Westminster Abbey

Setting for every Coronation since 1066 and for numerous royal weddings

Westminster Abbey, London
Westminster Abbey has over one million visitors a year

Westminster Abbey is England's main religious building. Originally built in Saxon times in the 7th century, its real importance dates from 1065 with Edward the Confessor setting up his throne here.

Since that time Government has always been centred on Westminster, with commercial activity centred on the City of London to the east.

Every year Westminster Abbey welcomes over one million visitors and is very much part of the standard tourist trail complete with large coach parties. It should be remembered the Abbey is very much a working church. It is closed Sundays for worship and restrictions are regularly applied ad hoc in response to religious events.

For a really special day out we also offer a full Royal London Experience: Royal London tour with Westminster Abbey & Afternoon tea.

For more information on Royal days out in London see our page: Royal Palaces and Castles in London.

BOOK WESTMINSTER ABBEY TICKETS   BOOK Royal London with Westminster Abbey & Afternoon tea   History of Westminster Abbey   Opening times   Location   Ticket info   Westminster Abbey with an attraction pass/promo   Westminster Abbey & hop-on bus   Guided self walking tour

Westminster Abbey, London


Westminster Abbey, London

Book Westminster Abbey tickets including audio guide

• Traditional coronation site for English monarchs and burial place of kings, queens, statesmen and poets • Admission to Westminster Abbey •  Multimedia guide in 14 languages

Westminster Abbey, London


Afternoon Tea London

Half Day Coach Tour - Royal London Tour with Westminster Abbey & Afternoon Tea

• Royal London tour • Admission to Westminster Abbey •  Expert Blue Badge Guide • VOX personal headsets • Afternoon Tea at the Cellarium Café & Terrace

Westminster Abbey, London


Westminster Abbey, London

Westminster Abbey with Fish & Chips meal at Poppie's

• Admission to Westminster Abbey •  Meal in Poppie's Fish & Chips restaurant • Multimedia guide • London in Your Pocket App Access

Westminster Abbey history

Westminster Abbey

The present church was begun by Henry III in 1245. By the 16th Century in Tudor times, Westminster Abbey had become the setting for coronations, royal marriages and funerals.

Every monarch since William the Conqueror, with the exception of Edward V and Edward VIII who were never crowned, has been crowned in the Abbey.

The first documented coronation here was that of William the Conqueror in 1066, the most recent was that of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953. The decision to televise the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953 made it possible for the general public to witness the ceremony in its entirety for the first time.

The Benedictine monastery at Westminster was dissolved in 1540 as part of the impact of Henry VIII's creation of the Church of England breaking away from the Catholic Church. Since then Westminster Abbey has just performed the role of church.

Westminster Abbey opening times

Westminster Abbey is usually open to visitors from Monday to Saturday throughout the year. Opening time is 9.30am and closing time 3.30pm on Wednesdays there is late opening to 6pm.

As a fully working church, Westminster Abbey is subject to closures at short notice, so please check opening times on the official Westminster Abbey website prior to visiting.

On Sundays and religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas, the Abbey is open for worship only. However, all are welcome and it is free to attend services.

Westminster Abbey closes for visiting one hour after the published entry closure time, so it is recommended you give yourself plenty of time.

How to get to Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is located on Parliament Square facing the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The London Eye, 10 Downing Street, London Dungeon and Churchill War Rooms are major London attractions within 5 minutes' walk. Buckingham Palace is a 10-minute walk across St James's Park.

Nearest Underground station

Westminster Underground Station is on the other side of Parliament Square to Westminster Abbey. Trains on the Circle, District and Jubilee Lines stop at Westminster.

Hop-on, hop-off buses & river services

All of London's hop on, hop off sightseeing buses have stops at Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Pier is on the other side of Parliament Square by Westminster Underground Station and is one of London's busiest river service piers with many services including the very popular service to the Tower of London.

Tickets, queues and audio-guides


Westminster Abbey is one of London's main visitor attractions, the busiest time of all for visitors is July and August but it is busy at all times.

Long entrance queues are a normal sight on arrival.

Best times for independent visitors is to be there for opening before the tour groups and school parties start arriving.

On Wednesday afternoons the Abbey is normally open until 6pm - this is not well publicised and for many the best part is that no groups or tours are allowed inside at these extended hours.

Audio-guides are free with your individual entry tickets. Audio guides are available in British Sign Language, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Dutch, Hungarian, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese as well as English. You can download the shortened version of the guide on your mobile or tablet, or use one of the devices from Westminster Abbey. English language commentary is by Oscar-winning actor, Jeremy Irons.

Ticketing is straight forward with concessions for children and seniors and no discounting, including on-line.

You can purchase your tickets in advance on-line where you have to stipulate your visit date.

Westminster Abbey, London


Westminster Abbey, London

Book Westminster Abbey tickets including audio guide

• Traditional coronation site for English monarchs and burial place of kings, queens, statesmen and poets • Admission to Westminster Abbey •  Multimedia guide in 14 languages

Westminster Abbey & London's attraction passes and promotions

Railways 2 for 1 Promotion - The railways 2 for 1 entrance promotion is valid at Westminster Abbey with the printed voucher and a qualifying railway ticket. You need to pre-book your tickets in advance online.

