Big Ben Tours Banned Due to Security Fears

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If you were thinking about taking a tour around London's Big Ben, forget about it. Tourists from overseas are no longer allowed to visit London's iconic clock tower, due to security concerns.

Given the threat of terrorism, it reportedly became too costly and complicated to do security checks on all foreigners who wanted to visit the tower, which is at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, home to the British Parliament.

British citizens can still take tours to see the tower and the inner workings of The Great Clock. But even they have to apply in writing to their MP (the equivalent of their congressman) to do so, and go through strict security checks.

All visitors are still allowed to watch the action in both Houses of Parliament from public galleries, after going through a security screening.

"Overseas visitors can attend debates, watch committees, and tour Parliament during the Summer Opening," according to the Parliament's website. "UK residents can arrange a tour of the Clock Tower through their local MP. Overseas visitors cannot currently visit the tower."

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