Central London’s Westminster Abbey has been deeply engrained in Britain’s history since 960AD. It has played the role of coronation host since 1066, has been the site of 16 royal weddings, and is the final burial place of many kings, queens, architects, actors, engineers, playwrights and other influential people from Britain’s history, including more recently Laurence Olivier and Stephen Hawking. Westminster Abbey is also a site of great musical expertise, extraordinary architecture and daily Christian worship sessions.
Visitors can explore a treasure trove of artefacts, icons, oil paintings, and stained-glass, including David Hockney’s “The Queen’s Window” which celebrates the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Highlights of a visit include the Coronation Chair and Unknown Warrior’s grave in the nave, listening to the choir sing and organ music play, marvelling at the intricate ceiling in the Lady Chapel, seeing the Royal Tombs and spending time in the Poet’s Corner where more than 100 writers are buried or remembered. These include Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters and Charles Dickens. The onsite Cellarium Café and Terrace serves meals throughout the day, including afternoon tea, and snacks are available at the Kiosk. There is a shop on site where souvenirs can be purchased.
General admittance entry times vary by day depending on pre-scheduled events. See the website calendar for up-to-date information. Standard adult tourist entry costs £25. Tickets booked online are given guaranteed timed entry. A multimedia guide (offered in 14 languages plus BSL) is included in the price of admission. For an additional £10, visitors can join a verger-guided tour which includes access to certain places inaccessible with general admission, such as the Tomb of St Edward the Confessor. Worship services, including the Evensong choir and Sunday afternoon organ recitals, are free to attend.