Westminster Walk: Discover the history of parliamentary democracy

21 Oct 2022
Aerial photo of Westminster

Discover the history of Westminster on this bespoke tour, created for the Hansard Society and led by Oonagh Gay, Footprints of London guide and former Head of the Parliament and Constitution Centre in the House of Commons Library.

11:30am, 21 October 2022 Starting at Westminster Underground Station (Exit 5)

Parliament Square contains the World Heritage Sites of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Its significance as the seat of Government dates back centuries.

Join this guided walk to discover how the Square took its modern shape and how the buildings and statues tell a story of the development of modern parliamentary government, from the monarchy to the franchise and judicial independence to the established church.

The Hansard Society has previously made recommendations to pedestrianise the Square, arguing that it could be transformed into one of the world's great civic spaces, where we could reflect on the journey to democracy and the obstacles which remain. The walk will examine how the Restoration & Renewal programme for the Palace of Westminster could be enhanced by including the wider footprint of Parliament Square as well as Whitehall itself.

The tour will be led by Oonagh Gay, a qualified Footprints of London guide who has been devising and leading walking tours since 2015. Oonagh worked in the House of Commons Library for over 30 years – specialising in constitutional briefings for MPs – and is a former member of the Hansard Society Council.

Oonagh specialises in political and feminist walks across London, as well as a variety of local walks in North London. Other walks include Ada Salter and the Beautification of Bermondsey; Marx and the Chartists in Soho; and Conrad’s Secret Agent and Anarchists in Fitzrovia. She is a Footprints of London Guide and you can find out more information here.

  • Time: The walk will start promptly at 11.30am and will last approximately 75 minutes.

  • Meeting point: Outside Exit 5 of Westminster Underground Station.

  • Weather: The walking tour will take place regardless of weather conditions, so please do wear sensible shoes and dress accordingly.

  • Price: There is a concessionary rate of £10 for this tour for Hansard Society members; £15 for non-members of the Society.

  • Cancellation: Cancellations made within 24 hours of booking are fully refundable. After 24 hours of the booking date, all tickets are non-refundable and cannot be rescheduled.

Our members form a valuable network of people who care about Parliament, public life and politics and want our parliamentary institutions to prosper in the future.

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