This was my favorite site during my entire Europe trip. Make sure you pay extra for the special guided tour. It is totally worth it!! The architecture is amazing. I imagined Kate Middleton walking down the aisle. On TV it looked really long, but in person it wasn't that bad.
We got here around 10am or so and the line was wrapped around the building. I think we waited an hour to get in.
It was amazing to see how so many famous people are buried and memorialized here. This is the official coronation church and were royal families are wed.
No photography allowed inside.
A must if you spent 6 hours watching William & Kate's wedding on TV! Take the audio tour for sure! It's a shame you can't take photos inside
Allow enough time, like maybe 2 1/2 hrs so you can really see everything including the coronation chair, tombs, Poet's Corner, a chair built in 1050 & so much more.
Brush up on your history before you go so you can keep all the George's & Henry's straight.
AMAZING! This was truly one of my favorite visits in London. The grounds and architecture are stunning.
As an Agnostic I truly appreciated the honors given to the great Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton. We were all in awe that we stood where Charles Darwin rests. I love that the Abbey honors/entombs not only great historical, political and religious figures, but also scientists, writers and just greatness in general.
The tombs of Kings and Queens past was just mind boggling considering the antiquity. Seeing the Coronation Chair, which has been in service since 1066, was sobering to this American.
I was particularly moved by the tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the poppies ringing it. It was then I noticed a beautiful homage to Franklin Delano Roosevelt who, in my opinion, was one of the greatest US Presidents. That an American was honored in such a way on the great west wall was truly touching.
It also brought to my mind a sense of scale after being a young girl watching Princess Diana marry Prince Charles and seeing photos of other celebrations and mourning over the years including the most recent wedding of Prince William and Kate. In all, I felt such a sense of history, beauty and continuity in the Abbey. I feel so fortunate to have experienced it for myself.
I only got to view this magnificent structure from the outside (there was already a huge line to get in). It really does take your breath away. It's akin to Notre Dame (with the facade and figures in relief above the massive door). According to other reviews, you can't take pics inside. Bummer. There was a quaint little gift shop beside it but it wasn't open when we were there. Next time. And I will surely ask for a guided tour.
What could I seriously say that hasn't already been said before? This is one of the most beautiful and overwhelming buildings I've ever seen. The architecture is absolutely stunning and it's simply amazing that this building has been standing for hundreds and hundreds of years. Even more impressive is the sheer number and importance of the people buried within its walls. To stand near the graves of Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, and Geoffrey Chaucer was a feeling that I shall never ever forget. If you're in London for a short trip and are wondering which places you should see, Westminster Abbey should be your #1!
Take the Verger Tour!
What a beautiful and interesting place to visit! There are so many nooks and crannies and such historical significance in this Abbey that I would highly recommend the Verger tour to get the inside scoop.
Our guide, Ben, was excellent! He personalized the tour in a way that was special for everyone in the group and referenced individual countries and their ties to the Abbey as he went along. He told the story of Westminster in such a way that it was fun and enjoyable and you came away from it having learned a tonne!
I would recommend seeing Westminster Abbey after the Tower of London because it helps to continue the timeline of history and we had a better frame of reference after the Tower. We used our London Pass which allowed us to beat the line up (also highly recommend). So go early - either in the morning or before 2:00 pm to ensure you not only gain entrance but can take the last Verger tour that happens about 2:30pm. Be mindful that Westminster is sometimes closed (check before going), and will be closed for special events (which we discovered and had to reschedule our visit due to a memorial service one morning. Unfortunately, we had just missed the royal family who were attending!
Excellent piece of history!
A must for any visit. Many exhibits to see. You can can get tickets in advance, save money and skip the lines through there website or the London Pass is valid here. The line is not for the the entry, it is for the tickets.
How I wish I could've taken 500 million pictures inside this building. I didn't see many people get told (people who are not from the US actually do follow rules), but I did see some random younger people snap some photos of the old graves. Actually, some of the old Asian ladies also like to take secret photos.