The London Pass - Westminster Abbey is supported by London's most popular attraction pass.

With over 90 top London attractions you visit over the number of days of your choosing. Other top attractions on the London Pass list include the Tower of London, London Eye, Tower Bridge, London Bridge Experience, Big Bus, Madame Tussauds, Chessington World of Adventures, London Zoo, The View from the Shard, St. Paul's, Hampton Court Palace, and Windsor Castle, plus many more! The London Pass offers incredible savings over buying individual attraction tickets.

Go City London Explorer Pass - this pass is similar to the London Pass only instead of allowing entry for a set number of days, it gives entry for up to 60 days, and you purchase by the number of attractions you wish to visit.

To purchase either of these passes follow the banner links below.

The London Pass


The Londpon Pass

The more you visit, the more you save

• Access 90+ London attractions including Tower of London, London Eye, Madame Tussauds, London Zoo, Chessington World of Adventures, London Bridge Experience, Thames River Cruise, Tower Bridge, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, The View from Shard, Windsor Castle, Big Bus, and many more...
• 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 day passes available.

London Explorer Pass


London Explorer Pass

Save up to 50% on top London attractions

• Choose from two passes: All-Inclusive (unlimited) and Explorer (over 60 days) • Attractions and tours including: Tower of London, London Eye, Madame Tussauds, Chessington World of Adventures, LEGOLAND, Big Bus, Windsor Castle, The London Dungeon, Up at The O2, London Zoo, View from the Shard, City Cruises, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's and more...

Combine Westminster Abbey with a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus ticket

Golden Tours is one of the three main hop-on, hop off sightseeing bus companies in London. A great package is to combine Westminster Abbey with a hop on bus tour, saving you pounds on purchasing separately. Hop on tours are excellent for your first day in London, quickly getting you up to speed and orientated with the layout of London and your guide pointing out sights and destinations you might have not previously considered visiting.

From your hop-on bus tour see sites such as the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe and spectacular Westminster Abbey, as well as, of course, Buckingham Palace, as well as many more iconic London scenes.

With the 24-hr and 48-hr tickets you also get a Thames River Cruise thrown in for free. Cruise from Westminster to St Katharine’s Pier, and soak in panoramic views of the capital’s most iconic landmarks for a sightseeing experience like no other!

All this on top of entry to the 700 year old Westminster Abbey.



Combine Big Bus hop on hop off bus tour with London attractions

Westminster Abbey tickets with Golden Tours hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus package

• Hop-on Hop-off London Bus Tour & Westminster Abbey • Choice of 24-hr, 48-hr or 1-day tickets • Includes River Boat Cruise • 2 walking tours • Audio guide in 11 languages

Around Westminster Abbey

Around Westminster Abbey, London

Westminster Abbey is at the heart of a small district that contains lots of London's A1 attractions. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye are just some of the “Must Sees” within a few minutes' walk.

Although very short, you could do the walk in well under an hour without stops at an easy pace, most people will take a day or more, there is so much to see, do and be diverted by.

Westminster self-guided walk

Westminster self-guided walk map

Westminster London Self Guided Walk Map

Westminster Palace and the Elizabeth Tower or Big Ben

Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, London

Westminster Abbey stands to one side of Parliament Square. On the other side sits an equally fine building Westminster Palace, commonly known as the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster Palace is where the British government meets to manage Britain's political affairs. The most famous part of Westminster Palace is The Elizabeth Tower, more commonly known simply as Big Ben after the name of the famous bell, an iconic image of London.

When parliament is sitting after dark, a light shines from the top of the Elizabeth Tower. For obvious reasons, security is out in force.

It is possible to arrange tours, visit debates in the chamber, even climb the Elizabeth Tower. However don't expect just to turn up and walk in. For UK residents going through their own MP it is much easier than for foreign visitors who can only tour during the summer opening with tickets purchased in advance.

On the green area in the centre of Parliament Square there are normally political protesters of one sort or another with placards and sometimes tents.

This central area is not solid earth, if a vehicle strayed onto the green there is a chance it may fall into the London Underground line below.

Westminster Palace and Saint Margaret's Church

St Margaret's Church and Westminster Abbey, London

Saint Margaret's Church stands between Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament and is commonly called “the parish church of the House of Commons” on account of it being so handy for politicians on the other side of the road.

Saint Margaret's Church is impressive in its own right, a lot of visitors enter mistaking it for Westminster Abbey next door.

The reason why two such great churches are adjoining is that Westminster Abbey was originally a Benedictine Abbey.


London Eye Amazing panoramic flight on the world's highest observation wheel. » Fast track tickets available.
The Shard Tallest building in Western Europe with viewing of London from the top. » Fast track tickets available.
St Paul's Cathedral Cathedral of the Diocese of London, venue for royal weddings. » Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Westminster Abbey Along with St Paul's, England's main religious building.» Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Tower of London Home of the Crown Jewels and a rich thousand year history. » Fast track tickets available.
Madame Tussauds See wax statues of the most famous people in the world. » Fast track tickets available.
London Dungeon The creepiest attraction in town, the London Dungeon. » Fast track tickets available.
Hampton Court Palace Henry VIII Medieval Palace set in vast grounds. » Pre-book to save money.
The London Zoo World class zoo in the centre of London. » Flexi tickets available.

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