England in microcosm and privileged admission – no standing in a ticket line for 45 minutes. 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.
WESTMINSTER ABBEY TOUR – THE PRACTICALS
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’ ParkTube and WestminsterTube. *Except Monday, Dec. 2 **Except Thursday, Nov. 7 and Thursday, Dec. 12
LONDON WALKS SOUPÇON
“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.”