St. James's Park Tube, Broadway/Westminster Abbey exit | Map
Short version: England in microcosm and privileged admission – no standing in a ticket line for 45 minutes
Long version: The special place. The special time. The special tour. Yes, Westminster Abbey. Its secrets. The spell it casts. Let us count (some of) the ways. The Abbey is a three-dimensional walk-through history of England. It's the place where kings and queens are crowned (and often buried). It's royal weddings. It's a great religious centre. It's Poets' Corner. It's the reason London is "the unique city". It's the seed-bed of democratic government. It's the driving force of English music. Yes – this bears repeating – the Abbey is England in microcosm. It's also a building of splendour, intricacy and consummate virtuosity. Its particulars are astonishing: the world's finest stone roof, the greatest work of mediaeval art in Britain; the most splendid Renaissance tomb north of the Alps; priceless 13th-century wall paintings; the cosmic symbolism of its floor; waxworks far superior to Madame Tussaud's; monumental sculpture and memorial tablets that are a tableau of national biography. N.B. Because of the Abbey's strict limitations on the size of tour groups we have to charge £3 each for children. There's an admission charge to the Abbey but we get you a discount. And another huge bonus – we sail right in, so no queuing (no "standing in line"). The Secrets of Westminster Abbey are revealed by the crème de la crème of this profession – award-winning, elite, professionally qualified Blue Badge guides. On Mondays, it's Chris, Mary, Hilary OBE or Tom MBE. On Thursdays, it's Mary, Brian or Tom MBE.
The Westminster Abbey Tour takes place every* Monday and every Thursday at 10.45 am. The meeting point is just outside St. James's ParkTube, the Broadway/Westminster Abbey exit (opposite 40 Broadway). There's an admission charge to the Abbey but we get you a discount. And what's even more important – we sail right in, so no queuing (no "standing in line"). Because of the Abbey's strict limitations on the size of tour groups we have to charge £3 each for children. The tour ends at the Abbey, a four-minute walk from St. James' Park and Westminster Tube Stations. *Except for Monday, March 12 and Monday, May 14
"the soil he's buried in is a composite of the soils of the six great French and Belgian battlefields of World War I: the Somme, Passchendaele, Arras, etc....which, if you think about it, is a precise reversal of the terms of Rupert Brooke's great poem, 'If I should die, think only this of me, that there's some corner of a foreign field that is forever England'. By virtue of that foreign soil this is a corner of England that is forever a foreign field."
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"Although the big companies tend to just shuttle vast hordes of people about, one tour company does give you an in-depth, personalized insight to the city, offering a dizzying array of themed tours conducted by very qualified guides." London
"the best London has to offer" Culture Trip
If you can't make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Westminster Abbey Tours do think about booking one as a private tour.* For a singleton or a couple or a foursome, a private tour is obviously quite a bit more expensive than going on one of the public tours but they're still good value. Indeed, best value if you compare them with what's on offer in the wider marketplace. And for a reasonably sized group they're superb value – cost you less than going on one of the public outings. If you go private you can have the Westminster Abbey Tour – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We'll tailor it to your wishes and requirements. And – always with private London Walks and tours – we go to great lengths to make sure the guide-walker(s) "fit" is well-nigh perfect. Ring Fiona or Noel or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing. Or indeed a fab present – be it a birthday or anniversary or get-to-know-your-new neighbourhood gift or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that's special. Memories make us rich. *And, yes, with a private tour – like on our public Westminster Abbey Tours – you'll benefit from Fast-Track Admission and the favourable Group Discount London Walkers get.
"Nah, don't need it, got it all here," you say. Er, roaming charges? Er, dead battery? Er, reading your phone in the bathtub and you drop it? [Smelling salts interval: sick as a parrot. ashen-faced.] Er, read the famous white leaflet in the bathtub and you drop it what do you do? Er, you dry it out. Anyway, maybe worth making a mental note that you can always pick up the iconic white London Walks leaflet at the Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the old church in Trafalgar Square. They're on the Information Table there, right by the box office. And indeed they also display them on the shop counter, right by the cash register. And it's win-win because the Cafe in the Crypt is one of the town's delights. Should be on everybody's London itinerary.