If you’re not from UK you can no longer take a tour of Big Ben

Big Ben LondonThere are some monuments in the world that you can visit. One often travels to a city having in mind the famous buildings and trying to take as many visiting tours as possible. If in London then you most probably want to visit Big Ben. Guess what: if you are not from UK you can no longer visit this famous monument.

The reason behind this measure is security of the monument. There is a mounting fear over terrorism actions that may affect the monument, as we can see here.

Now, let’s analyze a little bit the situation. Of course, as a traveler, you simply feel you are denied from now on the access to a monument, one that you knew you can always visit. You know what it’s like: it’s there and you’ll visit it sometime. Than again you wouldn’t want to be part of a group with a terrorist detonating a bomb right? Also you wouldn’t probably want for the famous clock to be damaged, right?

What do you think of this measure? Have you visited Big Ben already? Were you planning to visit it soon?

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I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

7 thoughts on “If you’re not from UK you can no longer take a tour of Big Ben

  • 10 November, 2010 at 15:14

    I think that other than being annoying, this measure is also useless. There are other valuable architectural attractions in London with rich history that can be targeted. Yes, Big Ben is it’s number one symbol, but only for that, terrorists might still target it! You cannot just go ahead and close all major attractions to tourists because you fear terrorist attacks, not unless you close them all and are fine with the economic impact…

    I am also curious to see how easy it will be to pay for Big Ben’s maintenance with lower incomes for tourists. Let’s hope other attractions manage to earn London enough money to pay for the pricey keep of all their monuments.

  • 10 November, 2010 at 15:19

    Restrictions have never been the best solutions, just the easiest.
    I’m sure more flexible solutions could have been found. I’m willing to follow rules as ling as they are logical and useful. I would probably not like increased security measures but I would accept them if necessary. Interdiction is not the right solution

  • 10 November, 2010 at 15:32

    I also thinks it’s a useless method of protecting themselves against terrorist. They may as well target another busy and crowded place (as it has happened before) or involve someone with British citizenship. It’s sad because they are opening the path for other countries to do the same with their landmarks.

  • 10 November, 2010 at 15:37

    I was also wandering if this could be considered as a precedent and an excuse for closing many other important monuments in the world. Yes, it’s unfortunate that terrorism affects traveling options.

    However yes, I too don’t think it’s impossible for someone to pass as a UK citizen (if the intention is bad, the person will find a way to succeed in his plan). I noticed that even a local has to reserve a tour with several months in advance…. I must admit though that I read 2 times the news to be sure I’m seeing right.

    Alina, thank you for pointing out the impact on venue and tourism profits vs. maintenance of the building/monument, mechanism etc.

    I still wonder though: is this the only or the first monument closed to visitors from fear of terrorist attacks?

  • 10 November, 2010 at 18:28


    This is quite stupid since even people that live in UK can end up being terrorists. Also, if I am a tourist I would like to see that tower. What else am I going to really want to visit in London? Nothing is of equal attraction for a visitor.

  • 11 November, 2010 at 15:38

    I must admit I was very surprised that it was possible for visitors to get inside the clock tower as a matter of routine, rather than just seeing the outside.
    If I read the story correctly it wasn’t open as a tourist attraction in the same way that e.g. the Tower of London, St Paul’s etc are, rather it was possible to arrange small scale tours in limited circumstances. So restricting this right to UK citizens is far less of a big deal than it seems on the face of it.

    • 11 November, 2010 at 18:13

      I believe that the action is the one we object to not the objective. It’s a question of principle and of a precedent. It does not matter if we talk about Big Ben in particular.


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