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Westminster Abbey

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Westminster Abbey has a long history of association with the British Royal Family, being the location of coronations since William the Conqueror in 1066, and many royal weddings and funerals. See the coronation chair, in use for centuries, marvel at the memorial windows, and discover the great names of British history whose remains are interred in the church.
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London Pass

Combine your trip with access to other top attractions in London and save money with the London Pass.
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London: The London Pass with access to 80+ Attractions
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London: Guided Tour of Houses of Parliament & Westminster
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5 Tips for Visiting the Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey | Photo: Paul Hudson - CC-BY 2.0
A free multimedia guide is available to download in English, British Sign Language, French, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. The English language version is narrated by Jeremy Irons! Bring headphones to listen so that you don’t disturb other visitors.
The London Pass
Entrance to Westminster Abbey is included in the London Pass, so if you’re intending to visit London’s other major attractions such as the London Eye, the Tower of London, or the London Transport Museum then it might save you money to buy the pass rather than a basic ticket.
Remember that the Abbey is a place of prayer and that visitors should behave as you would in any other house of worship. If you want to attend a service then you’re very welcome to do so without any charge, just check the list of services ahead of time. There’s a separate entrance for those who are attending services.
Consider booking a tour with a verger (a person who acts as a caretaker or attendant in a church). Verger tours can only be booked on the day and take up to 90 minutes. Between 4 and 6 tours in English depart every day, and visit parts of the church which aren’t accessible to visitors without a guide.
Interested in listening to religious music in a beautiful space? Consider attending an Evensong service, where the choir will perform. Entrance to services is always free, but queues for Evensong start forming at the Great West Door up to 30 minutes before the service begins so be early for a good seat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s so special about Westminster Abbey?

The earliest report of a church on the site of Westminster Abbey was in the 960s or 970s, but the links between the site and the Royal Family date form 1042 when Edward the Confessor rebuilt the church in the Romanesque style - it was completed a week before his death and he was the first royal to be buried in the church. It was later the site of the coronation of William the Conqueror and has been the site of all the coronations of English monarchs ever since. The current building was begun in 1245 but has been added to throughout the centuries, with the most recent building work completed in 2013. It’s not just been the site of Royal coronations but also weddings, including Queen Elizabeth II’s to Prince Philip and Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton, and funerals, including the Queen Mother and Princess Diana. It’s considered a particular honor to be buried inside Westminster Abbey, with places reserved for national figures from various disciplines. It’s also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Read more.

Why isn’t it a cathedral? And what’s an Abbey?

Westminster Abbey is technically neither an abbey or a cathedral. It’s known as an abbey because it was originally a Benedictine monastic church, with the Abbot of Westminster holding an important position in the House of Lords. On the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1539 he granted it the status of a cathedral instead, which saved the building from being destroyed in the manner that many other convents, monasteries, and abbeys around England were. His Catholic daughter Mary I gave the building back to the Benedictines, but after her death they were kicked out yet again by Elizabeth I, a Protestant. She established the building as a ‘Royal Peculiar’ - a church which answers directly to the monarch rather than to a bishop, and it’s retained that status ever since. Read more.

What's there to see at the abbey?

The abbey is large, with many side chapels and naves to explore. You can find all manner of tombs and memorials in Poets’ Corner, the Lady Chapel, and throughout the main body of the church, and lovers of science and literature will be sure to discover the resting place of one of their heroes. You’ll also see the coronation chair, in which monarchs have been crowned for over 700 years, the Quire, where the choir sings during services, the ancient Pyx chamber, the Chapter House, and the Abbey gardens. For an additional fee, you can visit the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee galleries in the stunning 13th-century triforium of the church, where you can see the abbey’s treasures. These include an illuminated 14th-century guide to coronations, a medieval altarpiece, and the royal marriage license of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Read more.

Who’s buried inside the abbey?

There are more than 3,000 individuals whose remains are interred in Westminster Abbey. Many of England’s monarchs and their consorts were buried in the Abbey, including Henry VII, his granddaughters Mary I and Elizabeth I, James VI (or James I), the first king of both Scotland and England, and Mary, Queen of Scots. Other notable British figures buried in the abbey include Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, and Isaac Newton. Poets’ Corner is mostly home to writers and poets including Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Tennyson, and Laurence Olivier. Poets’ Corner is also home to a memorial stone featuring the names of 16 Great War poets who wrote during World War I. Many other notable figures from British history have memorials in the abbey but are buried elsewhere, some to look out for include Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Winston Churchill, C.S. Lewis, and Oscar Wilde. Oliver Cromwell was originally buried in Westminster Abbey, but after the restoration of the monarchy, his remains were removed and buried in a pit in the nearby St Margaret’s churchyard. Read more.

How long does a visit take?

The length of time required to visit depends on whether you’re using the multimedia guide, taking a tour, or wandering through the space by yourself. A tour with a verger takes 90 minutes, and we’d recommend about the same amount of time if you’re intending to discover everything inside the Abbey and visit the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee galleries. There’s no time limit on how long you can stay inside the church, so you don’t have to rush. Read more.

General Information

Opening Hours:

The Abbey is open from Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm. It’s also open from 4.30 pm to 6 pm on Wednesday afternoons. On Saturdays from May to August, the abbey is open from 9 am to 3 pm, and from September to April it’s open from 9 am to 1 pm. On Sundays, the abbey is only open for church services. Westminster Abbey may also be closed or partially closed on other occasions for services.


Westminster Abbey
20 Deans Yard
London SW1P 3PA


Tickets bought at Westminster Abbey cost £23 for adults, £20 for visitors aged over 60 and students, and £10 for children aged between 6 and 16. Wheelchair users and their companions and children under the age of 5 can enter free of charge. Entrance to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries costs an additional £5 for adults and is free for children under the age of 17.

How to get there:

The closest National Rail stations to Westminster Abbey are London Victoria and London Waterloo. The nearest London Underground stations are Westminster (served by the Jubilee, District, and Circle lines) and St. James’s Park (served by the District and Circle lines). Buses which stop nearby include routes 11, 24, 87, 88, 148, 211, and 761.
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