Westminster Attic
London, England, 2012
Overall Rating: B+

Westminster Abbey Carving over door of Westminster Abbey Plumber

The Smithsonian Institution is affectionately known as the attic of the United States. Westminster Abbey is also packed with England's history, but instead of George Washington's wooden teeth it is crammed with the tombs of England's most historic figures.

We visited Westminster Abbey during our seven hour layover at Heathrow Airport. I don't believe I've been anywhere else that exudes so much history. The children struggled to appreciate the historical signifigance, but being in the seven year old princess stage, Emi's ears perked up when I mentioned that the British kings and queens are all crowned there.

The highlight of my visit was a simple grave in the hallway which rings the court yard. Tucked in this historical place with all the kings, queens and poets is the grave of the cathedral's faithful plumber. Only in England would an honest working man be honored in such a way (see the nearby photo). This says more about the English culture that built the British Empire than a dozen history books.

Family Grades
Toni (Mom) - B "Very ornate, in every way for every little piece in there and it had tons of stuff in it. It was very choppy. Expected it to be open, but instead had lots of little rooms. It did not seem like a church at all. It seemed more like an attic."Audio Clip

Sean (13 yrs) - C - "It may be where the king and queen are crowned but it was not nice to walk through because everything was guided, like you have to go through this road to get to the end but then we kind of get lost."Audio Clip

Kyle (12 yrs) - B - "I give Westminster Abbey a B because there are a lot of dead bodies in there."Audio Clip

Emi (7 yrs) - A+ - "Because it is where they crown the kings and queens so there will be a new king and queen."Audio Clip

Getting There

Go to the Westminster metro station, just walk around behing Big Ben. Map Info on Wikipedia


A couple points of advice:

1) It is somewhat expensive for families at 16 pounds for adults.

2) Allow 1-2 hours.

3) Photography is not allowed.

4) Take advantage of the free audio guides.

5) Adults should take turns watching the kids, so they can take turns enjoying the audio tour at a leisurely pace.

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