Things to do in London

Visit London’s historic landmark – Westminster Abbey

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Westminster Abbey is a large Gothic church in the city of Westminster, England, and is one of the country’s most important religious buildings. Legend has it that a group of Benedictine monks came to this site and established a tradition of daily worship during the times of the Bishop Mellitus. However, Westminster Abbey truly came into the limelight in 1605 when Edward the Confessor set up his throne here, where he was eventually buried along with his wife. Construction of the present day church began on the orders of King Henry III, who was also later buried here.

The Westminster Abbey history runs wide and deep, as all coronations of British and English monarchs took place at at the church, right from that of William the Conqueror. What is even more special about Westminster Abbey is that it is a ‘Royal Peculiar’, which means that, as neither an abbey or a cathedral, it is responsible directly to the sovereign. This iconic monument is a landmark, and a must-visit for all tourists in England.

Westminster Abbey in a Nutshell

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM | Saturday - 9 AM to 1 PM (9 AM - 3 PM between May-Aug)

P.S. please note that the site is closed on Sundays.

Know before you go

Best time to visit - The best time to visit the religious site is early morning, so you can visit the London Eye and the parliament buildings located right next to it
Starting Prices for Westminster Abbey Tickets - £24
Location - London, United Kingdom


20 Deans Yd, London SW1P 3PA, United Kingdom
Get there

Why Visit Westminster Abbey

westminster abbey

Westminster Abbey is a very special landmark for several reasons – it is the burial site of over 3,300 significant contributors to world history. These include 17 monarchs, scientists, poets, historians, writers, and even dancers. Will and Kate walked down the aisle at this gorgeous wedding location, as did at least 15 other royal couples, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Edward.

Other exclusive sights at Westminster include the Coronation Chair, created for King Edward I in 1296, and Poet’s Corner, the burial site of many famous poets and writers. With its exquisite stained glass and stunning Gothic architecture, and its location next to popular London tourist destinations like Westminster Palace, there’s a very good reason Westminster Abbey is visited by over a million people every year!

Westminster Abbey Tickets - Which One Should You Buy?

The Westminster Abbey is a favourite among tourists and locals alike, as it IS the perfect way to end a day with a dose of history and fun. Hence, long waiting lines are natural. Here are the top rated Westminster Abbey tickets you can buy, so you can save time and dime:

Westminster Abbey: Architecture

The present-day church was built by King Henry III, supervised by masons Henry of Reyns, John of Gloucester, and Robert of Beverley. Influenced by the cathedrals at Reims, Amiens, and Chartres, the masons borrowed the ideas of an apse with radiating chapels. They also used characteristic Gothic features of pointed arches, awe-inspiring ribbed vaulted ceilings, 100-feet-long cloisters, and flying buttresses to design this astonishing structure. The Abbey also has the highest Gothic vault in England – nearly 102 feet!

West Minister's Abbey

The chapter house of Westminster Abbey, described as ‘a structure perfect in itself’ by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (the last architect who worked on the structure in the 1870s), is adorned with beautiful stained glass, tiled medieval flooring, and fascinating wall paintings of angels in the heads of the arches. Though Westminster has undergone several renovations in recent times to allow its glorious structures to survive, the inherent beauty and enigma of this historical site has not diminished in the slightest. If anything, these additions and restorations have allowed it to retain its status as an architectural masterpiece.

Westminster Abbey Interiors

Westminster Abbey is one of the most iconic and impressive churches in London. Inside, its grand interiors are awe-inspiring and filled with centuries of history. The Gothic nave features decorative stained glass windows, intricately carved stone columns, and domed ceilings that reach up to 30 metres high. There are also numerous monuments and memorials to British royalty and famous figures throughout the abbey. The Quire features a magnificent display of medieval wood carvings, while the Chapter House is renowned for its stunning vaulted ceilings and ancient murals. Other notable interiors include the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, which is one of the oldest parts of Westminster Abbey, and the Coronation Theatre, where British monarchs have been crowned since 1066. There is also the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor, which houses a holy relic to one of England's patron saints. These breathtaking interiors are sure to provide visitors with an awe-inspiring experience.

Westminster Abbey Burials - Who is Buried Here?

Westminster Abbey has long been a prominent site for burials of powerful and influential people throughout history. Founded in 960 AD, the abbey was home to royal coronations and many funerals of English monarchs, starting with Edward the Confessor in 1066. Royalty aside, Westminster Abbey also became known as a burial place for poets, politicians, scientists and other notable figures.

The abbey is home to the final resting places of Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens and Geoffrey Chaucer. Other prominent individuals buried at Westminster Abbey include Oliver Cromwell, Lawrence Olivier, William Pitt the Elder and Winston Churchill. The burial sites also feature memorials for famous figures who were cremated and their ashes scattered, such as John Lennon.

