"Centuries of history" Top 5 Page for this destination Westminster Abbey Tip by toonsarah

Westminster Abbey, London: 268 reviews and 472 photos

by toonsarah
  • - London
  • Misty morning in Westminster - London
      Misty morning in Westminster
    by toonsarah
  • - London

Update March 2014: information expanded and updated, new photos added

Westminster Abbey should definitely be high on every visitor's must see list. I think is one of the two places in London where you get the greatest sense of the country's history (the Tower of London is the other). Here all British monarchs from 1066 onwards, with the exceptions only of Edward V and Edward VIII, have been crowned, many of them married and, until George II, buried. Its wealth of historic sights include the Coronation Chair, the Shrine of Edward the Confessor, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, various Royal Tombs and the Royal Chapels.

So many of Britain's great men and women are buried here: Chaucer, Spenser, Kipling, Dickens & Tennyson with other writers in Poets' Corner; Handel, Vaughan Williams & Purcell; Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton & Robert Stephenson; Dame Peggy Ashcroft & Sir Henry Irving ... Others are buried elsewhere but commemorated here: the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Winston Churchill ... There is a full list of all who have monuments inside the abbey on the website: http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people

The abbey is mainly Gothic in style, and its proper name is actually the Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster - but no one ever calls it that, and very few Londoners would even recognise the name! There has been a church on this site since 616AD but the present building was started in 1045 and much added too over the following centuries, being more or less finished in the 15th. There is a good history of the different phases of its construction on the abbey's website: http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/the-architecture-of-westminster-abbey

The Abbey is open to visitors on weekdays and Saturdays from 9.30-13.30 in winter months and 9.30-15.30 in the summer. Times vary a lot, so check the website below before you go - also if you'd like to attend a service. There is an entry charge of 18 (adults), 15 (students and 60+) and 8.00 (children 11-18 - under 11s go free). Prices include the use of an audio guide.

On Sunday the abbey is open only for those attending a service. There is no charge then, so as well as being a special place to worship this offers an opportunity to see inside the abbey without paying! Times of services are on the website: http://www.westminster-abbey.org/worship/daily-services/general-service-times.

Address: Deans Yard, SW1
Directions: St James's Park or Westminster tube (both on the Circle and District lines). Westminster is nearer but I prefer the approach from St James's Park. Follow signs to the right exit, and walk ahead down Tothill Street - you can't miss it!
Phone: 020 7654 4900
Website: http://www.westminster-abbey.org

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 29, 2014
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Comments (2)

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    On my list for next week, can't take a newbie to London and not show them Westminster Abbey or the Tower of London!

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Mar 29, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      I'm busy doing updates on my London tips as you can see :-)

  • leics's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Surely it's not 87 for kids nowadays? Not even in London.... :-)

    • Balam's Profile Photo
      Mar 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      I will have a look there then! :)

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Mar 13, 2013 at 2:33 AM

      Look at her "Favourites" tips on her London page - and do tell her I sent you!

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