Plaid Cymru (the party dedicated to representing the interests of Wales).
- Scottish National Party (the party dedicated to representing the interests of Scotland).
- Democratic Unionist Party (the party dedicated to representing the interests of Northern Ireland).
Other less well-represented parties of note in the UK parliament at present include the UK Independence Party and the Green Party.
Parking options near the Palace of Westminster
Visitors to the Palace of Westminster have several options open to them when it comes to travelling to the area by car, with local parking options including:
- Q-Park Westminster (0.2 miles, four minutes’ travel time when walking)
- Abington Street Car Park (0.1 miles, two minutes)
- Waterloo C Car Park (0.7 miles, 15 minutes)
- Hungerford Bridge Car Park (0.7 miles, 14 minutes)
- Trafalgar Car Park (0.7 miles, 15 minutes)
- Rochester Row Car Park (0.6 miles, 12 minutes)
- National Theatre Car Park (0.9 miles, 18 minutes)
- Cornwall Road Car Park (one mile, 20 minutes)
- Victoria Station Car Park (1.1 miles, 22 minutes)
Drivers planning to head into this busy part of London are reminded that traffic volumes are expected to be heavy at most times, while spaces for parking can also be limited.
Local Underground travel links
For those keen to avoid the stresses of driving in the English capital, the world-famous London Underground network offers a swift and stress-free way to travel, with several Underground stations in close proximity to the Palace of Westminster:
- Westminster (Circle, District and Jubilee lines)
- St James’s Park (Circle and District lines)
- Waterloo (Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines)
- Lambeth North (Bakerloo line)
- Embankment (Bakerloo, Circle, District and Northern lines)
- Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern Lines)
Hotel options for visitors to the Palace of Westminster
Visitors planning a visit to the area might like to book their accommodation at one of the following exemplary hotels:
- The Marble Arch By Montcalm London, 31 Great Cumberland Place (1.92 miles)
- The Piccadilly London West End, 5 Panton Street, Piccadilly Circus (1.06 miles)
- The Grand Paddington London, 1-2 Queens Gardens (1.01 miles)
Nearby attractions for travellers to enjoy
It is not just the houses of parliament and the rich history of the Palace of Westminster that draws the crowds to this busy part of the capital though, with other notable nearby attractions including:
- The Coca-Cola London Eye (0.5 miles, 11 minutes’ travel time on foot/Tube)
- Westminster Abbey (less than 0.1 miles, one minute)
- Buckingham Palace (0.8 miles, 13 minutes)
- The National Gallery (0.7 miles, eight minutes)
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London (0.9 miles, 15 minutes)
- The London Dungeon (0.5 miles, ten minutes)
- Tate Britain (0.6 miles, seven minutes)
- The Florence Nightingale Museum (0.5 miles, nine minutes)
- Benjamin Franklin House (0.6 miles, ten minutes)
- The Old Vic (0.9 miles, nine minutes)
- Lambeth Palace Gardens (0.6 miles, nine minutes)
- The Imperial War Museum (one mile, 11 minutes)