Westminster Abbey is the oldest temple in the British capital and visiting it is one of the things to do during a trip to London.
But before getting tickets to Westminster Abbey, you should know the opening hours of the temple so you can plan in detail your visit to this very important English church. Therefore, in the following post we address this issue. Read on!
1. What are the opening hours of Westminster Abbey?
Westminster Abbey is open every day of the week. However, the opening hours may vary depending on the day.
Thus, from Monday to Friday the temple is open from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM while on Saturdays it is open from 9 AM to 2 PM. On Sundays the abbey is only open for religious services.
What are the opening hours for religious services at Westminster Abbey?
If you wish to attend mass inside the Westminster Abbey it is advisable that before doing so you make sure of the schedule of the religious service on the date you want to go. Entrance for prayer is normally through The Great West Door entrance.
2. When does Westminster Abbey close?
Westminster Abbey is usually open every day, but as it is an operating church, it can sometimes reduce opening hours or close certain areas to the public.
For example, on Sundays the abbey closes its doors to tourists during the church service. If you wish to enter the church during the service you may attend but inside you must act as a listener and be respectfully silent.
3. When to go to Westminster Abbey?
Westminster Abbey is the oldest Christian temple in London, home of the coronations of monarchs and royal pantheon. Such an important place attracts a good number of visitors every day, so if you do not want to find endless queues at the entrance it is best to go early in the morning to the temple.
Normally, tour groups usually show up an hour after the opening time of the abbey and it fills up quickly. Getting there early will allow you to have a quieter and more spiritual experience, which is precisely what you are looking for inside a church.
I do not recommend visiting Westminster Abbey around lunchtime (12 PM to 2:30 PM) because it is the most crowded. If for scheduling reasons, it is better for you to see this monument in the afternoon, it is preferable to go after lunch from 2:30 PM.
4. When is the best time to visit Westminster Abbey?
If you visit the temple on your own, the best time is early in the morning. However, on Wednesdays the abbey is usually open until 6 PM and during this time the tour groups that normally crowd the abbey are not allowed inside so the church is much less crowded.
As for the best time of the year, if you have the opportunity, I recommend visiting Westminster Abbey in springtime in London (between March and May) as the weather is milder and the gardens look more green and flowery. For example the Collage Garden of the temple (the oldest park in England with almost a millennium of existence). However, the London summer is also a fantastic time to visit.
5. What about visiting Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at the Abbey?
During the visit to Westminster Abbey, if you have the opportunity, I advise you to visit also a space hidden from the public for over 700 years inside the church as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries.
The opening hours of this place are as follows:
- Monday to Friday: Open from 10 AM to 2:45 PM (last entry)
- Saturdays: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM (last entry)
- Sundays: closed.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries are located in the medieval triforium above the abbey nave. It houses some very interesting art collections that tell the story of this church. In addition, from here there are incredible views of the Chapter House and the Palace of Westminster.
6. When can you make your last visit to Westminster Abbey?
The last access to Westminster Abbey is at 3:30 PM Monday through Friday and 1 PM on Saturdays.
Keep this in mind when planning your route through the area. Other monuments and tourist attractions near the abbey that you can visit afterwards are the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben or the Palace of Westminster.
7. How long is the visit to Westminster Abbey?
The sightseeing tour of Westminster Abbey lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes or 2 hours.
It is a place with a lot of history and many interesting places to discover inside Westminster Abbey such as the Lady Chapel, the medieval Cloisters, the Chapter House, St. Edward's Throne or the Poets' Corner (where famous writers such as William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Samuel Johnson or Rudyard Kipling are buried).
The abbey is a beauty inside, so I recommend that you see it without haste and take your time to contemplate it calmly.
8. What are the opening hours of the gift store?
Westminster Abbey has two gift stores open from 10.30 AM to 5.30 PM. Here you can find a wide variety of gifts related to the history of the temple, the royal family and London.
- Main Shop: Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3JS
- Cellarium Shop: Dean's Yard, London, SW1P 3PA
9. Schedules of tourist attractions near Westminster Abbey
You may want to check out other tourist attractions near Westminster Abbey after visiting the church. You can see the opening hours of some of these attractions below.
- London Eye opening hours: Inwinter it is open from 11 AM to 6 PM and in summer from 10 AM to 8.30 PM.
- Palace of Westminster: Guided tours are on Saturdays from 9:15 AM to 4:30 PM.