Westminster Abbey

20 Dean's Yard, London SW1P 3PA

020 7222 5152

info@westminster-abbey.org

www.westminster-abbey.org

Guide Last Updated: 10/01/2017

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Access Guide

  • The Abbey is closed to general visitors on Sundays and for other religious festivals and special events.

  • The Abbey is closed to visitors one hour after the last entry time.

  • Other facilities, such as the Cloister, College Garden, Chapter House, café and shop each have different opening times.

  • Please see the guide to each facility for details.

  • Visitors who are attending services at the Abbey are admitted using the Great West Door.

  • All other visitors enter from the Great North Door, where the ticket offices are located.

  • Monday 09:30 - 15:30.

  • Tuesday 09:30 - 15:30.

  • Wednesday 09:30 - 15:30.

  • Wednesday 16:30 - 18:00.

  • Thursday 09:30 - 15:30.

  • Friday 09:30 - 15:30.

  • Saturday 09:30 - 13:30.

  • Sunday Closed.

  • From May to September the Saturday opening times change to 09.30 - 15.30.

  • The Abbey is located in central London, close to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Access is from Broad Sanctuary/ Victoria Street.

  • There is no parking at the Abbey or in nearby streets. It is possible for private cars and taxis to drive into The Sanctuary, at the west end of the Abbey, to drop off passengers. There are also generally taxis available in this location.

  • There is a bus stop within 150 metres of the venue.

  • Westminster Abbey is served by TFL services 11, 24, 88, 148 and 211 from all over London. The nearest bus stops are in Parliament Square, Victoria Street and Great Smith Street. Please see the TFL website to plan a bus journey to the Abbey. Every London bus route is wheelchair accessible, with automatic ramps and designated wheelchair spaces.

  • The nearest Railway Station is Charing Cross, Waterloo or Victoria.

  • Staff are available to assist with portable ramps from train to platform at these stations. There is step-free access from platform to street at each station. There are bus services and taxi ranks at each station to complete the journey to the Abbey.

  • The nearest underground station is Westminster on the Jubilee Line and District and Circle Lines.

  • There is step-free access from train to street at Westminster Underground station from the Jubilee Line. Portable access ramps are required from train to platform on the District and Circle Line trains. Please see the link to the TFL Journey Planner for access details of connecting routes and stations. It is about 0.2 miles (5 minute walk) from Westminster Undergound to the Great North Door visitor entrance. There are pedestrian crossings at all road crossings on the route.

  • There is a member of staff available for help and assistance.

  • Staff do not receive disability awareness/equality training.

  • Staff do not receive Deaf Awareness training.

  • There is not a member of staff trained in British Sign Language.

  • The alternative formats documents can be provided in include; Braille, large print, different languages and audio.

  • There is not an assistance dog toilet or toileting area at the venue/near by.

  • Water bowls for assistance dogs are not available.

  • There are mobility aids available.

  • The mobility aids available include wheelchairs.

  • To obtain mobility aids please contact the Visitor Information Desk or a member of the Abbey staff.

  • After the ticket offices at the Great North Door, visitors follow a set route around the Abbey.

  • This starts in the nave towards the Great West Door then heads east through the Quire.

  • It then follows the ambulatory past the side chapels to Henry VII's Lady Chapel and continues to Poets' Corner.

  • Visitors who can manage steps are then directed into the Cloisters.

  • The Cloisters give access to the Chapter House, Pyx Chamber, College Garden, and the Cellarium Café and Shop.

  • The accessible and standard toilets and baby change facilities are also located off the Cloisters.

  • Visitors then return to the Abbey nave using further steps before leaving by the Great West Door.

  • Visitors with mobility difficulties are advised to complete their tour of the Abbey before leaving by the Great West Door.

  • There is a step free route into the Cloisters using the Dean's Yard entrance.

  • This is reached using the footpath through the archway from The Sanctuary into Dean's Yard.

  • There is a level path on this route.

  • The surface of the approach is stone/concrete tiles.

  • There is step free access on the approach.

  • There are level paths directly towards the entrance from Parliament Square and alongside the nave from The Sanctuary at the west end.

  • This information is for the entrance located on the north side of the Abbey, facing Parliament Square.

