My favorite view of Big Ben is Churchill’s view:
Just around the corner are Churchill’s War Rooms, incredible underground remnants of a government at work in the midst of war. Two things make the Churchill War Rooms worth the long queue and the entrance fee: One, the rooms are extensive enough to keep me occupied for 3 hours without reading every display, and two, many of the rooms remain practically untouched since they were abandoned at the end of WWII.
Some of the displays were especially quirky. There’s the set of doors marked ‘left’ and ‘right’ (good in a panic, I suppose), the reminder to TURN THAT SWITCH PLEASE (it may be war time, it may be crucial, but darn it they’re still British and that means they are always polite), the weather sign indicating ‘fine and warm’, because the workers inside the war rooms sometimes didn’t go aboveground for days at a time, and a jesting typewritten proposal by several women of the typing pool regarding the acquisition of chocolates and nylon stockings.
I stopped for lunch inside the War Rooms at a WWII rations-style cafeteria. The prices were decent and the simple food, vegetable soup served in “Dig for Victory” tin mugs, was good. From the long tables shared with strangers to the propaganda posters on the walls, it was fun to imagine I had stepped back in time.