Anyway, I've been meaning to go to Westminster Abbey for most of my life and finally did so on my latest backpacking trip through the British Isles. I've always heard about this place through the the TV and video games. Setting foot into this historic place was gratifying.
I didn't realize before but this place is pretty much a huge indoor cemetery for really rich and/or important people. I thought it was just some huge, beautiful church. Lots of royalty are kept here (endless amounts of kings/queens/princes/princesses) with tombs that are worth more than your pension.
I think the most interesting thing to see Sir Isaac Newton's grave. You can't miss it since it's pretty much in the middle of the first section you walk through. We wouldn't be able to walk around earth (gravity) or do math without him (calculus). There was also the coronation throne which was pretty cool to glance at since some dead white people sat in it a long time ago.
I recommend getting a London Pass if you're exploring London for a few days--definitely worth it when you get to be in the fast track line. Westminster Abbey is for sure one of my favorite tourist things to do in London.
Holy F, this place is huge. Now due to renovations and time we didnt get to see the interior but the exterior is an architecture fans dream. I couldnt even get the whole thing in the sight of my camera. So I spend a lot of the time just staring at it in my own field of vision in awe. To get up close and see the details of the work, especially the main entrance is also incredible. I think I could have spend a whole day just checking the craftwork put into it. Often the monuments to religion and ruler are great and this is an exceptional adherence to that rule.
Westminster Abbey is one of those must see places when visiting London, right? We visited on a Sunday so we weren't able to go inside (insert sad face) but all those amazing Gothic architectural elements on the exterior made up for it. The structure is just striking and absolutely worth a visit, even if its just to see the outside.
I passed up on the opportunity to explore Westminster Abbey since I was short on time and did not want to pay the admission fee but I did get the opportunity to admire the beautiful architecture from the outside. This is a really big building and holds lots of famous dead people and royals. There is a smaller and free entrance church right next (St. Margaret) that you can check out. Great tourist spot and just a quick walk away from House of Parliament and Big Ben.
I've been to London a number of times and always admired Westminster Abbey from the outside. I was, quite frankly, reluctant to pay the £36 family rate to finally enter the abbey and see it from the inside. But as I was with my young daughter on her very first trip to Europe, decided to suck it up and create a memory. Boy am I glad I did.
We spent a couple of hours walking through the interior listening to Jeremy Irons audio tour (included in your entry rate). We admired the Gothic architecture that dates back ~1000 years to the Normans. Saw the coronation chair and the spot where Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne in 1952. Saw the tombs of various kings and queens of Britain and other giants of both British and World History - Sir Issac Newton, Charles Darwin and the like. In poets' corner - Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Sir Lawrence Olivier, Jane Austen, etc... Memorials to Winston Churchill, FDR, countless British military heroes and the tomb of the unknown soldier.
The awe that's inspired standing in the same room with history and the curiosity it inspired in my daughter alone was well worth the cost of admission.
My partner somehow learned about the Christmas Carol Service at Westminster Abbey. It's a free event, however tickets must be ordered and it is a first-come first-serve process. On the opening day (18 November), we got our tickets booked early, and they were "sold out" by mid-day.
I am so glad we got our tickets, because (despite the horrible weather on 23 December) to be in the Abbey at night was exciting enough, yet to then have a beautiful service of carols, 16th Century Latin hymns and stories made the night magical.
I really enjoyed the part where each person helped their neighbour light their personal candle, and the lights in the Abbey were dimmed. It took you back to the days when all they had were candles.
Next year: be sure to get those tickets before they go!
Pretty expensive to visit like most tourist attractions in London (£18 to visit a location that takes 1-2hours). Completely worthwhile to visit though. Take time to chat to some of the volunteers and definitely use the free audio guide. Don't miss the tombs in and near the Lady Chapel, the tomb of the unknown warrior and the coronation throne. An incredible place full of British history.
