If you are planning a trip to London, the capital of England, then a visit to the famous Westminster Abbey should absolutely be on your list! The Abbey is a working church and architectural masterpiece.
It was founded more than 1000 years ago as a Benedictine monastery, but Edward the Confessor rebuilt Westminster Abbey in 1065. The Gothic building you see today was built by Henry III.
The Westminster Abbey is known to millions of people all over the world from coverage on TV, being the venue of coronations, funerals and royal weddings. This year a famous wedding will take place at Westminster Abbey: Prince William of Wales and Miss Katy Middleton will marry at the Abbey on Friday 29 April 2011.
The church is truly a unique place, bringing a tradition of worship and rich history. The Abbey is the final resting place for famous monarchs like Edward I, Henry III, Henry V and Henry VII, Elizabeth I, Bloody Mary and Mary Queen of Scots.
Furthermore, famous politicians, scientists and musicians like Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin are remembered in Westminster Abbey. In the Poets’ Corner you will find memorials for William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and many others.
Westminster Abbey Gardens
Originally Westminster was built as a monastery and therefore you will see beautiful green spaces, where you can relax. There are three gardens within Westminster Abbey: College Garden, the Garth and the Little Cloister.
Location and Transport
You can find Westminster Abbey in the center of London, close to the Houses of Parliament and the world famous Big Ben.
The best way to travel to the Abbey is using public transport. The stations St James’s Park (District and Circle Lines) and Westminster (Jubilee, District & Circle Lines) are all close to Westminster Abbey. The regular red London buses also stop close to the church.
On weekdays Westminster Abbey is open from 09:30 AM until 3:30 PM. On Wednesdays the Abbey closes at 6:00 PM. On Saturdays you can visit the church from 09:30 AM until 1:45 PM. Westminster Abbey closes one hour after the last admission.
The Abbey is a working church. There is a full day of worship on Sunday and there are services every day. Always check for the latest times, because the church may be closed.
There are tours in Westminster Abbey available in English and you can listen to audio guides in English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Japanese. The English-language tour is narrated by the Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons.
Adults pay 16 GBP to visit Westminster Abbey. People over 60 and students showing a valid student card get 3 GBP discount. The admission charge for schoolchildren between 11 and 18 years old is 6 GBP, while kids under 11 years old, accompanied by an adult, can enter the church for free.
People with a restricted sight, hearing or mobility can still enjoy Westminster Abbey. People using a wheelchair and their carers do not have to pay an admission charge. Visitors should enter via the North Door, where there is a small ramped step.
Special rates apply to families, groups and schools
After your visit to Westminster Abbey, you will find a wide selection of gifts, books, postcards and souvenirs in the Westminster Abbey Shop.
Other London articles
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