Westminster Abbey

Attractions, Religious buildings and sites Westminster
5 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
Westminster Abbey
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© Dean and Chapter of Westminster
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© Dean and Chapter of Westminster
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© Dean and Chapter of Westminster
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Gothic grandeur at its most splendid. See where 16 royal weddings, a lot of funerals and every coronation since 1066 have taken place

Like the Pantheon Crypt in Paris, where you can see the tombs and memorials to great figures from history, Westminster Abbey is a popular attraction to peruse the graves, tablets, busts and stone dedications. Seventeen kings and queens are buried here, along with dukes, countesses and history’s ‘celebs’ – Darwin, Dickens, Hardy, Behn, Olivier, etc.

Throughout the cloisters and chapels of the Abbey are most than 3,000 souls that have been honoured with stones, statues and shrines. There’s even an entire stained glass window dedicated to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and a whole corner for poets and creatives in the South Transept, including DH Lawrence, Jane Austen, Dylan Thomas, Lewis Carroll, Shakespeare and many more.

It’s also worth exploring the Abbey’s grounds while you’re there. The gardens are quite beautiful, with four in all: the original Garth, Little Cloister and College Gardens, as well as the more recent addition, St Catherine's Garden. The College Garden is one of the most intriguing, as it is home to the original infirmarer’s patch, which was (and still is) used to grow medicinal herbs and foods for the residents of the Abbey. But of course all the gardens are beautifully presented and surrounded by gorgeous architecture, so any would make for a lovely stroll.

Due to the fact that Westminster Abbey is still a fully functioning church, the visiting times often vary, so check the website first if you’re planning to go down to see which bits will be accessible. If you’re determined on popping by regardless, the Cellarium Café makes for a pleasant spot to stop; it’s typically open weekdays from 8am, Saturdays from 9am and Sundays from 9.30am. It’s also worth noting that audio-guided tours run every day detailing the Abbey’s highlights.

Something new in the works at the Abbey is The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, which are set to open in 2018. They’re housed 70 feet above the floor of the Abbey and, until they open once again, have been hidden from the public gaze for over 700 years. Once up there, you’ll get a fab view of the Palace of Westminster and into the church, and be able to see objects and images detailing the Abbey’s thousand-odd-year history.

Westminster Abbey is a magnificent place to hear choral performances, classical concerts and recitals. On Sundays there are free 30-minute organ recitals at 5.45pm and daily there are services as Abbey life continues around you.

By: Laura Lee Davies

Posted:

Venue name: Westminster Abbey
Contact:
Address: Broad Sanctuary
20 Deans Yd
London
SW1P 3PA
Opening hours: Opening times vary depending on events and areas you want to visit. Check the website for times on the day you want to visit
Transport: Tube: Westminster or St James's Park
Price: £20, £17 concs., £9 under-17s, under-fives free, family from £40
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4.8 / 5

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LiveReviews|9
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tastemaker

Such a beautiful indoor cemetery, from the high ceilings to all the little intricate detailing on the walls to the chandeliers. This place has so much history within it, that its a must see! 


I had a private tour with a verger and was thoroughly impressed by his knowledge, every little section in the abbey tells a story! It's remarkable and overwhelming at the same time, wherever you're stepping can be someones memorial, grave, or where their ashes are buried!


The tombs are quite the something, large, weighty and full of history. The statues are beautiful as are the memorial windows. Even more so when the light comes through and you see them shine! 


The lady chapel is beautiful in its own glory, and I love that the commonwealth has its own section too! 

Tastemaker

Obviously, this is a must-see! But not just because any to-do list will tell you to go, because this is an absolutely amazing building, full of history.


If filled to the brim with statues, graves and other memorabilia from the past (which can be quite overwhelming), the architecture of the cathedral itself is remarkable and awe-inspiring. The audio guide gives plenty of info and adds to the visit by letting you know all the important stuff that has happened in this place of worship.


The price is a bit steep and the queues are long… But you can also choose to go on Wednesday late for half the price! Which is much more affordable.


tastemaker

This abbey is one of my favorite spot in London and it's one of the best you can visit if you are a tourist. The price is high but if you are visiting I suggest you to pay for it because you won't be disappointed. 

Together with the ticket you will get an audioguide, I recommend you to use it because it will enhance your visit. You will learn plenty of uk history while enjoying a view of a stunning place and architecture. You can also download the guide on your phone so you can use your own earphone(http://www.westminster-abbey.org/visit-us/audiotour), I wish I knew this before. 


It's worth noting that if you go during the service on Sunday you won't be able to visit all the chambers and areas. 

If you buy online you save £2 and most of all you enter without queuing. If you are not up to pay for full price ticket, try the Wednesday late ticket. It's just £10 and it allows you to enjoy the abbey from 16:30 to 19:00, last entry at 18:00. 




Tastemaker

A stunningly beautiful building in all its gothic splendour, and a fitting tribute to the famous souls buried within it's boundaries. This is a very interesting place to visit for anyone interested in London's fascinating history.


The audio tour is great, very informative and engaging. The décor of the abbey is spectacular inside and out, and it is wonderful to see the tombs of so many kings and queens of the past in such fantastic condition.


Make sure you check visiting times before you go as it is still a fully functioning church so you may find yourself entering during a service. Other than that, a good stop off point for any tour around London.

Tastemaker

I agree with the last reviewer... I can't believe it took me so long to visit Westminster Abbey. I made a date with a friend who was visiting and grumbling when I saw the line, regretted agreeing. The line was orderly and went very quickly. It was amazing and I am so happy I went. I like history and it was great to see the tombs of Bloody Mary, Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, along with all the famous literary figures plaques. What i found the most interesting was how small it was, whenever I had seen it on TV I thought it was huge, but standing in the midst of it was was shocked. There is audio commentary. I agree that it's expense because it doesn't take much more than an hour of your time but still worth going.

Tastemaker

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to visit Westminster Abbey - I've lived in London all my life but only visited Westminster Abbey very recently.  It’s full of history and a recommended attraction to anyone who has an interest in the subject.  For those who like literature, it’s also worth a visit so you can see where some of the greatest writers in English history are buried/commemorated.  A beautiful building inside and out.  The staff are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

Tastemaker

Fascinating & beautiful. The price (£20) is a bit steep but a couple of hours here is priceless. Gorgeous architecture & graves or memorials commemorating a who's who of British monarchy, nobility, politicians & unbeknownst to me a myriad a poets, playwrights, actors & scientists. I was surprised by some names & inclusions- some very recent. Any history buff will be in heaven. Excellent free audio guide points out the relevant points of interest & gives background information on the history of this unique & unmissable heritage site. Friendly & informative staff are a bonus. Not just for the tourists- a must for locals & visitors alike


It is just breath taking place, I love the history of this place and the architecture. It is a very important London gem.


One of the most well known places, in London.. Such a beautiful building, highly recommend to anyone.. Learnt a lot about the history of the building on my trip, and tour!! A must , for everyone!!

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