I was a little disappointed in Westminster Abbey. Perhaps it was due to having gone to St. Paul's Cathedral first. St. Paul's was clear on it's mission as a church. Sadly, based on the talk by the tour guide, Westminster seems more about being a tomb with the graves of many famous people as well an edifice to glorify the monarchy. You could quickly lose sight of the fact that it is a church. With all the tombs, the nave is very cluttered and, frankly, takes away from the majesty of the building. That being said, the building is so rich with history and is indeed impressive architecturally that it is a must see in London.
TOMBS AND MEMORIALS GALORE!! =X
Okay, so the Westminster Abbey is much more than what is stated above. There's so much history within these walls, and is absolutely breathtaking.
I WASN'T SUPPOSE TO BE HERE
The boyfriend and I made plans last minute to spend a day in London, because flying standby on a flight from Paris to SFO would be damn near impossible. So, we decided to take our chances to the Heathrow airport in London (turns out we had a much better chance). The boyfriend lived in the UK for a year, so he knew exactly where to take me. Thank goodness because I wasn't prepared (I usually have a list of things I want to see and do).
A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
After walking through London's shopping area, past the Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, we found ourselves in front of the beautiful Westminster Abbey. After buying our tickets and getting our headphones and device for the audio tour, I stood still, looking around to take in what I was about to walk through. The ceilings were high, and the architecture was as beautiful as can be. I took a deep breath in and smiled, I am so blessed to be here!
As you make your way around the Westminster Abbey, there will be a handful of names/people you'll recognize, and an even bigger handful of names/people you will not recognized. But you're here for the experience, so take the time to appreciate the beautiful tombs and memorials. My favorite memorial had to have been Isaac Newton's (it's the nerd in me). I ran up to his memorial and stared at it for a good 3-5 minutes to take in the beautiful artwork. Oh, and take some time to look down because there are memorials and tombs beneath your feet as well! It was a little creepy knowing that I was walking over someone's tomb. =X
My visit here was definitely worth my time because of all the history that has made it's home inside this massive work of art. There's so much to see, and so much to appreciate and learn about. Please, take your time in here and don't rush through it!
Westminster Abbey is beautiful! It is full of gothic architecture, which My wife and I love! When you look at the details of a building like this and look at our modern architecture you can see how it declines as time passes. It is pretty crazy that you have to pay a fee to get in, but it is so worth it! Wish I can go back and visit soon... If you go to London, make sure to stop by and see the beauty of this place!
Warning: the Abbey is freezing, at least it was when we visited in December. It's neat and I'm not much into religious monuments being an agnostic, but the best thing about it was the Poet's corner where all my English hero-writers are memorialized from Jane Austen to the Bronte sisters.
Do yourself a favor and get the audio guide. It'll explain everything in (sometimes excruciating) detail but you'll get a full sense of the Abbey and it's purpose.
Westminster Abbey: where kings and queens have been coronated since 1066, where William and Kate got married, where many of England's greats (kings, queens, nobles) have been laid to rest (Elizabeth I, Mary, etc.)
Stand in awe of it's majesty and historical significance. Pretty crowded when we went. No pictures inside.
This was the highlight of my short trip to London. Totally fascinating to me to learn the rich history behind the Abbey. Amazing piece of British history. We have nothing like this in the States.
We took the self guided audio tour, which is good if you like to go at your own pace. We didn't know about the Verger led tour, I would have rather done this one. Next time.
Learning about the Kings and Queens, Priests, and others that have been laid to rest here, well it was truly fascinating. I spent a good 2 hours walking around each and every corner, listening to the audio over and over again, and then I retraced my steps a couple times, just to visit it again. We were treated to the choir at the end of our tour, and to learn about the school, it's pretty impressive.
Admission was £18, and afterward someone had given us a tip to go during mass hours, and you won't have to pay admission.
What an amazing place. I would highly recommend that you spend the extra 3 pounds and get the verger tour. You will get amazing behind the scene access that the regular admission will not allow. For instance you will see the inner part of the Abbey where the monks would sit and where the queen has her seat...amazing you can see her pillow.
For me to see all of the monuments and all of the kings and queens buried here is priceless. I would highly recommend.
