Frequently Asked Questions About Westminster Abbey

By Harshitha Jagathiesh

Westminster Abbey is one of the most popular landmarks in London. 

Visitors often have various queries before visiting the abbey.

This article answers the most commonly asked questions about Westminster Abbey to help you plan your visit. 

Ticket FAQs

1. Can you go inside Westminster Abbey?

Yes, visitors can go inside Westminster Abbey. 

It is open to the public for visits, and tourists can explore the interior of this historic and iconic London landmark. 

While it is primarily a place of worship and significant religious ceremonies, it also welcomes tourists who want to experience its cultural and historical significance.

2. Is it worth paying for Westminster Abbey?

While religious visitors can enter for free, tourists must get an admission ticket

The admission ticket allows you to explore the cathedral and closely examine its artifacts, treasures, bells, architecture and more.

If you are interested in history, art, or British culture, paying for  Westminster Abbey is worth it.

3. Is Westminster Abbey free to enter?

Westminster Abbey is free for religious visitors and for attending mass and services. 

However, there is an entry ticket for tourists and explorers. 

4. How much does it cost to go into Westminster Cathedral?

The Westminster Abbey entry ticket costs £29 for adults (17 to 64 years). 

Senior Citizens (65 to 99 years) and Students with ID can get the tickets for £26.
Children between the ages of six to 16 also get tickets for a discounted price of £13. 

Infants below five years enjoy free entry. 

5. What are Westminster Abbey tickets 2 for 1?

Westminster Abbey tickets 2 for 1 is a promotional offer that allows two adults to enter Westminster Abbey for the price of one ticket.

It provides a discounted entry to family and pairs.

6. Can I leave and re-enter the Abbey on the same day?

Visitors can not re-enter the abbey with the same ticket. 

You must purchase a new ticket to re-enter Westminster Abbey. 

7. Can I reserve a seat in the Quire for a service?

No, seats cannot be reserved for any services at Westminster Abbey. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Plan Your Visit

1. Is Westminster Abbey open on Boxing Day?

Boxing Day is the public holiday after Christmas on 26 December. 

Westminster Abbey is open on Boxing Day from 10 am to 3.30 pm

2. Can I bring a bag to Westminster Abbey?

Visitors can bring small, carry-on bags.

Large backpacks and bags with wheels are not permitted inside the abbey. 

3. What is the dress code for Westminster Abbey service?

While Westminster Abbey does not have a set dress code or protocol, all visitors are expected to dress modestly to respect the religious significance of the place. 

This typically means avoiding clothing that is too casual or revealing. 

Guests should make sure they cover their shoulders and knees. 

Men may choose to wear a suit or dress shirt and slacks, while women may opt for a dress or blouse with a skirt or trousers.

4. Can you wear shorts in Westminster Abbey?

Wearing shorts is generally discouraged when attending services at Westminster Abbey. 

The suggested dress code for services is more formal and modest attire.

5. Where is Westminster Abbey located?

Westminster Abbey is located in the heart of London, England. 

Its address is 20 Deans Yard, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, United Kingdom. Get Directions. 

It is situated near many other famous landmarks, like the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and the River Thames.

6. How do you get from Paddington Station to Westminster Abbey?

The most common way to get from Paddington Station to Westminster Abbey is by using the public transportation system, specifically the London Underground (the Tube).

You can take the Circle Line or District Line from Paddington Station to Westminster Station, which is within walking distance of Westminster Abbey. 

The journey should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes by Tube. 

Alternatively, you can use buses or taxis to reach Westminster Abbey from Paddington Station, depending on your preference and the traffic conditions. 

Paddington Station is well-connected to various parts of London, making it convenient for travelers to reach Westminster Abbey.

About Westminster Abbey

1. Is Westminster Abbey Catholic or Protestant?

Westminster Abbey is a Protestant Christian church. 

It belongs to the Church of England and is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. 

