Just over a year ago, Westminster Abbey relaxed a long-standing ban on taking photographs inside the Abbey, and as at the moment London is quiet, it’s a very good time to visit.

Entry to the Abbey is often via a long queue to get in, and then lots of people standing just in front of the thing you are most interested in seeing, but at the moment, as with so many London venues, the crowds are very thin indeed. Obviously not good for the venues who are needing the income, but a great chance for Londoners to visit those usually crowded tourist hotspots that we keep meaning to visit but never quite get around to doing so.

Westminster Abbey is one of those awesomely overwhelmingly large buildings that’s just packed with monuments grand and plain in every possible corner they can find, from the ledger stones in the paving to massive carved statues along the walls. And of course, royal tombs.

Apart from the main Abbey nave, there’s also the fairly recently opened Diamond Jubilee Galleries, which house more museum-style exhibits and offers an amazing view along the nave. There’s also the cloisters with the Chapter House and Pyx Chambers to see, and last week, I had the Chapter House all to myself. Marvellous.

Photography for personal reasons is permitted with some general restrictions.

Video recording, flash photography, extra lighting, selfie sticks and tripods are not permitted. Also, photography of children and young people is prohibited without the consent of the accompanying adult.

Although photography is permitted in most of the Abbey, they are still restricting it in the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor and St Faith’s Chapel. Sadly, the ban on photography remains in place for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, which also happen to offer the most stunning view of the naive from up high.

Entry to Westminster Abbey typically costs £24 per adult (plus £5 for the galleries if you want), but if you want to go back a few times for photos, it might be better to consider joining the Abbey Association. That costs £40, but gets you unlimited visits for a whole year, amongst other benefits. There is also free admission for residents of the City of Westminster, using the City Save card.

A baker’s dozen photos

View from the Great West Door

Quire towards the altar

Towards the Lady Chapel

Quire towards the Great West Door

Lady Chapel and tomb of Henry VII

Roses on the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots

Churches used to be a lot more colourful

Towards the tombs of medieval kings and queens

Chapter House

Pyx Chamber

Nativity in front of Scientists’ Corner

Towards the Great North Door

Entrance to the Quire

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6 comments
  1. Duncan Sellars says:

    Westminster Abbey were doing tours of the abbey last year, taking visitors behind the scenes to places usually inaccessible to the public. Sadly no photography allowed but definitely worth doing!

  2. Fred Westinghouse says:

    Hi Ian, tell me, what camera do you use? What ISO value? Are you using a tripod? I ask because your photos in dimly lit areas look so clean / noise free.

  3. Matheus says:

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos. I wa sin doubt about taking my 2 nephews there as they are in their early teens and thought they’ll struggle to enjoy the experience, but you definitely convinced me that it’s perfect occasion for taking them there. Do you know if it’s allowed to leave flowers and notes in some of the monuments? I was thinking it could help to make a more engaging experience for them…

  4. Joy Levene says:

    These are indeed beautiful photos. I do wish I had been able to visit when it was so empty. There are many very quiet corners which we were never allowed to take groups to which I absolutely adored and longed to linger in, like the monument to the unfortunate Major Andre and all the delights of Musicians Aisle…..

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