The Abbey was absolutely incredible! The artistry is truly magnificent and very impressive. It's really hard to describe the centuries of hard work and craftsmanship that have gone into this historic church. I really enjoyed seeing the tombs and memorials of past royalty. My wife especially loved the Poets Corner, home to Chaucer, Elliot, Kipling, Austen, Dickens, and many many more. No trip to London is complete without visiting Westminster Abbey, even at £18 a person.
Those visiting London should certainly stop by Westminster Abbey, a famous church, where many of the English nobility are buried at, including Elizabeth and Mary, the Black Prince, and others. The tour guide gives a wonderful history of the people buried here, and even provides a softer and more human side of King Edward of Braveheart fame. The Duke of Wellington has a monument here also, and even Cornwallis, the general who lost the American Revolution! There's a monument here for him, but no one talks about him ^)^ Westminster Abbey is a holy place, but also a wonderful site of history, timelessness, and the past come alive!
Walking through Westminster abbey on the self guided tour allowed me to fully comprehend the magnitude of this building. Besides holding weekly services, this is the final resting place to some very important figures in British history.
The church is absolutely gorgeous and its no wonder its been the backdrop for some of the most famous British events-coronations, royal weddings and funerals.
Tip: if you're wanting to save around £18, visit during mass hours.
TAKE THE VERGER TOUR.
That's my main thing to say about Westminster Abbey. I've been many times over the years and twice have taken the Verger tour. It's a few extra ££ and only runs a few times a day, but WOW. You get to see so much more and you get to learn a lot too. Take some time to wander on your own as well, but those Vergers know their stuff and you'll get access to places the regular public crowds don't get to go.
Another tip: if you don't have the time or the extra money for a tour, come for a service. Even if you're not religious, you'll be able to sit down and enjoy the beauty of the place. I really enjoy the Evensong services. Beautiful music in a beautiful place.
Full of history and absolutely beautiful! We were lucky enough to get in to see the choir perform. There weren't any photos allowed inside, but I was able to sneak in a couple selfies to try to capture the grandness of it all. I would love to do the audio tour next time.
Beautiful beautiful beautiful!!! What a great place... Lots of history here and is very picturesque. London must see...
Things to see: Tombs/burials/memorials of William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, kings, and queens. No photos/videos allowed. Beautiful ceilings and sculptures. Loved it!
A gorgeous, glorious accretion of wealth and display of power - Westminster Abbey is definitely a "don't miss" and best visited earliest in the morning before hordes of tourists descend upon the place.
It's not terribly well ventilated and despite the soaring ceilings, gets warm and stuffy - and feels a bit claustrophobic as everyone nudges and bustles around trying to listen to their audio tour device while gawping at statues, ceilings and memorials.
Try to get there out side of peak tourist season or peak visiting hours and you may find it a more relaxing, rewarding experience.
Very Gothic in structure, with all of the columns, intricacies, gargoyles... Do I sound like an architect yet? Because that's about all of the terms I know. Nonetheless, it's beautiful and a must see.
The self- guided tour is a must. If you're paying 16-20 pounds, you need a little guidance for this enormous church. It's expensive, but very much worth it. Plan to spend a few hours here. There is so much to see, and you don't want to miss any of it.
Lots of famous Kings, Queens, authors, and other English people are buried here. My favorite part was Poet's Corner, where many famous authors are buried. As an aspiring writer, this impressed me just as much as the tombs for royalty.
No photography allowed (unless you can get away with it!). They watch you like a hawk, so beware if you are able to sneak a picture. Those English don't mess around with their history!
Be a tourist, check it out. Even if you're not a history buff (as I am not), you will be enamored with the beauty of the Abbey.
The building itself is spectacular on both the historical and architectural levels.
We got in with a London pass, but the cost (without one) is ~ 18 pounds per adult, which is fairly steep.
The queue, on a Monday morning just at the 9:30 a.m. opening time, was about 30 minutes long. Inside, you shuffle through in a sort of tourist conga line, without much opportunity to pause and reflect. The audio guide is good, but they don't always display the numbers prominently at the points of interest.
