The House of Commons (elected Members of Parliament or MPs) is located to the north of the building and is decorated with green leather upholstery, and the House of Lords (unelected Lords) is located to the south and decorated with red leather upholstery.
For the traveller and for the scope of this article, it is important to understand though that the district of Westminster is bounded to the north by Trafalgar Square and Mayfair, to the east by Covent Garden and to the west by Knightsbridge and Chelsea. James's is the region of Westminster that encompasses Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and the eponymously named park.
The Palace of Westminster came to be the principal royal residence after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, and later housed the developing Parliament and law courts of England.
The neighbouring Westminster Abbey became the traditional venue of the coronation of England regents.
Westminster has therefore been the seat of royal, and later parliamentary, government and power for 900 years.
Belgravia to the west of Buckingham Palace is probably the grandest residential area in the whole of the United Kingdom.
Victoria and Pimlico in the south-west are the least grand regions of the district but still have much to offer including The Tate Britain, some wonderful Regency architecture and a number of good value accommodation options.
The district is serviced by the following tube stations: The nearest mainline train stations are London Waterloo (approximately 15 minutes walk) and London Victoria (20 min walk).
It is worth taking the tube from these two stations to arrive at Westminster. On the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Palace of Westminster (more widely known as the Houses of Parliament) is the seat of Parliament in the United Kingdom.
It's often termed the "Mother of All Parliaments" - an exaggeration, but perhaps only a slight one.
The present building largely dates from the 19th century when it was rebuilt following a fire in a splendid example of Victorian neo-Gothic architecture.