Westminster Abbey verger tours are a great addtion to your London family vacation.
Westminster Abbey pulls double duty as a functional Royal church that offers daily services and World Heritage Site that is incredibly popular with tourists. The church has a rich history that goes back more than 1,000 years and includes Royal weddings and other prestigious events. It has also been the focus of documentaries and television shows.
While the history is interesting and the religious services may attract certain visitors, it’s the intricate architecture that brings many tourists to Westminster Abbey. The church’s Gothic-style vault stretches just over 100 feet into the air, and there are small signatures and marks throughout the building that you might miss if you don’t understand the church’s structural history.
You can learn all about the church and its historical roots when you tour Westminster Abbey, and we highly recommend the Westminster Abbey Verger Tour. Keep reading to learn what the tour is all about. Our details may help you decide whether this is a good tour for your family or not.
Who are the Westminster Abbey Vergers?
Vergers are attendants who take care of guests and clergy members at a church. They’re in charge of making sure things run smoothly at Westminster Abbey, so they have a much deeper understanding of the church than even longstanding members.
That expertise makes the Vergers of Westminster Abbey the perfect tour guides. There’s a lot to see at the church, and you want a guide who can tell you stories of the past while answering your questions inspired by life today. That’s the crossover knowledge that you will only get when touring the Abbey with a verger.
What Is the Westminster Abbey Verger Tour?
Westminster Abbey verger tours are group tours guided by one of the church’s vergers. You will walk through the church while listening to live commentary presented by the verger. You will also have opportunities to ask questions and interact with the verger, which can deliver even more valuable information as you tour the church.
The vergers of Westminster Abbey will take you through some areas of the church that aren’t open to standard visitors. You’ll see tombs where members of the British monarchy are buried, including the otherwise private Tomb of St. Edward the Confessor. The tour also takes you to Poet’s Corner and the Lady Chapel.
Anyone can visit the Abbey and walk through on their own, but you gain a deeper level of understanding when you have an expert on the church explain exactly what you’re seeing and why it’s significant.
What to Expect on the Westminster Abbey Verger Tour
One thing you can always count on at Westminster Abbey is a crowd. Millions of people from around the world visit each year, so you may have quite a few people clamoring for the Verger Tour along with you. Checking the tour times in advance and showing up early to ensure you get tickets is the best thing you can do, since tour tickets aren’t booked online at this time.
When you arrive, you go to the ticket desk to confirm your general entrance reservations and express interest in the tour. You will pay a little per person for the tour and will have complete access to the church and tour once you pay.
When the tour begins, you will meet an animated tour guide full of personal anecdotes from the modern church plus a ton of history knowledge from hundreds of years in the past. That tour guide is your church verger, and he will let you know when and how it is okay to ask questions throughout the tour. These are group tours, so you will also benefit from listening to questions from your fellow participants.
Throughout the tour, you will see a lot of elaborate memorials that celebrate the life of poets, writers, Monarchs, and many other people who made a significant contribution to the church, London, and the world at large while they were alive. Some are more dramatic than others, and you will hear many of their stories directly from your verger tour guide.
You don’t need to know much British history before going on this tour, but you will know a lot more when it’s complete. You may also pick up some interesting tidbits of knowledge about the current Royal family, since the vergers serve daily at this very prestigious London church.
Should You Tour Westminster Abbey with Children?
Children of all ages are welcome on the Westminster Abbey Verger Tour. In fact, they get a discount! Children 6 and under are free.
The first step is to book your tickets for Westminster Abbey online. You can’t sign up for the Verger Tour until you arrive in London and are ready for the tour. You can look online to see what times the tours are running during your visit. Try to arrive early so that there is still space in the tour you want to attend.
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