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FYI if you are looking forward to seeing Big Ben anytime soon

Except for the clock face on the Westminster Bridge side Big Ben is currently covered in scaffolding. I didn't know and my travel mate first time in London was dissappointed.

Posted by
7666 posts

To further dissapoint, for those that did not know, work will continue into 2021 with scaffolding up for most of that time, though they will be uncovering clock faces from time to time and will start removing scaffolding from the top as work completes from the top down. Perhaps as dissapointing, the bells and chimes will be silent except for special occassions.

Posted by
2783 posts

It was announced last year, it had scaffolding around it last September.

Posted by
996 posts

I knew when we arrived in London that we wouldn't be able to see Big Ben without a lot of scaffolding. The clock face was visible, though, and we snagged a terrific photo of that.

(And for those of you who are Doctor Who fans, we just told each other that they're still fixing the repairs after the spaceship slammed into it...)

Posted by
15576 posts

While most people refer to the clock tower as "Big Ben," technically it's the nickname for the bells located in Elizabeth Tower.

(It's raining outside, I have a bad cold and I'm bored.)

Posted by
7666 posts

While many like to be specifically correct, Yes, "Big Ben" refers to the largest bell, of 5, in the tower, but it is commonly accepted to refer to the tower and clock as Big Ben...up until 2012. It was only in 2012 that the tower, clock or anything else had a common name (well not necessarily common, but more than "Clock Tower") when the tower was named "Elizabeth Tower" on QE2's Diamond Jubilee. Nobody will be confused if you refer to the entire tower, clock and bells as "Big Ben"

Small aside...many are a bit taken aback that "Big Ben" or the tower, are not as "Big" as common culture, Peter Pan, and low angle views might have you think.

Posted by
8889 posts

but it is commonly accepted to refer to the tower and clock as Big Ben

Only by foreign tourists. The same ones who confuse Tower Bridge with London Bridge, call the Channel Tunnel the "chunnel", and say "London, England". (present company excepted, of course!)

Posted by
1072 posts

"Only by foreign tourists. The same ones who confuse Tower Bridge with London Bridge, call the Channel Tunnel the "chunnel", and say "London, England". (present company excepted, of course!)"

Yes and don't get me started on the "Union Jack" (when it's not on a ship) :-)

Posted by
4011 posts

Sorry Chris but every local I know still calls the clock tower “Big
Ben”. We all know that’s not really it’s name but no one calls it the
Elizabeth Tower.

While I'm certainly not local, my British friends from Yorkshire and London cringe when they hear the Elizabeth Tower referred to as Big Ben. They roll their eyes in frustration! LOL