While you may have not been invited to the Royal wedding ceremony, a trip to Westminster Abbey is a must for visitors to London. Here are some insider tips to make the most of your visit.
If you’re pressed for time, concentrate on the following four highlights: the Coronation Chair; Chapter House; Poets’ Corner; and Grave of the Unknown Warrior. See our full review here.
The closest Tube stop is Westminster. When you exit the station, walk west along Great George Street, away from the river. Turn left on St. Margaret Street.
To make the most of your day, arrive at the abbey early (doors open at 9:30), then make an afternoon visit to the Parliament buildings. Overseas visitors can no longer visit the Houses of Parliament during session, but tours of the buildings are available in August and September.
Walk over the Westminster bridge and enjoy a ride on the London Eye. Pre-book your tickets to save money and time in line.
Post-flight, take a walk along the fairy-lit South Bank and have dinner (or a drink in the bar) with a view, at the Oxo Tower Restaurant or the Royal Festival Hall’s Skylon Restaurant.
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Things to Know
- Photography and filming are not permitted anywhere in the abbey.
- In winter the interior of the abbey can get quite cold; dress accordingly.
- For an animated history of the museum, join one of the tours that depart from the information desk, tour times vary.
- Touring the abbey can take half a day, especially in summer, when lines are long.
- To avoid the crowds, make sure you arrive early. If you’re first in line you can enjoy parts of the abbey in relative calm before the mad rush descends.
- If you want to study up before you go, visit www.westminster-abbey.org/, which includes an in-depth history and self-guided tour of the abbey. Otherwise pick up a free leaflet from the information desk.
- On Sundays the abbey is not open to visitors. Join a service instead. Check the Web site for service times, as well as details of concerts, organ recitals, and special events.
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Photo Credit: Courtesy Visit England.