Top things to see at Westminster Abbey

1The Coronation Chair

Religious Site

Made by the order of King Edward I to enclose the mysterious sandstone Stone of Scone, this oaken chair adorned with patterns of foliage, birds and animals has been used in coronation ceremonies since 1308. The Stone of Scone, according to legend, was the one upon which Jacob rested his head at Bethel. After being passed from country to country, it eventually ended up in Perthshire, and has been an object of veneration to the Scots for centuries. Today, the stone can be viewed at Edinburgh Castle. The Coronation chair is viewed and visited by tourists around the world. It even has graffiti at the back, carved in by Westminster schoolboys, and visitors in the 18th and 19th centuries.

westminster abbey - things to do

2Poets' Corner

Religious Site

Poets’ Corner is the name given to the south transept of Westminster Abbey, in honor of the number of poets, writers, and playwrights buried there. The first poet to be interred here was Geoffrey Chaucer, writer of The Canterbury Tales. Writers buried here include Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and Alfred Tennyson, while those memorialized include Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, and Lewis Carroll. The latest poet to to be commemorated at Westminster Abbey was Philip Larkin, on December 2 2016.

westminster abbey - things to do

3Abbey Bells

Religious Site

While the Abbey initially constructed in 1065 by Edward the Confessor may have had bells, the first recorded information about the existence of these was found in 1230. Today, there are ten bells, which are generally rung at major church festivals, saints' days, Royal and Abbey anniversaries, civic events, and for special services.

westminster abbey - things to do

4Westminster Abbey Bells

Religious Site

Located in the 11th century vaulted undercroft, this is one of the oldest areas of the Abbey, and can be dated back to the Norman foundations of the structure in 1065. Since the museum’s inception in 1905, the exhibits here have included a unique collection of royal and other funeral effigies, medieval glass panels, 12th-century sculpture fragments, Mary II's coronation chair and replicas of the coronation regalia.

westminster abbey - things to do

5Westminster Abbey Burials

Religious Site

The Westminster Abbey is an iconic landmark in London and its burial grounds are among some of the most important in Britain. The abbey has been the final resting place for many royals, famous literary figures, politicians and many other influential people throughout history. Among those buried in the abbey include Queen Elizabeth I, Charles Dickens, Isaac Newton, and Geoffrey Chaucer.

Westminster Abbey London
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Plan Your Visit

Westminster Abbey Opening Hours

Westminster Abbey is open from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, from Monday to Friday. And 9 am to 1 pm (9 am to 3 pm from May to August) every Saturday

Getting to the Westminster Abbey

By Bus
11, 24, 88, 148 and 211 pass the entrance. 3, 12, 53, 53X, 87, 88, 109, 159 and 453 stop close enough for you to walk to the Abbey.

By Tube
The nearest stations are St. James's Park (District and Circle lines) and Westminster (Circle, District and Jubilee lines)

By Train
The nearest train stations are Victoria and Waterloo.

Best Time To Visit Westminster Abbey

While there is no perfect time to visit Westminster Abbey - it's an established fact that the crowds are least early in the morning. Ideally, it's also the best time to catch views in the early light of day.

Insider tips for visiting Westminster Abbey

  • Since Westminster Abbey is located near the parliament buildings and the London Eye, be sure to arrive early, so that you can pay a visit to the surrounding attractions as well.
  • The Abbey is not open to visitors on Sundays, but you can join a service instead, or view a concert or special organ recital.
  • Comfortable shoes are recommended as much of the floor and steps of the Abbey are uneven.
  • While there is no strictly enforced dress code, please note that the Abbey is a place of worship, and it is better to be dressed modestly.
  • It is recommended that people using wheelchairs enter through the North Door.
  • Guide dogs are allowed at the Abbey.
  • Unfortunately, photography and videography are not allowed inside the Abbey.

Thing to do near near Westminster Abbey

Here are some top attractions which are located near Westminster Abbey, that you should add to your itinerary.

Restaurants Near Westminster Abbey

westminster abbey
Peers' Dining Room at the House of Lords

This restaurant, is only open to the public when the parliament is not in session - talk about exclusive. Known for excellent food, service, and interiors - what else do you really need? Head to this restaurant for a meal right away!

westminster abbey
Westminster Arms

While the biggest advantage for this restaurant is that it's close to Westminster Abbey - it's also quite nearly the best place to crack open a cold beer and relax with your friends after a long day of sightseeing and tourist-ing.

westminster abbey
Cellarium Cafe

Often termed as a 'great spot for lunch' - you can come here after your visit to the Abbey, for got it...great lunch! In fact, the restaurant also offers a bunch of vegan and gluten-free options.

westminster abbey
St. Stephen's Tavern

If you're looking for a 'traditional English pub' experience - you're at the right place. Beer, fish and chips and a relaxed night out with the people you love. That's life.

westminster abbey
Ma La Sichuan

For when you want to tingle your taste buds and go all out with Chinese food...this is the place to be. With insane reviews, this restaurant might just be the next best must-visit after Westminster Abbey!


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