You can tour the Houses of Parliament in August and September when the Lords and Politicians are on holiday. Anna and I went on thursday, it was most interesting. The only bit we were allowed to take photos of was the entrance hall that has been there since the 1000s, everything else was built in Victorian times and so was all gold and sparkly- though the main bit you see on telly (The Commons Chamber) was designed by the guy who designed the red telephone box. House of Lords was super sparkly though!
Lots of fab rooms, huge ones with paintings of past kings and queens- a nice cute one with the Tudors all around the picture rail, and HUGE murals of the battle of Trafalgar. Also, as you might expect there are statues of past prime ministers everywhere and the most horrific one was of Thatcher, the artist who sculpted it said that he did it so that when the revolution comes there'd be something to pull down. Ho ho ho. Anyway, worth a visit, very interesting.
We also dashed around the Foreign Office, this weekend was Open House Weekend where the public get access to all sorts of interesting buildings that are usually private. Well, The Foreign Office wasn't as exciting as all that. Victorian again, really nice indoor courtyard and lots of Venitian looking rooms, but only one really big impressive bit (The State Stair) -too many plebs wandering around.