Westminster Abbey

Hear angels singing at the Abbey

Westminster Abbey is one of London’s most iconic and stunning buildings, a treasure trove of British history where every monarch since 1066 has been crowned.

Highlights

  • See the precious Coronation chair, commissioned in 1296 and used at coronations for the last 700 years.
  • Visit the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, the poignant final resting place of a soldier killed in World War One.
  • Admire Britain’s oldest surviving door near the Chapter House, which dates back to Anglo-Saxon times.

Tickets & Prices

Step into the historical heart of London with a visit to Westminster Abbey, a site of royal coronations, weddings, and funerals since 1066. This magnificent Gothic church is not just a cornerstone of British history but also a living monument where history continues to be made.

  • Entry Ticket – Gain access to Westminster Abbey, where you can explore centuries of British history. See the final resting places of 17 monarchs and learn about the Abbey’s pivotal role in the nation’s history through a self-guided audio tour.
  • Entry + Guided Tour – Enhance your visit with a guided tour of Westminster Abbey, including the option to explore the Houses of Parliament. Discover the stories behind the coronation chair, walk the aisle of royal weddings, and visit the graves of historical figures like Charles Dickens and Isaac Newton.
  • Go City London Explorer Pass – Tailor your London adventure with access to 2 to 7 top attractions over 60 days, including Kensington Palace, plus enjoy additional discounts and a day of hop-on hop-off bus touring.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries and Wednesday Lates are not included with the entry ticket but can be added for an additional fee, offering a deeper dive into the Abbey’s treasures.
  • Guided tours provide a more in-depth exploration of the Abbey’s history and architecture but do not include transportation to the site.
  • Food and beverages are not available within the Abbey, so plan accordingly for meals before or after your visit.
  • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended, as tours involve significant walking and standing.
  • Photography is restricted in certain areas of the Abbey; please respect all posted signs and guidelines.

More info about Westminster Abbey tickets

What to See and Do

The Royal Tombs

Westminster Abbey has been at the heart of British history for centuries and is the burial place of many Kings and Queens. Behind the altar lies the shrine to Edward the Confessor in whose reign the original Westminster Abbey was built. Other monarchs buried in the Abbey include Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, Edward VI and Henry V. Their tombs can be seen around the abbey and offer a fascinating connection to the nation’s past.

Poets Corner

Poets Corner is a pilgrimage for all lovers of literature. Over 100 of Britain’s finest writers and poets are either buried within the abbey or have a memorial here. This includes William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen. The North aisle of the nave hosts Scientists Corner where Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking are among those interred in this area of the abbey.

Chapter House

This stunning octagonal chapel with its vaulted ceiling dates back to the 13th century. This is where the monks would gather to pray and plan their work for the day ahead. Sculptures, wall paintings and striking stained glass windows make for a lavish feel to this room. The wall paintings include the Last Judgement on the East wall which dates back to 1390. It is in the Chapter House you will also see what is believed to be the oldest door in Britain, dating back to Anglo-Saxon times.

Pyx Chamber

This 11th-century room off the East cloister was once used as a treasury. The low vaulted chamber with its medieval tiled floor is one of the oldest parts of Westminster Abbey. Imposing heavy oak doors dating back to the 14th century mark the entrances to the room, while the large medieval chest within would have been used to store vestments. This room is a medieval must-visit area.

The Lady Chapel

The Lady Chapel is a sight to behold and was understandably once described as ‘the wonder of the world.’ This medieval chapel still takes your breath away today with its magnificent fan-vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows. There are 15 monarchs buried in this chapel, including Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and the possible remains of the famous Princes in the Tower. The building work on the chapel began during the reign of Henry VII and his imposing tomb can be found at the Eastern end.

Did You Know: (5 interesting facts!)

  1. The abbey’s official name is the Collegiate Church of St Peter and was designated in 1560 as a ‘Royal Peculiar’, meaning it belongs to the monarch.
  2. Marble paving known as Cosmati can be found in front of the high altar whose brass letters compose a riddle, including a prediction of when the world will end.
  3. The famous Stone of Scone used to be held in the abbey and was stolen by 4 Glasgow students on Christmas Eve in 1950, before being found and returned back to Westminster.
  4. Oliver Cromwell was once buried in Westminster Abbey, but the body was removed on the restoration of the monarchy and the head was placed on a spike for all to see.
  5. The dramatist and poet Ben Jonson is the only person buried in the abbey in a standing up position, as it is said he could afford just two-foot square of space.

History

  • December 1065 Original Westminster Abbey consecrated.
  • Christmas Day 1066 Coronation of William the Conqueror.
  • October 1269 New abbey built in a Gothic architectural style by Henry III is dedicated.
  • February 1515 Lady Chapel built by the Tudor king Henry VII is consecrated.
  • 1560 Westminster Abbey given ‘Royal Peculiar’ status, meaning it is not governed by the Church of England.
  • 1920 Body of the Unknown Warrior laid to rest in the abbey.
  • June 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 2010 Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first Pope to visit Westminster Abbey.

Facilities and Accessibility

There are sections of Westminster Abbey which are not accessible in wheelchairs and to those with reduced mobility. Wheelchair access to the abbey is via the North door which has a small ramped step. Guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs are all welcome in the abbey. Accessible toilets can be found in two locations, in the cloisters and at the Cellarium café.

Multimedia guides are given to visitors to the abbey, with a British Sign Language option available as well as printed transcripts. There is also an audio described tour available. During services a hearing loop system is in place which covers the main building of the abbey.

The Cellarium Café and Terrace at Westminster Abbey is set over two floors, serving meals through the day. For a light bite or a coffee, there is also the option of a kiosk to buy refreshments. Before leaving the abbey take a look in the Westminster Abbey shop where you will find a selection of souvenirs, gifts, books and assorted items from the Abbey Collections.