WARNING: POST CONTAINS TRACE AMOUNTS OF TONGUE-AND-CHEEK HUMOR.
Author’s Note: Big Ben actually refers to the bell inside of the tower and not the tower itself. However, since everyone calls it Big Ben regardless, I will refer to Big Ben as the tower, clock, and bell for coherency’s sake.
As part of the British Isle study tour class I am taking this summer, I’m doing a presentation on the most obvious site I could possibly think of: Big Ben.
I chose this mostly out of laziness because all of my other ideas for a project such as Baker Street and Buckingham Palace were shut down. I thought this lovely clock would be the easiest touristy area to squeeze information out of.
However, I discovered some disappointing information in my digging.
Apparently only UK citizens are allowed to tour the clock tower.
Not only is this tour excluded from people outside of the UK, but these tours must be sponsored by a Member of Parliament or a Member of the House of Lords.
I looked through several sources just to make sure this wasn’t a lie, but, yes, people outside of the UK are not allowed to go inside Big Ben.
Well, there go my dreams of reenacting the fight scene from The Great Mouse Detective.
Come on, British People.
I know we don’t always see eye to eye and we’re not always as witty or fit as you lot, but how could you deny us our cliché tourist attractions?
Is it because we pronounce “Thames” incorrectly?
Or we have extreme difficulty remembering which countries are actually British?
Or because we call your favorite sport “soccer” even though literally everyone else in the entire world calls it “football”?
Is it because we sew Canadian flags onto our possessions to trick you into thinking we’re Canadian for some stupid reason?
If so, I suppose I understand.
I am a bit disappointed though as I’ve seen a few tours of it online and the view is beautiful.
At least, if I’m able to journey to London while I’m abroad, I’ll be able to see Big Ben from afar and hear the chimes before they silence them for the next three years for repairs.
As for the rest of the non-British world, we’ll just have to build our own touristy attraction and not invite the British.