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“Bucket list experience almost ruined by rude employee”
Review of Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey
Ranked #11 of 1,909 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Westminster Abbey was initially built by Henry III in 1245 and it is one of the most important Gothic buildings of England. At first home of Benedictine monks, the coronation church since 1066 and the final resting place of 17 monarchs. It contains a treasury full of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles, books and various other artefacts plus the most significant collection of monumental sculptures of the UK. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries in the Abbey's Triforium opened in June 2018. Explore over 1,000 years of history in this truly unique space, high above the Abbey floor.
Reviewed May 27, 2018

My 84 year old mother has wanted to visit this place her entire life. We made the dream come true together. A very kind, young man allowed us to skip the line, as we had 3 elderly, disabled relatives with us. After paying a steep 22.00 each, my relatives sat down in the chapel just as a service was starting. I decided to do some exploring while they were resting. Although photography is strictly prohibited, I caught several people taking photos with their phones. I was standing a few feet behind the chairs in the service, when I pulled out my phone to check the time. An employee came up to me, and chastised me like I was a five year old. He said, "PUT THAT AWAY! You're in a church service!" How very Christian. As an educated 56 year old woman, I did not appreciate that kind of treatment. However, it validated my views about the hypocrisy of the church. That message could have been delivered in a much kinder manner. When the rude man turned to walk back to his post, 2 people snapped several photos, taking advantage of his back being turned. He may want to pick his battles more carefully in the future. At the least, there should be signs in the chapel warning people not to so much as look at their phones. I'm glad my mom and I got to experience this exquisite building. I just wish I had received the "Christian" treatment that every guest deserves.

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank Paula E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 27, 2018

So many have reviewed this, that I will not repeat much of what is there. But I will add that I was absolutely slack-jawed with amazement during my visit. First thing you discover is that you can't take a step without walking on the grave of someone famous or significant in history. That seems wrong at first, until you realize that over 3,000 people are buried there, and nobody cares if you step on their graves. The exception is the unknown soldier, whose grave is marked off to keep it from being walked upon. The recorded tour is excellent, and it even tells you when you'll have a chance to sit down and rest if you want.

A couple of tips: First, buy tickets on line in advance. They are a little cheaper that way, and other than marking the day you arrive, they don't require a specific time, allowing you to schedule the Abbey tour around other nearby attractions like Parliament and Churchill's War Rooms, which are more time-specific.

That said, I purposefully showed up at the Abbey 15 minutes before it opened and queued up outside on a beautiful, sunny morning. I highly recommend this. it was not too crowded that early, and the sun was streaming in through the huge stained glass windows on the East end of the Abbey.

I want to put in a good word for the cafe, located near the gift shop in the Cloister area of the Abbey. I had planned to get an early lunch at a nearby pub after my morning visit, and go on to my 1 pm arrival time at Parliament. But I found that the pub wasn't open for lunch unti noon, and I was concerned that wouldn't give me enough time. So I "settled" for the cafe in the Abbey, and was really glad I did! London was extremely crowded that day, but somehow the cafe was not. I think it's because of its location; it is out of the way, removed from the Abbey's main entrances, off a walled courtyard in a connected, but separate part of the Abbey complex, down a few steps, and it feels a bit like walking into an old vaulted wine cellar. But I was glad for a chance to sit down in a quiet, comfortable place, and the food was excellent! I also enjoyed some water and a nice hard cider after a morning of walking around. I noticed that some people there were having what appeared to be a traditional tea service, with an assortment of sandwiches and cakes. I opted for healthier fare, and it was very good. it was a great way to end my visit to the Abbey!

Date of experience: May 2018
1  Thank JBIndianapolis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2018 via mobile

We planned on visiting in the morning but the area was closed for an event . We came back at 5 pm for Evensong it was beautiful. There was no entrance fee and we sat for a beautiful service with wonderful singing from the choir. The service lasted for 45 minutes. The building and the acoustics were wonderful. Well worth going to.

Date of experience: May 2018
2  Thank jetiamulligan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2018

Went twice to see it, but closed both times. Check on internet before you go for their daily opening times. Would have been amazing.

Date of experience: May 2018
1  Thank bettylong100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 27, 2018

While on family vacation we toured the Abbey and we were so glad we did. This place is amazing. We did the self guided audio tour which is nice cause you can go at your own pace and really look around at all the Abbey has to offer. There is SO much history here. We bought our tickets on line in advance which I strongly suggest you do. It got us in fast and we missed all the crowds waiting to purchase tickets. The Abbey is very impressive; great architecture and so much to see and lots to learn. You cannot take pictures in the Abbey, but the postcards in the gift shop give you a good snapshot of the building and anything else you may have wanted to snap a picture of. Take the time to visit if you are planning a trip to London. You can get thru the Abbey in an hour but you'll miss so much. Plan on spending a little more time if you want to soak up the history. It can get crowded. There may even be a service going on during your visit.

Date of experience: May 2018
1  Thank SweetCLV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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