I only gave 4 stars as I had a much better experience touring the cathedral 20 years ago.
It is a pity they don't allow photography inside, but I can sympathize with this (I'd get sick of people violating the 'no flash' rules if that were allowed).
Well worth seeing, but expect a crowd.
Westminster Abbey is a beautiful, historical church with the most incredible architecture.
During our short visit to London I knew that we were arriving too late on Saturday afternoon to visit the church and that the church was closed on Sunday for services. Luckily, I read in my Rick Steves Travel Guide that there is a free 30 minute organ performance every Sunday at 5:45pm that is open to the public.
We weren't able to see as much of the church as I would have liked, but we were able to sit in the nave of the church and admire the pretty stained glass and altar as we listened to the most amazing organ performance. Did I mention the entry was free?!?! By attending the organ performance we were able to avoid the hefty 18 pounds entry fee.
As much as I would have loved to have seen the gardens and museum at Westminster Abbey I felt that the organ performance was very special. See Westminster's music schedule: westminster-abbey.org/mu…
My boyfriend and I visited Westminster Abbey with our London Pass. We arrived about thirty minutes prior to opening and joined a long queue. Mercifully the queue moved quickly as soon as the doors opened.
I can't imagine that the abbey is never not busy, but once the large tour groups began to arrive (about an hour into opening) it was chaos. Hands down, this was the busiest and most congested place that we visited in London.
The abbey has a great audio tour. It's filled with information. Tip- when using it, pick a quiet spot and stand still, look at the object after. There were so many people using the audio tours and not paying attention. I was constantly having other visitors bumping into me. The floor is uneven in many places, so in general, pay close attention to your surroundings.
The Abbey itself is amazing and awe-inspiring. It is so ornate that it is quite an overwhelming experience.
We were let down a bit as we didn't realize that a lot of the famous names on the "tombs" are not actually buried at the Abbey. Some very famous people are, but a lot are not. It's not very clear who is and who isn't. I wish that I had read up on the Abbey prior to visiting and knew what to expect.
Overall, this is a London must-do. Go prepared to deal with the crowds and allow yourself two hours to full explore the abbey.
Got thrown out because i was taking a picture without knowing it was forbidden. The vicar yelled at me instead of being calm, everyone was looking at me, he was yelling at me still. Anyway I told him to take another tone, as I was paying, he didn't need to be so mean. He still yelled, I told him to go f*** himself , I asked for a refund and got the hell out, oh sorry I mean they threw me out.
Anyway i got to keep my picture, but it's blurry because that stupid and disrespectful man jumped me from behind.
Cool visit, very short for me like 5 minutes after waiting 30 outside.
Those five minutes were great , very cool abbey , shame I only saw a bit of it .
Why did it take me so long to get here? I guess that when you live in a city with no expectation of a time period, it's easy to keep putting 'tourist' visits off. I finally made it here with friends who were visiting from New York.
The queues were not bad at all, it probably took about 5 minutes to get inside. We picked up audio tours and started our walk around the abbey. It's a surprisingly large space with the usual layout and lots of nooks and crannies with interesting stuff in it. I especially love Newton's tomb and the tombs of Mary I and ELizabeth I, half sisters so close to each other in death while in life they held such opposing religious views.
Parts of the Abbey are quite small and can get crowded, so probably not always suitable for anyone with claustrophobia!
It is fascinating, absolutely steeped in history and very well explained on the audio tour.
We got into Westminster Abbey with our London Passes. The line outside looked long, but took all of 10 minutes. And inside it was crowded, but fascinating.
Entry includes an audio tour. This tour was quite thorough (in all we spent about 2 hours here), but allowed us to easily choose what to listen to, when we wanted. I felt that I was given access to every part of the Abbey I wanted to see, and was given information and told stories about these parts. My feet started to ache many points along the way, and I was almost always able to find a seat or a place to lean. Meaning, the site is aware of its visitors' needs, and is not stuffy about people leaning on the walls.