  • The entrance area/door is clearly signed.

  • There is not a canopy or recess which provides weather protection at this entrance.

  • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.

  • The main door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).

  • The door(s) is/are double width.

  • The door(s) is/are permanently held open.

  • The width of the door opening is 142cm.

  • There is a second set of doors.

  • The door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).

  • The door(s) is/are double width but one door is locked.

  • The door(s) is/are permanently held open.

  • The width of the door opening is 83cm.

  • The ramp/slope is located in front of the first doors.

  • The gradient of the ramp/slope is steep.

  • The ramp/slope is permanent.

  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.

  • The width of the ramp/slope is 142cm (4ft 8in).

  • There is a third set of doors.

  • The doors are double width but one leaf is locked.

  • The open door is 85cm wide and is held open.

  • The ramp is short (about 40cm long).

  • There is a similar entrance immediately to the right of the one described.

  • This entrance has a deep, unmarked step at the first doorway.

  • This entrance is usually used for visitors with pre-booked tickets.

  • Staff will direct visitors in this queue to the step free entrance if appropriate.

  • The reception point is located between the second and third doors at the Great North Door - Visitor Entrance.

  • The reception point is approximately 2m (2yd 7in) from the Great North Door - Visitor Entrance.

  • The reception area/desk is clearly visible from the entrance.

  • There is step free access to the reception point.

  • There is a clear unobstructed route to the reception point.

  • There are windows, TVs, glazed screens or mirrors behind the reception point which could adversely affect the ability of someone to lip read.

  • The reception counter is not placed in front of a background which is patterned.

  • The lighting levels at the reception point are good.

  • The height of the reception counter is medium height (77cm - 109cm).

  • There is sufficient space to write or sign documents on the counter.

  • There is not a lowered section of the counter.

  • The counter is staffed.

  • There is not a hearing assistance system at the reception point.

  • The counter is located to the right after the ticket office at the Great North Door - Visitor Entrance.

  • The counter is approximately 5m (5yd 1ft) from the Great North Door - Visitor Entrance.

  • The counter is clearly visible from the entrance.

  • There is step free access to the counter.

  • There is a clear unobstructed route to the counter.

  • There are not windows, TVs, glazed screens or mirrors behind the counter which could adversely affect the ability of someone to lip read.

  • The counter is not placed in front of a background which is patterned.

  • The lighting levels at the counter are good.

  • The height of the counter is medium height (77cm - 109cm).

  • There is sufficient space to write or sign documents on the counter.

  • There is not a lowered section of the counter.

  • The counter is staffed.

  • There is not a hearing assistance system at the counter.

  • Signs and universally accepted symbols or pictograms, indicating lifts, stairs, WCs, circulation routes and other parts of the building are not provided near the counter.

  • There is a waiting area close to the counter.

  • Access to the waiting area is unobstructed.

  • The seats do not have armrests.

  • There is sufficient space for a wheelchair user to use the waiting area.

  • The main source of visitor information is the audio guide, which is available in a choice of languages.

  • Handsets are collected from staff near the visitor information counter.

  • The audio guide can also be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet in advance of the visit (please see the link in the Introduction Section), and used with headphones.

  • The audio guide describes the Abbey only, and does not cover the Cloisters or other areas.

  • Written transcripts and maps are available.

  • Large print and Braille leaflets of the standard tour are available.

  • Guided tours and touch tours are available by arrangement.

  • A large print booklet of the touch tour can be downloaded in advance of a visit (please see the link in the Introduction Section).

  • Abbey staff in their distinctive gowns are available throughout the Abbey for information and assistance.

  • There is step free access throughout the majority of the building.

  • The type of flooring in corridors/walkways is tiles and stone.

  • There is some flooring in corridors/walkways with large, repeating patterns that incorporate bold contrasting colours or simulate steps.

  • The lighting levels are varied.

  • Wayfinding signage is not provided.

  • There is a hearing assistance system.

  • The system is a fixed loop.

  • The hearing loop is used throughout the Abbey during church services and special events.

  • The tour begins with the nave, leading to the Quire and towards the High Altar.

  • There is step-free access throughout these areas.

