Westminster Abbey Visit and Changing of the Guard

Westminster Abbey Visit and Changing of the Guard

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$ 86

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Adult (Ages 17+)

Child (Ages 6-16)

    For Groups of 20 or more, please contact our GoTo Crew.

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      London, England
      2.5 hours
      Moderate
      From (USD)
      $ 86
      • Westminster Abbey: Visit the church where momentous events in British history have unfolded for 1,000 years – from royal coronations and weddings to the burials of monarchs, poets, and historic figures.           
      • Changing of the Guard: Witness one of the British Empire's oldest and most revered traditions from an optimum vantage point. Your expert guide will have you in position at the right time for the best pictures.
      • Palace walk: Colorful commentary enlivens a guided walk by Horse Guards Parade to St. James Park and Buckingham Palace – a route steeped in history and pageantry.
      • Top-shelf insights: Your guide, who has achieved the UK's highest certification, knows the sights and the stories behind them And unlike a guidebook, they interact and answer questions.
      • Small group = more personal: Groups are limited to no more than 25, for a relaxed and intimate experience with deeper guide interaction and audio headsets to make sure you don't miss a word.

      Meeting point

      Please make your way to the tall marble & stone column opposite the west entrance of Westminster Abbey to meet our tour representative.

      Helpful hints

      Changing of the Guard will not operate in heavy rain and will be replaced with an extended walking tour. Photography is not permitted in Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey does not permit large or bulky items of luggage. To avoid disruptions or possible denied entry, we strongly suggest that you avoid bringing large purses, bags, or backpacks on your tour. There are no cloakroom facilities at the Abbey to store any luggage.

      Getting around

      You will be walking mostly over uneven paths with some steps. If you have limited mobility, this tour may be too challenging for you to enjoy and maintain the pace of the group. It is not wheelchair accessible.

      Activity type

      Walking Tour, Family Friendly, Cultural

      Languages

      English

      Tour ID

      TR-EUR-GBR-LOND-EN-1021

      Tour Participation Requirements

      Activity Level

      This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.

      Age restrictions

      Suitable for all ages.

      It's not a normal abbey or a cathedral, but rather a "Royal Peculiar," a church answerable only to the sovereign. And even before the cornerstone of the current Westminster Abbey was laid in 1245, this site had become the spot for blockbuster royal events, beginning with William the Conqueror's coronation in 1066. Most recently, it hosted William and Kate's 2011 nuptials in 2011; the centuries in between have been a parade of history-making moments.

      Inside, this gleaming showplace practically emits its own light. Perhaps it's all that treasure – paintings, stained glass, bronzes, tapestries, and artifacts that include the spectacular gilded Coronation Chair commissioned in 1296 by Edward the Confessor. Or the echoes of the 17 British monarchs and another 1,300 or so of Britain's most revered personages buried and memorialized here.

      Given its sheer size and stature within history, a visit inside this building is a humbling experience. And one guaranteed to take your breath away.

      So, in a completely different way, is that thrilling daily tribute to classic British pomp and circumstance known as the Changing of the Guard. This intricately choreographed ceremony, performed either at Buckingham Palace or Horse Guards Parade (depending on the day), is the oldest – and perhaps quirkiest – palace tradition of all. 

      The Queen's Guards in their snappy red tunics and bearskin hats, along with Her dashing Household Cavalry in their silver plumed helmets astride magnificent steeds, together execute a ballet of elaborate processionals, inspections, and flag-flying maneuvers with the royal band providing a sprightly soundtrack to it all.

      This spectacle always attracts a sea of spectators, so it's important to be in the right place at the right time to get the best view. No worries; your seasoned guide knows every inch of the route.

      They also know some intriguing stories about Buckingham Palace itself – enough to make a queen blush. But not noticeably, of course.

      Fire in the nave

      Westminster Abbey was a sitting duck for German bombers during World War II, so most of its movable treasures were evacuated to country homes for safekeeping. Fragile stained glass windows were boarded over, though many were still blown out. On one night in 1941, clusters of incendiary bombs burned through a section of the roof, causing molten lead to cascade onto the floor below, scorching the pulpit and choir stalls. Alert firewatchers helped prevent the whole place from going up in flames.

      Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.

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      London, England
      London, England
      London, England
      Great photo opportunities
      Bring money
      Wear comfortable shoes

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      General disclaimer

      Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.

      To book this tour for a large group, visit ourGROUPS PAGE for special discounted group rates