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Situated in the heart of London, right next to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey holds the secrets to all the major royal events of the past 1000 years. No visit to the capital would be complete without setting foot in this majestic building.
Most recently known as the venue of the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, Westminster Abbey has witnessed 16 royal marriages and 38 coronations. The first was the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, and the current head of state Queen Elizabeth II was crowned here in 1953.
Stepping through the North Door, you’ll enter a world filled with centuries of rich history. The building as you see it today has grown and changed over time, moulded by the projects and schemes of successive rulers. Its construction began in 1245 on the site of St Peter’s Abbey, on the orders of King Henry III who wished to be buried in this location. Elements of the original Saxon abbey still form part of the current structure, such as the 11th century vaulted undercroft of St. Peter. This houses the Abbey’s museum displaying an interesting collection of royal effigies and historical treasures, including the funeral saddle, helm and shield of King Henry V.
You’ll need to allow at least half a day to discover the burial sites of legendary figures such as Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and William Shakespeare, pay your respects to fallen British soldiers at the poppy-wreathed Grave of the Unknown Warrior, and reflect on the stirring words of Sir Winston Churchill whose memorial can be found near the West Door. Explore the beauty of the art work that decorates the interior of the abbey, from the complexity and subtlety of the Cosmati Pavement in front of the High Altar to the magnificent stained-glass windows, via the 13th and 14th century wall paintings of the Apocalypse and the Last Judgement.
Westminster Abbey is open to the general public from Monday to Saturday, although it will close during the commemoration of national events and on royal occasions. On Sundays, it is open for worship only, and attending a service can be a memorable event. However, popular services will require advance booking. Be aware that you are not permitted to take photos in the abbey.
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 apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of The British Museum, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Piccadilly Circus. Hyde Park and London Eye are also within 2 mi (3 km). Goodge Street Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Warren Street Underground Station is 7 minutes.
This family-friendly London hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Oxford Circus. Buckingham Palace and Green Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Piccadilly Circus Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Leicester Square Underground Station is 7 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Charing Cross and The Strand. National Gallery and Trafalgar Square are also within 10 minutes. Charing Cross Underground Station and Embankment Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this aparthotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of St. Thomas' Hospital, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. London Eye and Big Ben are also within 1 mile (2 km). Vauxhall Station is 6 minutes by foot and Oval Underground Station is 15 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.