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While London is jam-packed with landmarks, its most iconic family day destination has to be Big Ben. Technically, Big Ben is the nickname for the iconic 13.5 ton bell that peels out the chimes of Westminster on the hour, but over its 150-year history, the name has morphed to include the clock and tower as well. Fortunately, all three are spectacular, and it’s all but impossible to miss the spindly accents of the tower and adjoining parliament building, stippling the sky with gilt window dressing and cross-topped spires poking up from the gray slate roofs. After a stroll toward the Thames with the family, navigate to Big Ben in time for the noon bell ringing. If you arrive a little early, it’s always a treat to walk the perimeter of the Clipsham limestone lattice of medieval windows, but make sure you’ve found your way back to the clock face when midday strikes. Hoist your kid up on your shoulder so they can crane their neck upwards at the massive timepiece, its two arms pointed straight to the heavens. Stand close enough and you’ll not only hear the beautiful notes, you’ll feel them reverberate over the city, bringing to life countless tales of old London. After the exciting moment has passed, take the kids out a little luncheon–and maybe a midday cuppa–before continuing your landmark tour.

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