Best of British: 60 things that make Britain great

Imagine you're cut off in a far-off land. What longings would be uppermost in your mind? Here we celebrate those aspects of life that make our islands distinct and beguiling.

49. Big Ben


Big Ben is properly the name of the largest bell that hangs within the celebrated Victorian clock tower of the palace of Westminster. This singular building, recently renamed the Elizabeth Tower to honour The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee—not to mention the sound of its bells, which play a tune based on a com- position by Handel—has come to symbolise both London and the Houses of Parliament. It’s one of many British buildings that have become instantly recognisable across the globe.

‘I suppose it’s like the ticking crocodile, isn’t it? Time is chasing after all of us’
(Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie)

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