While it has a rich history of royal and national significance, including hosting coronations and other ceremonies, it follows the Anglican (Protestant) tradition of Christianity. 

The abbey played a prominent role in the English Reformation during the 16th century when the Church of England separated from the authority of the Pope in Rome.

2. What can I see at Westminster Abbey?

Westminster Abbey offers visitors a wealth of historical and cultural treasures to explore. 

Some main attractions and points of interest include the Poets’ Corner, the Coronation Chair, the Lady Chapel, and the tombs and memorials

Visitors can also attend services and concerts, explore the beautiful cloisters, and take in the remarkable Gothic architecture that defines the abbey’s interior and exterior.

3. Does Westminster Abbey belong to the Royal Family?

Westminster Abbey does not belong to the Royal Family. 

It is an Anglican (Church of England) cathedral and a place of worship with a long history of hosting royal events, including coronations and weddings. 

While it has played a significant role in royal ceremonies, the abbey is an independent religious institution with its governance and leadership.

4. Can only royals get married at Westminster Abbey?

No, Westminster Abbey is not exclusively reserved for royal weddings. 

While it has been the site of several royal weddings and coronations throughout history, it is not limited to royal couples. 

Westminster Abbey is open to all couples meeting the necessary marriage requirements within the Church of England. 

To marry at the abbey, couples typically need a connection to the church or a qualifying connection to the abbey itself. 

This includes being a congregation member, residing in the parish, or having a family connection. 

Many non-royal couples have chosen Westminster Abbey as their wedding venue due to its historical significance and architectural beauty.

5. Did Meghan Markle get married at Westminster Abbey?

No, Meghan Markle did not get married at Westminster Abbey. 

She married Prince Harry in a royal wedding that took place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018.

6. Did William and Kate marry at Westminster Abbey?

Yes, Prince William and Catherine Middleton, commonly known as Prince William and Kate, were married at Westminster Abbey.

Their wedding took place on April 29, 2011.

7. When was Westminster Abbey Built?

Westminster Abbey has a complex history of construction and renovation. 

The original abbey on the site dates back to the 7th century, but the present structure, with its iconic Gothic architecture, was built over several centuries.
 
Construction of the current Westminster Abbey began in the mid-13th century, with the completion of significant parts occurring in the 14th and 15th centuries. 

It was consecrated in 1269.

The abbey has undergone renovations, restorations, and additions throughout its history, contributing to its architectural complexity and historical significance.

8. How big is Westminster Abbey?

Westminster Abbey’s length from west to east is approximately 530 feet (161 meters), with the width of the nave measuring around 38 feet (11.5 meters). 

The abbey’s central nave reaches a height of about 101 feet (31 meters). 

Additionally, the abbey’s impressive Gothic-style facade and intricate details make it one of London’s most visually striking landmarks. 

Its size and architectural grandeur reflect its historical and cultural importance as a symbol of British heritage and a place of worship and commemoration.

9. Why is Westminster Abbey called the Royal Peculiar?

It is referred to as a “Royal Peculiar” because it operates under the direct jurisdiction of the British monarch rather than a bishop or diocese within the Church of England. 

This unique status means that the abbey is under the immediate authority of the reigning sovereign, making it exempt from the usual hierarchy of the church. 

This special designation has existed for centuries and reflects the abbey’s close association with the British monarchy.

It has been the site of royal coronations, weddings, and burials for many generations.

10. How many people are buried at Westminster Abbey?

Westminster Abbey is the final resting place for many individuals, including British monarchs, politicians, writers, scientists, and other notable figures. 

Estimates suggest that there are over 3,300 people buried or commemorated at the abbey. 

Famous historical figures like Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, and Geoffrey Chaucer are among them. 

The Poets’ Corner within the abbey contains memorials to many renowned writers, further enhancing the cultural and historical significance of Westminster Abbey as a place of remembrance.

Featured Image: Hotels.com

Harshita
About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore