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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 27 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Sarah Barrell

Despite religious wars and changing affiliations through the centuries, Westminster Abbey has been the traditional place of royal coronations, and the resting place of monarchs – since William the Conqueror arrived in 1066. In recent times, the Abbey has hosted the funeral of Princess Diana and the royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

The current building was built on the orders of King Henry III in 1245. It has also become a final resting place for prominent citizens – poets, actors, scientists and military leaders. It contains the remains of 3,300 notables, including 16 monarchs and 8 Prime Ministers.

Today, you can see the Coronation Chair, a throne where all British monarchs (bar two) have been crowned since 1066, Henry VII’s chapel, and towers built by Sir Christopher Wren and his protege, Nicholas Hawksmoor. You can pay your respects to the British pillar of science, Sir Isaac Newton. Poets’ Corner, in the South Transept, is a shrine to Britain’s most famous poets and writers, many of whom are buried or commemorated here. The tradition started when Geoffrey Chaucer, the father of English Literature, was interred here.

Especially for under 13s

The Abbey has put together a family trail to help children discover and learn about the Abbey, and they get a special badge from the shop on the way out. There’s also a trail for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries – but you will need to purchase a separate ticket for this.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The nearest Underground station is Westminster (Circle, District and Jubilee Lines). Visiting the abbey to pray or attend a service is free, but you’ll need a ticket to see its museum, cloisters, gardens and St Margaret’s Church annexe.

Tickets come with an excellent free audio tour. Verger-led tours are also possible, covering the shrine of St Edward the Confessor, the Royal Tombs, Poets’ Corner, the Cloisters and Nave.

When to do it

The abbey is open all year round, seven days a week. Sunday is open for worship only. One of the most memorable times to visit is during a service, notably evensong, when you can see how the building’s acoustics help inspire religious epiphanies.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Westminster Walking Tour & Westminster Abbey Entry

London

Westminster Walking Tour & Westminster Abbey Entry
Explore London’s famous Westminster Area (Buckingham Palace, Westminster & Big Ben & 20 other top sights!) on a 3 hour walking tour. Then visit Westminster Abbey, which is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings. Start with a walking tour of the history, culture, and legends of one of Europe’s best-loved cities. Head through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard ceremony. Head through Westminster, and see Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. Then, head to Westminster Abbey. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been in Westminster Abbey. Until the death of George II in 1760, most kings and queens were buried in the abbey. 20 sights in a 3 hour London guided tour plus entry to Westminster Abbey, all with a friendly London guide Come and join us on the best London walking tour!

Price: £67

Min age: 0

Rating 4.78 / 5 [704 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Westminster Abbey Tour and optional visit to Houses of Parliament in London

London

Westminster Abbey Tour and optional visit to Houses of Parliament in London
Get to grips with Britain’s royal and political history on this tour of Westminster Abbey and if you select the option, to the Houses of Parliament. Step inside the famous Gothic abbey, which has been the setting for almost all English coronations since William the Conqueror’s crowning in 1066, along with many other royal occasions including Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. If you have select the option you will get  into the British political system with a panoramic guided tour of the House of Lords and Houses of Commons. For a more complete experience select the option that includes the entrance to the Houses of Parliament.

Price: £59

Min age: 0

Rating 4.21 / 5 [404 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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London in a Day with Tower, Westminster & River Cruise

London

London in a Day with Tower, Westminster & River Cruise
Experience the quintessential sights of one of the world's most fascinating and dynamic cities on this full-day London walking tour. From Westminster Abbey to the Tower of London and even the River Thames, this London city tour is proof that limited time doesn't have to mean a limited view of the UK capital. Soak up London's key attractions in just one action-packed day, with all the logistics handled for you as you explore in the company of a knowledgeable Blue Badge guide.

Price: £132

Min age: 0

Rating 4.81 / 5 [238 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Skip the Line into Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey Fully-Guided Tour

London

Skip the Line into Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey Fully-Guided Tour
Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament are two of London’s highlight landmarks—and on this tour, you’ll have special access to both. Skip the line at Westminster Abbey and head inside the soaring church, where your guide will share facts about its royal history. Next, you’ll have the rare opportunity to explore parts of the interior of the Houses of Parliament, which is frequently off-limits to the public.

Price: £129

Min age: 0

Rating 4.69 / 5 [81 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

London

Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)

view of houses of parliament at night

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Round-ups

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Round-ups that include this experience

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