Our First Day in London: Westminster Abbey and Parliament

After the Cotswolds, we hit the ground running when we arrived in London. On our first day we tackles two heavy-hitters: Westminster Abbey and Parliament. Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to take pictures in most parts of Westminster and Parliament, so i took pictures of what I could.

Luckily, we prepurchased our tickets to Westminster, so we didn’t have to wait in the long line.

No matter how many abbeys/cathedrals I visit, I never get tired of seeing what the gargoyles look like. Westminster didn’t disappoint. It always cracks me up how disturbing some of them look.

The detailed carvings over the north entrance are mind boggling, especially when you remember that it was all carved before modern technology.

Inside we were given audio tour headphones. Most of the audio bits about what is inside the abbey I already knew; they don’t go into much detail, which was disappointing. My favorites parts were the tomb of Elizabeth I (a role model of mine since I was 12), poets corner, and the really old coffins (St. Edward the Confessor, Henry V, etc.). Most of the nave was quite dark; we went around 11am ish, maybe not the best time to go if you want to see the abbey at its best.

(exterior of nave)

One of the spots we could take pictures was the chapter house. This was were the monks would all gather together to have large meetings. On the left of this image you can see some original artwork. At lot of it is worn away and faded, but not so much that you don’t get an idea of how beautiful it must have been.

On our way to Parliament we saw a lot of statues in Parliament Square Garden. And no, the bird isn’t apart of Winston, although it would really work in my opinion.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures in most of the Parliament building either. But I think the outside is more impressive (picture-wise) anyways. We had a wonderful tour guide who took us through so much of the building. We even got to go to the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Our guide was really good at giving us a sense of how this building is where the governing of the UK really happens. Now I really want to go back and sit in on a raucous House of Commons session!

This is the new art installation at Parliament, “New Dawn”. It is to commemorate 100 years of women having the vote in the UK. Different circles light up depending on the tide of the Thames. The colors, green, white, and purple (not lighted during this part of the day) are the colors of the suffragette movement. So beautiful, and quite powerful when you think of all the hard work and sacrifice of the suffragettes!

Up next is our day at the V&A museum and Hyde Park! Last post (Boots Haul!) link here.

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