London as we all know is a fabulous traveler’s destination and a much loved city. This capital city of England is the leading tourist place in the world. Immensely beautiful architectures, free flowing River Thames, iconic attractions, peaceful streets and lush green surroundings make the place more tourist friendly. In terms of international visits London attracted 15.3 million visitors in the year 2011. The history and culture of the city date back thousands of years; however the royalty of England is still preserved at its best in London.
London Attractions Guide
Tourists coming to this leisure destination always want to catch a glimpse of some popular attractions. Every vacationer getting down at Heathrow have a well planned itinerary with them which includes renowned hotspot. These include the very famous Buckingham Palace, London Eye, The Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and the much sacred Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey of all is a grandeur place which is much elegant and famous of course. It is large Gothic church located in the City of Westminster. It is one of the most popularly visited religious buildings that have marked its presence since years now being the traditional place of coronation. Other than this the Abbey is known to be a burial site for the English and British monarchs.
Deep into History
Dig the roots deep and there you will see the emergence of the Westminster Abbey. This is a must visit living pageant of the British history. Queens, kings, statesmen, soldiers and priests together add importance to this marvelous structure. It will be hard to believe that this captivating building is 700 years old and every year the number of tourists to this place keeps on increasing.
If we talk about the present church, it was constructed in the year 1245 by Henry III. He selected this site for his burial. Moreover, the Abbey was the site of Norman Kings. A perpendicular style chapel was added to the Abbey by Henry VII which was dedicated to The Virgin Mary. Other than coronations this sacred place is a well known destination even for Royal weddings. Starting from King Henry I of England with the Matilda of Scotland the last wedding that took place in the Westminster Abbey was of Prince William with Miss Catherine Middleton.
Inside the Abbey
Westminster Abbey is a grand structure which is not only beautiful from outside but will leave you mesmerized once you take a sneak peek of it. Unlike other London attractions this one is open throughout the year. Visitors can visit the church any day from Monday to Saturday. Usually during Christmas and Easter times the church is open only for worship but not as an attraction to a visitor.
Holidaymakers can stay at a perfect accommodation park grand hotel London and can admire the beauty of this lovely attraction which is perhaps located in the heart of London. Right next to the Big Ben and Houses of Parliament stand this great structure. Since it is a working church there are some restrictions and recommendations for visitors. Those who want to catch an interior glimpse of the church may follow few guidelines.
- Some chapels have a low doorway access
- Some Abbey areas are lit dimly
- Last but not the least, much of the flooring inside the Abbey is uneven so it is very important for visitors to move around cautiously.
Travelers can take up guided tours and audio tours are even available with English narration by Jeremy Irons who is the Oscar Winning actor.
The Abbey has pointed arches well designed and stained glass windows are all over. The daily hordes of visitors make this attraction even extra-ordinary.
Access & Facilities
For visually impaired visitors and those who suffer from hearing disabilities can even take pleasure of visiting this gothic church. For such visitors free admission is offered. For those who are here for worship must follow a proper dress code. The clothing must be modest. The church which is a well known attraction in London welcomes all kinds of tourists and worshippers including children even. There are no restrictions for anyone as far as visiting the Abbey is concerned.
If you are a tourist then you must be carrying a camera with you, however any kind of filming and photography is prohibited inside the Westminster Abbey. As it may disturb any proceedings going on in the church at that time or might disturb the people who are here for worship. Do you want to grab a quick bite while you are in the premises of the Abbey. With an outdoor seating during summers the Cellarium Café and Terrace welcomes all serving great options of food and drinks. Breakfasts along with classic British lunches can be enjoyed here.
Other than the interiors of the Abbey there are three original gardens named as the College Garden, the Little Cloister and the Garth. Each of these has its own symbolic importance and performs separate functions.
Guided Tours & Entry Charges
During usual opening hours a group of maximum 30 tourists can visit the Abbey, however if you don’t need a guide then individual tickets can be booked. As far as entry charges are concerned an adult will have to pay a price of £20 to enter the Abbey. Children between 6 to 16 years of age can move in for £9. Entry includes an audio guide each which is absolutely free.
Fergus Brandon is a travel writer by profession and nomad by choice. He was born in Cambridge and completed his masters (International Tourism Management ) from London School of Commerce. He is working as the travel Editor for TheMontcalm hotels group.