Westminster Abbey

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on November 30, 2010

Recently I went to London a few days. During my visit I went to various museums and other cultural sites. One of these places was Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey is almost always used when there is something special with the English royal family so it seemed nice to go there once.

Westminster Abbey is on the Dean's Yard at number 20 in London. In the immediate vicinity of WA are several metro and bus stops. The nearest subway stops are Westminster and St James's Park. WA is close to the House of Parliament and Big Ben. It is not advisable to use the car to go as there is little parking in the area.

The Building
Westminster Abbey official name is The Collegiate Church and is a church that was built in the Gothic style. Westminster Abbey consists of several parts, including the church itself, a museum and a monastery. Some parts are not accessible as the monastery, but most is. It is still quite large, so if you have the full audio tour it’s approximately 2 hours. And the map you get is certainly useful to navigate.

In the Westminster Abbey

Upon entering you stand directly where the audio tour begins. From here there are several chapels to visit. My first impression was that these chapels were like a someone's attic and an antique shop. They are filled with all sorts of graves and memorial stones, often leaving little room to walk around, especially when it’s very busy. There are many interesting places in Westminster Abbey like Poet’s Corner. There were buried and commemorated famous writers such as Charles Dickens and Tennyson. The Lady Chapel is a breath of fresh air in terms of space and light in comparison to the various chapels of the vessel borders. You will also find a chapel for the Royal Air Force. I noticed that a lot anyway of military memorials in the church.

Westminster Abbey is not only a tourist attraction but also a church. For example every hour they ask for a few minutes of silence. At that time is often a prayer and you have the opportunity to do the same. It's weird, because when it is announced, it is very quiet in the church. Everything is then paused.

There is also a small museum. It exhibited all sorts of things relating to the funeral of famous people. Like large dolls that those proposals had been buried, a coronation chair and various stained-glass windows. I found it quite interesting, because it was all clearly explained in detail.

Audio tours
An audio tour is included. It is available in several languages. Using the audio tour you walk the route through Westminster Abbey, and meanwhile you get to hear anything and everything. Often there is the opportunity to hear about certain things more than what standard is told.

The audio tour is really handy, because you learn so much about what certain things mean, then when only one sign with text. Therefore there is a better flow.

Westminster Abbey is suitable for children, besides that there is much to see, there is a special tour (in English) for children and they can dress like a monk in the museum.

Some parts of Westminster Abbey are not accessible to wheelchair users, but it is generally be as accessible as possible. As compensation pay people in wheelchairs and companion no entrance fee. They also make wheelchairs available for those who have difficulty walking. There is no specific disabled toilet.

There are not many toilets, than just at the exit. I have not used it, so I can not do much about it.

Eating and drinking
It is not always allowed to eat and drink in Westminster Abbey. There are two Coffee Clubs where you eat and drink can buy and consume. I have not used them.

There is a shop where you can buy all sorts of things, from Bibles to keychains.

Bag, coats, photo’s
You have to leaveyour stuff inside. There is no possibility for them to issue a wardrobe or something. It is also, in a few places after, not allowed to photograph or filming.

Staff are abundant, they are clearly visible and helpful. If you want to know something then I would certainly ask them, because they know a lot of Westminster Abbey.

If you want to visit Westminster Abbey, you will have to pay 12 pounds, but that was because I could use student discount. A normal adult (18 years) pay 15 pounds. Now there’s a lower rate for children with a family card. An audio tour is included in the fee.

Westminster Abbey is generally open from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m.. Up to one hour before closing, you can still enter. Wed to close the day at 19:00. On Sundays and other religious days she is open only for church members and not for tourists. Outside a sign that will indicate when and what time to what time they open that week. Plus, you can see what the website is opened on a certain date. This can also see for a date further in the future.

Westminster Abbey has a comprehensive website where you can find all sorts of information. www.westminster-abbey.org.

Westminster Abbey is a must for a time to visit. It is so often the center of important events and there is much to see. A visit is unfortunately not cheap, but the audio tour is included in the price. The audio tour allows you everywhere and it will show you all kinds of interesting things. It is easily accessible, but you should keep in mind that on religious days is not accessible to tourists.
Westminster Abbey
20 Dean's Yard
London, England, SW1P 3PA
+44 (20) 7222 5152


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