Trip Report: Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey


Disney Cruise, Lifestyle, Travel, Trip Reports, Vacations / Monday, February 25th, 2019

This post will be shorter than the others. Also, I don’t have as many pictures from this day because there is no photography permitted in Westminster Abbey.

We had a bit of a late start this day. You may notice a trend—travelling with kids and teens requires some flexibility and more downtime. If I remember correctly we had some croissants from Borough Market for breakfast, and then made our way to the meet-up spot for our tour with Walk On Walk Off Tours of Westminster and Parliament Square.

Westminster Palace

Once again we were the only people to arrive for the tour. This time we had Gareth, who showed us around the area. The tour started across the River Thames from the Palace of Westminster—a great spot for taking photos. Unfortunately, due to the renovations, they are not the classic photos you might expect.

Westminster Palace
Westminster Palace
Protesters Outside Westminster Palace
Protesters Outside Westminster Palace

Parliament Square

From Westminster Palace, we made our way to Parliament Square. It is known for its twelve statues of statesmen and other notable figures as well as a protest area. Erected in 2018, Millicent Fawcett, a campaigner for the womens’ suffrage movement, is the only woman there. Other statues of notable figures include Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Robert Peel, and Sir Winston Churchill.

There were also a few Brexit protesters in the area.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
Sir Winston Churchill Statue
Sir Winston Churchill Statue
Statue of Millicent Fawcett, Suffragist
Statue of Millicent Fawcett, Suffragist
Field Marshal Smuts
Field Marshal Smuts

The Westminster Abbey Choir School and Westminster school were included on our tour. The latter was founded by Henry VIII. Helena Bonham Carter, the Queen of Hearts in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, attended the school.

Westminster
Westminster
Boot Scraper
Boot Scraper
Westminster Palace, Victoria Tower
Westminster Palace, Victoria Tower

The tour ended just outside of Victoria Tower. You may recognize this green space from the news. Many news outlets had cameras set up here. It was another beautiful day; hardly a cloud in the sky.

Westminster Abbey

This was my favourite place we visited while in London.

I booked tickets the night before to enter Westminster Abbey. Tickets are available online a few months out. We waited to buy them as we were not sure which day we wanted to go. I liked that they offered family tickets for two adults and one child—it is rare that we get to take advantage of family rates.

The entrance fee includes an audio tour, but I would recommend that you also do the verger-guided tour if possible. For an additional £5, (prices go up to £7 after April 1, 2019), you will get access to some areas that are closed to the general public. Every evening at 5:00 pm except Wednesday the choir performs Evensong

Every coronation since William the Conqueror, in 1066, has taken place at the Abbey. Sixteen royal weddings, including Elizabeth II to Prince Philip and her grandson Prince William to Cathrine Middleton, took place in the Abbey.

Over 3300 prominent Britons are buried here. These include at least sixteen monarchs, Mary I of England (Bloody Mary), her sister Elizabeth I of England, her successor James I of England, and his mother Mary, Queen of Scots. You will also find scientists Sir Issac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Stephen Hawking interred here. As well, writer and poet Geoffrey Chaucer is buried in the Abbey. Many other poets, writers and musicians are buried or memorialized in the Abbey, Robert Burns, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen.

You can see the Coronation chair, but not the Stone of Destiny, which resides in Edinburgh Castle when not being used for Coronations. The Abbey is absolutely chock-full of British history.

Back to the Hotel

I don’t remember what we did after leaving the Abbey, but I have a feeling we ate dinner at Nando’s, which was across the walkway from our hotel, and turned in for an early night.

Our plans for Friday was visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum. I noticed that the Natural History Museum was located next to the Victoria and Albert Museum and thought we should stop there for an hour or two before the V&A museum.

If you enjoyed this post and wanted to read more about our trip I have posted about our planningtravelling to London, our first day in London, visiting the Borough Market, our visit to the British Museum and Tour for Muggles, and the Tower of London. As well as stateroom tours of our secret porthole rooms 6006 and 5520.


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