Layout of the Palace of Westminster

Visitors to the Palace of Westminster come in through St Stephen's entrance and proceed until they reach Central Lobby. Central Lobby is the central point in the Palace between the House of Lords and House of Commons - the 'crossroads' of the Houses of Parliament.

Central Lobby

After coming through the public entrance - St Stephen's entrance - the approach to the Central Lobby of the Palace is through St Stephen's Hall from St Stephen's Porch at the southern end of Westminster Hall. Central Lobby, a large octagonal hall, is the centrepiece of the Palace. When waiting to see (or 'lobby') their MP, members of the public wait here.

From the Central Lobby, corridors lead north to the House of Commons Lobby and Chamber and south to the Peers' Lobby and House of Lords Chamber.

Ceremonial rooms

Beyond the House of Lords are the ceremonial rooms used during the State Opening of Parliament - the Queen's Robing Room and the Royal Gallery - reached by a separate entrance under Victoria Tower. The Royal Gallery is often used when members of the two Houses meet together to hear addresses by visiting heads of State or Government.

To the north of the House of Commons are the Speakers' and Serjeant-at-Arms's rooms, and offices for ministers and officials. Beyond these is one of the most famous features of the Palace - the Clock Tower (Big Ben).

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