The Houses of Parliament is quite an intimidating building to look at as it dominates the banks of the River Thames. And then you go inside. That’s when it is really intimidating.

Parliament isn’t intimidating in a bad way. It’s more of an overwhelming type of place – still not in a bad way. It’s as though you suddenly become aware of the sheer amount of history held right there where you’re standing and the importance of the green seats you’re reminded repeatedly not to sit on in the chamber of the House of Commons.

Tours of Parliament are available throughout the year subject to what’s going on in Parliament. If you go during recess (when MPs aren’t there and the usual business of Parliament isn’t being carried out), you’ll be allowed in all day (pretty much) every day. Summer is a great month to visit.

When it comes to actually touring the Gothic masterpiece, you can choose a number of options. The cheapest is an audio tour where you’re given a headset that gives you all the history information and guides you through the building.

The free option is the one where you ask your MP if they’re down in London on a certain date and can they give you a tour. They will say yes if they are in London and will give you their version of what it’s like to be in such a glorious building for work.

The other option is a guided tour by someone who has been trained and knows their stuff. Some are from England and some are, impressively, from the Commonwealth and can tell you more about the history of Parliament than you learn in school. It’s quite something. Guided tours are great and each one is different depending on whoever is leading your group, making it even more interesting.

It’s well worth a visit: you get to see the House of Commons, Lords, the Robing Room where the Queen gets ready for the State Opening of Parliament, the room where visitors from abroad are entertained and so much more. It’s beautiful, it’s engaging and it’s important.

You have a right to be there and to see the place where decisions that impact your life are made.

So use that right and go. You might just enjoy yourself along the way.