Standing majestically in the heart of London, a stunning example of Gothic architecture, Westminster Abbey should be top of everyone’s must-see list when visiting England’s capital city. Built in 1245, the site was established as a monastery in 960 by Benedictine monks. The Abbey is home to The College Garden, reputedly the oldest garden in England at around one thousand years.
Today, and since 1066, Westminster Abbey is the locus for the coronation of England’s kings and queens… 38 have been crowed there to date. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip took their vows there in 1947. The abbey boasts an abundance of artworks and provides a monument to fallen soldiers, statesmen, scientists, artists and poets. One section around the cloisters, known as ‘Poet’s Corner’, provides a final resting place for Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, Keats and Tennyson, among many other greats. Princess Diana’s funeral also took place at this befitting location in 1997.
Westminster Abbey is within walking distance to the Houses of Parliament and the famous Big Ben clock. You can explore the abbey alone or with the aid of a guided tour. Evensong Mass is held every day, except Wednesdays, at 5pm weekdays and 3pm at weekends. If travelling by underground public transport, Westminster and St. James’s Park are the closest tube stations.