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Tickets for London attractions

We are traveling to England in three weeks and I am wondering how soon in advance we should be purchasing tickets for the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, etc. I have been checking the website for Westminster and it doesn’t allow tickets to be purchased in July yet. Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
8879 posts

Get Tower tickets now and Westminster tickets when they go on sale. There will still be queques but should move quickly. Be prepared both attractions to be crowded.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks. The Westminster site is confusing. I was checking back in April and went out several months. Now it only goes until the end of June.

Posted by
1332 posts

I do suggest buying tickets in advance to save a few pounds, but they don't need to be booked way far in advance. You'll certainly get in. It's far too early to be buying tickets for July.

The Harry Potter Studio tour is the one attraction that needs to be booked months in advance. I'd also suggest booking the Houses of Parliament tour a week or so in advance to guarantee your desired admission time.

Posted by
11294 posts

Another sight to get advance, timed tickets for is the Churchill War Rooms. They are much more popular than in the past, due to the movie, and if you don't have the timed tickets you can have a long wait. Plus, you get a discount for advance booking.

Actually, these days many London attractions have a discount for advance online booking. In addition to the War Rooms, Westminster Abbey, and Tower of London, here are some that I turned up in my non-comprehensive research:

St. Paul's Cathedral £16 online / £18 in person
Royal Observatory Greenwich & Cutty Sark £15.65 online / £20 in person
London Transport Museum £16 online / £17.50 in person
Kew Gardens £16 online / £17 in person

Posted by
713 posts

Just a tip here. We Americans tend to truncate place names, which the Brits don't. This was recently discussed a bit here on the England forum, in a few posts in another topic. Here's one of the posts in that discussion, with a bit bolded that's relevant here:

There was quite heated post on another travel forum regarding the
American habit of truncating street and road names but nobody seemed
to know why they do it.

I know it can sound pedantic when us Brits point this out, but it can
be genuinely confusing. Ask the way to “Oxford” - even when you’re
just a few blocks from Oxford Street - could definitely get you
pointed to the train station or the bus to the city of Oxford.

Westminster Abbey needs its full name as Westminster is a big part of
London.
Edgware & Edgware Road are two very different parts of London,
as are Tottenham and Tottenham Court Road. And even those that aren’t
misleading - like saying “Trafalgar” - just sounds wrong to English
ears. If a tourist asked me the way to Trafalgar I genuinely would
have to think twice before I realised they meant Trafalgar Square, as
the word Square is so much part of its name.

Even if you don't give a rat's rear about irritating the Brits, it's good to remember this if you want to ask for directions and get a helpful reply. :-)

Posted by
3034 posts

Thanks, Suz. That was helpful and hardly pedantic. I'm smiling while picturing an American tourist on a train to the town of Oxford when they intended to go to Oxford Street.

So there's nothing like the Paris Museum Pass? It's gonna be expensive
paying for all of those sites individually.

The big museums - like the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate(s), the Science Museum, the V&A etc - are all free to enter (donations encouraged).