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Westminster Abbey has played host to 26 royal weddings and 38 coronations. It’s the final resting place for hundreds of Great Britain's legendary figures.
Outwardly, Westminster Abbey may appear an austere work of architecture, with its twin medieval gothic towers and pointed spires. But step through the North Door and you’ll find yourself immersed in centuries of rich and ornate history. The original structure dates back to 1245 when it was rebuilt over Edward the Confessor’s 1042 abbey. The abbey’s haphazard construction progressed slowly through famine and revolution, culminating in a sacred space where the great ages of humanity come together.
It would be almost sinful to rush through the abbey, so try to set aside at least half a day to explore its many treasures. Visualize the 38 kings and queens who have perched high on the Coronation Chair. Many of them now lie forever in the tombs in the Nave. Reflect on the stirring words of Sir Winston Churchill, whose memorial lies near the West Door. At the poppy-wreathed Grave of the Unknown Warrior, pay your respects to the fallen British soldiers of World War I. Join lovers of literature in Poets’ Corner, where giants of English literature, such as William Shakespeare, T.S. Elliot and Dylan Thomas, are buried.
Venture into one of the abbey’s oldest areas, the 11th-century vaulted undercroft of St. Peter. Now a museum, its exhibits include royal effigies, death masks and clothing. Afterwards, follow in the footsteps of monks throughout the ages by taking a meditative walk in the College Gardens.
Attending a service at the abbey can be a memorable highlight of your London visit, however, popular services, such as Christmas, require an advance booking. A free, detailed audio tour is available at the North Door and guided tours are also available. Do remember, photography is not permitted in the abbey and the interior can get very cold in winter.
Westminster Abbey is located in central London, next to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The abbey is open to visitors every day except Sundays, when worship services are held. The nearest Underground stations are St. James’s Park and Westminster.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial War Museum, Westminster Bridge and Sea Life London Aquarium. Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 8 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Florence Nightingale Museum, Imperial War Museum and The Vaults. Southbank Centre Book Market and Lambeth Palace are also within 10 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes by foot and Waterloo Underground Station is 11 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Buckingham Palace, Victoria Palace Theatre, and Apollo Victoria Theatre. St. James Park and Westminster Abbey are also within 10 minutes. St. James's Park Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Victoria Underground Station is 7 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tate Britain and Houses of Parliament. Westminster Abbey and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Pimlico Underground Station is 10 minutes by foot and Westminster Underground Station is 13 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oxford Street and The British Museum. Russell Square and Queens Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Tottenham Court Road Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Goodge Street Underground Station is 6 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. Jubilee Gardens and The Vaults are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station and Lambeth North Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.