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Best time, most efficient ticket option for Westminster Abbey in December?

Best time, most efficient ticket option for Westminster Abbey in December?

Sep 16th, 2017, 04:01 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Best time, most efficient ticket option for Westminster Abbey in December?

This trip to London will be a 'relaxing' week over Christmas, doing as much or as little as we like. We've been many times before and don't need to race around like mad things. We are staying out at Chiswick and will have a car for some day excursions (we will be driving in from a week in Wales and Bath and will use it to get back to airport, as we will have additional family inc. a 1 year old).

I have a couple of things on my list that I've missed for various reasons on previous trips,

Kensington Palace: DD & I will visit to see the Diana Exhibition, will purchase tickets as soon as they are available.

The Portrait Gallery: probably on my own, I'm a little obsessed with English history, especially the Tudor & Victorian periods. I'm thinking I will start at the 2nd floor and see how long I last. (not a huge 'museum' buff).

Hampton Court Palace: Not essential, but we are thinking a day trip with DD, her husband and 1 year old. Probably just the outside areas and a nice lunch somewhere. Thoughts?

Westminster Abbey: I've walked all round this beautiful building, viewed it from many vantage points but I've never just 'sucked it up' and joined the line. ;-) But I'm determined that this is the trip to tick it off my bucket list, probably on my own. I'm sure I've read that there's ways to make the whole thing a little more stream line. Advance tickets I'm guessing is the best start? As it will be just before Christmas, I'm not sure if this will be a quieter time, or just the opposite? I don't mind going either early or later in the day. Love to hear your thoughts?

Thanks as always.
aussiedreamer is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 04:34 PM
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You will have to watch the Abbey website because there are often special services, concerts and events that would change the normal opening hours. The very best option is a verger's tour http://www.westminster-abbey.org/vis...r-guided-tours

Unfortunately they cannot be pre-booked - you want to arrive early. So yes -- prebook the Abbey. Save's £2 and while it doesn't eliminate a queue altogether, the pre-bought ticket line is much shorter. Then hook up w/ a verger tour if there is room.

Re HCP: The exterior of the Palace is interesting but you really would want to go inside. In Dec the chance of lovely weather to wander the grounds . . . would be pretty slim. If you use the 2for1 discount it wouldn't be expensive.
janisj is online now  
Sep 16th, 2017, 08:27 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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One of the best ways to visit Westminster Abbey is to go for an Evensong service. Get there early so you can sit up in the choir stalls.
Underhill is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 09:24 PM
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Note re Evensong - I try to attend evensong somewhere nearly every trip. The Abbey, or St Paul's or smaller churches. But do realize they are services and one is not allowed to wander around and 'visit'. You'd be part of the congregation and no exploring any of the chapels, Poets Corner, etc.
janisj is online now  
Sep 16th, 2017, 11:43 PM
  #5  
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I've done Evensong at St Pauls and it was amazing but yes probably not for wandering around purposes.

Janisj Re the vergers tour, whats your thoughts on this vs doing a self guided/audio type tour?
aussiedreamer is offline  
Sep 17th, 2017, 07:14 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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The verger tour is one of the best tours in London -- but, IF the tours are all full when you arrive, the audio guide is certainly informative and quite detailed.
janisj is online now  

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