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The Houses of Parliament, located inside the Palace of Westminster, are open to both the UK public and overseas visitors. The home of both chambers of Parliament of the United Kingdom is located on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster.
Guided tours of Parliament are available most Saturdays throughout the year, and on weekdays during the Summer Opening period. Tours take about 75 minutes and include both the Lords and Commons Chambers, the Queen's Robing Room, the Royal Gallery and Westminster Hall. Visitors can also watch debates.
Most of the buildings seen on the tour were built in the mid 19th Century following a devastating fire in 1834. Visitors can marvel at the gothic architecture and interior designs by Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin.
Fortunately, Westminster Hall begun in 1097 by William Rufus, son of William the Conquerer, survived the fire and so you can still stand on the very spot where William Wallace, Guy Fawkes and King Charles the First, amongst others, stood trial.
The Palace of Westminster is still officially a royal palace although the Royal Family moved out following an earlier fire in 1529 and never returned to live there. The Queen attends once a year for the State Opening of Parliament.
For more information visit www.parliament.uk/visiting/.