Warning: The lines for the bathroom are long. Be sure to keep the printed ticket they give you as certain attractions within Westminster Abbey are technically outside of it and you'll need to show the ticket to get back in.
Total bummer: No pictures allowed! I so wanted a picture in Poet's Corner but was unable to take one.
The place itself is amazing. With a student card, you can enter for just 15 pounds, and you get to see the tombs of Isaac Newton, Darwin, and King Henry inside. You also get a full audio tour with what you pay to enter. The tour itself in total takes about 1.5 hours, so I would recommend your coming here early as the place does get quite crowded. On Thursday especially, this place is only open to visitors from 2-3:30 PM, leaving you hardly any time to waste. I was impressed by the kind of investment into this abbey and the fact that it is home to history greats such as Newton, Handel, Clementi etc. Highly recommend you to not only visit the outside but also come in to see the inside abbey and the cloisters.
Absolutely phenomenal landmark!! We took another private tour and this was just the way to go! See the final resting places of Queen Elizabeth I and her sister Queen Mary. See the tomb of Mary Queen of Scots. See the place where William and Kate married! And where every single King or Queen of England has been crowned since 1066!! History doesn't get much better than this!!
One of the most well known buildings in the entire world. The carving, intricate design, buttressed columns, gargoyles, interred heros/royalty, and some very significant and special historical items.
This is a one of a kind place. There are very few places of such significance the world over, that are still in regular use.
Pro Tip: Pay the fee and go enjoy this place. This was one of my favorite things to have stopped at while in London. The sound tour is worth it to learn the historical significance of many different parts of this place.
My favorite thing to see inside was a rickety old wooden seat that every queen and king of England has been crowned upon for hundreds of years. That is a pretty special thing.
There is a special sight around every corner, above and below it as well. It is something new at every turn.
I cant more highly suggest going here. It is well well worth a few hours to a half day at least to view this place. It is definitely special.
This place holds a very special memory for me...and no it's not a religious one! As a child growing up in London this is one of the places that inspired my love for history and architecture. I was in complete awe of the sheer brilliance of architecture and as I stood looking at the tombs for Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scotts, I was enthused to learn the history behind these two women.
Today as an adult, having been to the Abbey many times, I am still in awe of the Anglo- French Gothic Architecture and every time I visit, my childhood memory sparks a renewed interest in exploring further history of the people who once ruled, fought, revered, built, this land called England.
On my second visit here I took the audio tour (narrated by Jeremy Irons) it is useful if you don't know much about British history or the Abbey. Now I just forgo it and explore on my own. If you are visiting here for the very first time I would recommend you take the Verger Led tour -it is worth the extra few quid (British pounds) very informative and enjoyable, it also gives you the opportunity to visit some of sites that are otherwise off limits to the public due to their fragile state and undergoing restoration.
Along with the great kings and queens of the country also buried here are scientists, writers, actors, and poets too (Elizabeth I, Edward the Confessor, Henry VII, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Lawrence Olivier, William Shakespeare ... way too many to list but a must see!) .
Be sure to visit the Chapels, Rooms, Cloisters, Quire, Shrines, Organ, Tombs, Chapter house, and Poets Corner leaving time to walk the grounds too. The interior is absolutely stunning and the stained glass windows spectacular.
* Check times for their hours (they are not open all day)
* Get there early to beat the crowds
* The Verger led tour is about 1hr 45mins - so plan to come for at least 3hrs
* There is a snack food shop
* Like many historic places in London, the NO PHOTO POLICY is in full swing here (you can take pictures outside but not of the inside)
* There is a gift shop for souvenirs -the only memorable thing I took away from here was a jar of their Blackcurrant Jam with Sloe Gin- very yummy!
This place continues to be history in progress (more recently the Abbey held the funeral of Princess Diana), if you like architecture, history or churches, then take the time to come here and explore the grounds, view the effigies, admire the architecture and revel in the history that is held within the walls of Westminster Abbey.
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