  • The stone floor is worn, smooth and slightly uneven in places.

  • There is extensive seating without armrests available in the nave and South Transept.

  • For services, wheelchair spaces are generally available at the front of the seating area.

  • The seating layout is flexible and may be changed if required.

  • From the High Altar, there is a short easy slope down to the North Ambulatory.

  • The Ambulatory is the walkway leading around the outside of the High Altar and the Shrine of Edward the Confessor.

  • Following the Ambulatory towards the east end, there are a series of side chapels off to the left.

  • There is level access into St Michael's Chapel.

  • There is an archway with two uneven, marked steps up into the Chapel of St John the Baptist.

  • There are no handrails at the steps.

  • On the right of the Ambulatory is a wooden staircase leading to the Shrine of Edward the Confessor.

  • The shrine is not open to the general public but is available for private prayer by prior arrangement.

  • There are 10 medium, unmarked steps up to the shrine with a steep ramp at the top.

  • The stairs have handrails to both sides.

  • There are additional images of St John's Chapel and a film about the shrine on the audio guide.

  • The last chapel on the left is St Paul's.

  • There is a short easy slope to enter this chapel.

  • Henry VII's Lady Chapel is located at the east end of the Abbey.

  • There are 12 medium steps up, with the first and last steps marked.

  • There is a handrail to the right of the left hand section of the stairs.

  • There are a further three steps up at the top into the main chapel or the side chapels and several single steps within the main chapel.

  • The side chapels include the tombs of Queen Elizabeth I, Mary I and Mary Queen of Scots.

  • The route around these tombs is very narrow - less than 55cm - in places.

  • Visitors who are unable to access the Lady Chapel can view a short film on the audio guide.

  • After the Lady Chapel, the Ambulatory continues around the shrine towards the west of the Abbey.

  • To the left of the Ambulatory as you follow the set route, there are entrances into two further side chapels.

  • There are three shallow, marked steps up to enter the Chapel of St Nicholas.

  • There is a very worn, deep step at the entrance to the Chapel of St Edmund.

  • There are additional single steps within the chapel.

  • From the South Ambulatory, the set route continues through Poet's Corner to the South Transept.

  • There is seating without armrests in the South Transept.

  • From here, visitors who have no difficulty using the stairs continue the tour by entering the Cloisters by the door on the left and re-enter the Abbey by a second door with steps.

  • Please see the guide to the Cloisters for details.

  • All visitors leave the Abbey by the Great West Door.

  • This is also the accessible route to the Cloisters.

  • The surface of the approach is stone/concrete tiles.

  • The approach surface is uneven in places.

  • There is step free access on the approach.

  • This information is for the exit located at the west end of the Abbey nave.

  • The exit area/door is clearly signed internally.

  • The exit is ramped/sloped or stepped.

  • There is not a canopy or recess which provides weather protection at this exit.

  • The exit door(s) does not/do not contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.

  • The door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).

  • The door(s) is/are single width.

  • The door(s) is/are permanently held open.

  • The width of the door opening is 86cm.

  • There is a second set of doors.

  • The door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).

  • The door(s) is/are double width.

  • The door(s) is/are permanently held open.

  • The width of the door opening is 220cm.

  • There is a member of staff available for assistance at this exit.

  • The ramp/slope is located at the first two steps, then a second ramp at the further single step.

  • The gradient of the ramp/slope is steep.

  • The ramp/slope is portable.

  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the ramp.

  • The width of the ramp/slope is 79cm (2ft 7in).

  • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).

  • The step(s) is/are located after the second set of doors.

  • There is/are 3 step(s).

  • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.

  • The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.

  • The height of the step(s) is/are 15cm.

  • The going of the step(s) is/are between 30cm and 45cm.

  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).

  • The Great West Door is also used as the main entrance for visitors attending church services and special events.

  • The Great West Door opens onto a forecourt with cobbled paving.

  • The main Abbey shop opens off this forecourt.

  • The nearest accessible toilet(s) is/are located off the Cloisters.

  • Please see the guide to the Cloisters for details.

  • The nearest standard toilet(s) is/are located off the Cloisters.

  • Please see the guide to the Cloisters for details.