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Westminster Abbey verger tour question

Hi everybody,

I've been to the Abbey twice before (most recently two years ago), but I've never done the verger tour and I'd like to see some of the new exhibits. I'm flying to London on Wednesday and hoping to go on Friday or Saturday. I'd prefer to book my ticket in advance, but it seems I can only book the tour when I get to the Abbey. I'm worried about booking online and then not being able to add on the tour. Has anybody had experience with this? Do these tours fill up fast?

Thanks,
Caroline

Posted by
1884 posts

This tour is definitely worth trying to figure this out. When I took this a couple years ago, you could call the day before and make a reservation for the tour. I called from France as I was waiting for the Eurostar and made the reservation. Since you will be in London a couple days ahead, I would try calling. I loved the tour.

Posted by
617 posts

yes from the Abbey website you book on arrival, which was the case when I visited in December 2016.

Tour times
April to September

Monday-Friday: 10.00am, 10.30am, 11.00am, 2.00pm, 2.30pm
Saturdays: 10.00am, 10.30am, 11.00am

October to March
Monday-Friday: 10.30am, 11.00am, 2.00pm, 2.30pm
Saturday: 10.30am, 11.00am

How to book
For a verger tour, you’ll pay entry price plus £5. (From 1st April 2019, the charge for a verger tour will be £7 per person.)
You can book a verger tour when you arrive at the Abbey.

I prebooked my admission so that I didn’t have to wait in line to enter. I arrived about 15 min before opening time, showed my printed-at-home ticket to the staff person managing the queues, and at opening time was let in ahead of those waiting to buy tickets. I then went directly to the desk and got on the list for the first Verger tour about an hour later. I was given a paper bracelet and was free to walk around until the tour started. The Verger tour was really good. Hope you enjoy your visit!

Posted by
65 posts

Hi Caroline, I just went to Westminster Abbey last week and had the same concern. My recommendation is to definitely pre-book your initial entry into the abbey (would go on Friday morning first thing-Saturday might be a bit too crowded for my liking). At opening, I had the entire abbey basically to myself. Heaven! Once you go through the first ticket scanning, there is a small kiosk where I booked an add-on visit to the new Queen’s Diamond Jubilee galleries (highly recommended). The ticket kiosk representative will show you where to book your verger tour. It is to the right of the kiosk. You can decide which order to do things but I went through the new jubilee galleries first and then took the 1:30 verger tour. The verger tour was not full and was easy to sign up and pay for. The verger tour really helped enhance my visit. They do a fabulous job bringing the history of the abbey to life. Definitely book it. Hope you enjoy your visit!

Posted by
14288 posts

I'll just add that you can download (free) the official Audio tour from the Westminster Abbey website to your phone so you can listen to a few of the clips while you are waiting for the verger tour to begin. The audio tour is free but the listening device is kind of bulky so a smartphone and earbuds are much lighter!

I also arrived early and got on one of the first verger tours of the day. Completely worthwhile. I have not been since the new Queen's Gallery opened but I'd take the advice above and book it as well when you get into the Abbey. If you need a break for lunch - the Cellarium Cafe is pretty good.

Posted by
3392 posts

The verger tour is absolutely worth the trouble! I went in April, waited in line about 20 minutes for my general admission ticket, and was able to book a verger tour right then and there, starting 15 minutes later. They do limit the number of people on this tour. The vergers know virtually everything about the cathedral and it's traditions...far better than any other tour you could possibly take. It also has the added advantage that you get to go visit the enclosed area with the tomb of Edward the Confessor - the only tour that gives you access to this area according to my information! Go first thing in the morning and you will likely be able to book a verger tour...they happen frequently throughout the day.