Westminster Abbey is the best-known church in all of England, and the oldest temple in the British capital. Famous for its historical value and for having hosted coronations of Kings and Queens. And for being the place where some of the most influential people in recent UK history are buried.
Royal weddings, coronations of Kings, Queens, soldiers, poets, heroes and villains. Westminster Abbey is part of the history of England. A historical place and without a doubt one of the most visited places in London. Millions of tourists and pilgrims visit this temple throughout the year.
What will you find in this article?
- Visit Westminster Abbey
- Visiting hours
- Tickets to visit Westminster Abbey
- What to see in Westminster Abbey
- How to get to Westminster Abbey
- Westminster Abbey: History and Evolution
Visit Westminster Abbey
Since we visited Westminster Abbey for the first time a few years ago, we always recommend adding it to any travel plan. Whether you come to London for 3 days or longer.
Visiting Westminster Abbey seeing the most important things can take you around a couple of hours. The best time to visit it is in the morning after approximately 10:00. At this time there are usually fewer people.
During the visit, two things will impress you . On the one hand, the architecture of the building both outside and inside. It imposes. And on the other hand, inside you will be able to see the places where former Kings of England and famous people such as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin are buried .
Advice! When you enter, ask for an audio guide. The explanations are very good and they made us see things that we would not have even thought were there if it were not for the audio guide.
Important : The public entrance to the Abbey takes place in three shifts of 2 hours each . The first shift is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the second is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the third and last shift is from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. This ensures that there will be no crowds inside the temple. You must choose the shift you want when buying tickets.
- Monday to Friday : from 09:30 to 15:30 (last entry).
- Saturday : from 09:00 to 13:00 (last entry).
- Wednesday afternoon (Wednesday Lates): from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Important : The Abbey closes one hour after the last entry. On Sundays and on days of religious celebrations, it is only open for mass . The cafeteria and shop are usually open until 6:30 p.m.
Westminster Abbey’s cafeteria, “Cellarium Cafe” is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tickets to visit Westminster Abbey
To visit Westminster Abbey you need to buy a ticket. If you are going to buy the London Pass , the entrance to the Abbey is included so you will not have to pay anything to enter.
Prices for Westminster Abbey:
|Children 6 to 16 years||£11|
|Children 0 to 5||free|
Do not forget that the entrance is free if you have the London Pass (Want a Discount for the London Pass ?)
Our recommendation is that you buy tickets online in advance, as they are usually more expensive at the door. It is also possible that there are no tickets left for that day or that entry slot, since since the coronavirus pandemic everyone is reserving earlier.
What to see in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey has been the Coronation Church since 1066 and today houses the tombs of 17 British monarchs. As you walk through the main aisles to the High Altar, think of yourself as passing through the scene of historical events that They have been marked in the history of England and even worldwide.
Some of the most important events that the Abbey has hosted in recent decades have been the funeral of Diana Princess of Wales in 1997 and the wedding between her son Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.
The most important areas of Westminster Abbey that you should know are:
- The corner of the poets : Located in the “north” area of the building. This space is where the tombs and mausoleums of some of the most illustrious writers and poets are, such as Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Rudyard Kipling and of course Samuel Johnson.
- Lady Chapel : This is one of the chapels that everyone wants to see. It is imposing view from any angle. The seats where the choir was placed have been there since 1512.
- Coronation Chair : Known as “the coronation chair.” This throne from the year 1300 is where all the British monarchs have sat, including the current Queen Elizabeth II, to be crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is known as “St. Edward’s Chair.
- The Cloisters : They were built during the 13th and 14th centuries and serve as a link between the Abbey and the rest of the rooms and spaces of the temple.
- The Chapter House : Here the most interesting are the 13th century mosaics that you can see on the floor. If you like architecture, you will see that there are features here that do not fully correspond to the rest of the building. The reason is the French influence in this room.
- The Collage Garden : That’s right, it is a garden that is about 1000 years old. Which makes it officially the oldest garden in England. This is where the Benedictine monks had their vegetable garden. It is private but opens to the public every week from Tuesday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
One of my favorite places is the place where Samuel Johnson is buried . The British writer who famously said: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of living. London has everything that life can afford . Below is the original quote with his words:
«Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. «Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
How to get to Westminster Abbey
- Address : Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, SW1P 3PA, United Kingdom
- Tube: Westminster tube station . The Circle, District and Jubilee lines arrive.
- Bus : The closest bus lines are 3, 11, 12, 24, 29, 53, 70, 77, 88, 109, 148, 170 and 211.
- Itinerary : If you want to do a walking route through the area, our itinerary 1 is the one that goes through Westminster Abbey.
Westminster Abbey: History and Evolution
Although Westminster Abbey was founded in 960 after Christ, the building as you can see it today dates from the 13th century, from the time of the reign of “Henry III”. It was founded by the Benedictine monks, who were there until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. The story goes that it all started when a young fisherman named Aldrich claimed that he had had a vision of Saint Peter in the place where it is today. the temple. This is how a symbolic tradition began whereby the Thames Fishermen’s Guild gives a salmon to the Abbey every year from 1272. The ‘official’ name is ‘ Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster ‘«, that is to say, the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter in Westminster. The vast majority of the building’s architecture is Gothic. As it took so many years to build it, there are areas where there is a mixture of architectural influences. It is located to the west of the Palace of Westminsterand it is one of the most important religious buildings in the United Kingdom. Something that few people know and that you learn on the Tour is that from 1540 to 1556, it had the category of “Cathedral” but from the year 1560, its official name it became “Church.” So neither Cathedral nor Abbey. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in the year 1066, all the coronations of English and British monarchs have been held here. It has hosted a total of 16 royal weddings and has served as a burial place for more than 3,300 people. Mostly Kings, Prime Ministers, poets, actors, scientists, military leaders and of course the ” Unknown Soldier “.