bentoninn Destination Westminster Abbey: How to Plan Your Visit

Westminster Abbey: How to Plan Your Visit

Westminster Abbey: How to Plan Your Visit post thumbnail image

Immerse yourself in centuries of history and architectural splendor at Westminster Abbey, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in the heart of London. From royal coronations to literary legacies, this iconic landmark beckons visitors with its storied past and captivating beauty.

Quick Jumplinks

  • A Glimpse into History
  • Architectural Marvels
  • A Place of Honor: Royal Tombs and Monuments
  • Attractions And Food Options Nearby
  • Accommodations Near The Abbey
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Westminster Abbey: In A Nutshell

Location: Westminster Abbey is located in the heart of London, England, in the City of Westminster and the address is 20 Deans Yd, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, United Kingdom.

How to Get There:

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

By Bus: Numerous bus routes serve the area around Westminster Abbey.

By Train: The nearest train station is London Victoria, which is about a 15-minute walk away.

Timings: Open to visitors Monday to Saturday from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, with varying closing times depending on the day and season.

It is closed to visitors on Sundays, except for worship services.

Hotels Nearby:

The Ritz London

Stratton House Hotel & Spa

Important Advice:

Respect Dress Code: As Westminster Abbey is a place of worship, visitors are expected to dress modestly, with no bare shoulders or knees.

Guided Tours: Consider taking a guided tour to learn more about the history and significance of the abbey.

Photography Restrictions: Note that photography is not permitted inside the abbey.

Check for Closures: Before planning your visit, check for any closures or restricted access due to special events or ceremonies.

The abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a working church, hosting regular services and special events.

Visitors can explore the abbey’s stunning architecture, royal tombs, and monuments, including the Poets’ Corner.

A Glimpse into History

Westminster Abbey traces its origins back to the 10th century when King Edward the Confessor founded a Benedictine monastery on Thorney Island. Over the centuries, it evolved from a modest monastery to a grand collegiate church, witnessing the coronations, royal weddings, and burials of many kings and queens of England.

Westminster Abbey has been the setting for countless royal occasions, including coronations and weddings. From the coronation ceremonies of Edward III to the recent nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the abbey’s hallowed halls have echoed with the solemnity and splendour of these momentous events.

Architectural Marvels

Step through the imposing Great West Door and marvel at the abbey’s intricate Gothic-style architecture. Admire the stunning stained glass windows, intricately carved choir stalls, and the majestic High Altar. Explore the intricacies of the Chapter House, where historic decisions were once made, and gaze in awe at the King Henry VII Chapel, a masterpiece of Perpendicular Gothic design.

Westminster Abbey Architecture

Pay homage to literary giants at Poets’ Corner, where the likes of Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, and William Shakespeare are commemorated. Wander through the abbey grounds and discover the burial places of monarchs like Henry V and Elizabeth I, as well as the poignant Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, a symbol of sacrifice and remembrance.

A Place of Honor: Royal Tombs and Monuments

Within the sacred confines of Westminster Abbey lie the final resting places of many kings, queens, and prominent figures in British history. The Henry VII Chapel, a masterpiece of Perpendicular Gothic style, houses the tomb of its namesake king, along with his wife Elizabeth of York. Other notable burials include Edward III, Richard II, Henry V, and Queen Elizabeth I. The Abbey also holds the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, a poignant tribute to the fallen soldiers of World War I.

1714731923 410 Westminster Abbey How to Plan Your Visit | bentoninn

Respecting Education and Legacy

Adjacent to Westminster Abbey stands Westminster School, an esteemed institution with a rich history dating back to its founding by King Henry VIII in 1560. However, it was King Henry III who laid the foundation for the school’s establishment centuries earlier. In 1540, Henry III re-founded the former Benedictine monastery of Westminster as a collegiate church, paving the way for the creation of the School and solidifying its enduring connection to the abbey.

Westminster School continues to uphold the history of its royal patronage while serving as a beacon of academic excellence for future generations.

Attractions And Food Options Nearby

Near Westminster Abbey, visitors can explore a plethora of attractions steeped in history and culture, including the iconic Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, just a stone’s throw away. The bustling streets of Westminster offer an array of dining options, from traditional British pubs serving hearty pub grub to upscale restaurants offering gourmet cuisine.

For a taste of local flavor, visitors can indulge in classic fish and chips or savor a traditional afternoon tea experience at one of the nearby cafes. Additionally, the vibrant South-bank area along the River Thames beckons with its lively atmosphere, street performers, and charming riverside eateries, providing the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll after a day of sightseeing.

Accommodations Near Westminster Abbey

For those seeking luxury accommodations near Westminster Abbey, prestigious hotels such as The Ritz London, The Savoy, and The Corinthia Hotel offer amazing rooms, impeccable service, and great amenities. These five-star establishments provide an unparalleled experience in the heart of London’s historic district, with convenient access to Westminster Abbey and other iconic landmarks.

The Ritz London
Credits: The Ritz London

Alternatively, budget-conscious travellers can opt for affordable accommodations in the vicinity, include hotels like Travelodge London Central Waterloo, and Stratton House Hotel & Spa.

FAQs

Can visitors attend worship services at Westminster Abbey?

Yes, visitors can attend worship services, but it’s primarily a place of worship and may have restricted access during services.

Are there audio guides available for self-guided tours at Westminster Abbey?

Yes, audio guides are available for self-guided tours at Westminster Abbey, providing additional insights into its history and significance.

Is there wheelchair access to Westminster Abbey?

Yes, the Abbey offers wheelchair access to most areas, including ramps and lifts for accessibility.

Are there any special events or exhibitions held at Westminster Abbey throughout the year?

Yes, the Abbey hosts special events and exhibitions throughout the year, including concerts, lectures, and temporary exhibitions showcasing its rich history and cultural significance.

Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 03 May 2024

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