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Christmas at Westminster Abbey 2023: Events, Carols, Services, and More

Celebrate Christmas at Westminster Abbey, where the historic Gothic charm blends with festive joy. Experience enchanting candlelit services and classic carols within the iconic landmark's hallowed halls. Immerse yourself in centuries of tradition, creating a uniquely memorable and spiritually rich holiday in the heart of London's cultural heritage.

Westminster Abbey Opening Hours During Christmas

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey Christmas Events

A priest blessing people with candles in the foreground

An Advent Liturgy

Experience the magic of Christmas at Westminster Abbey's dramatic candle-lit service. The Abbey Choir, through hymns and anthems, reflects on Advent's themes of judgment and joyful expectation. This hour-long event in the historic Gothic setting promises a spiritually rich and unforgettable Christmas celebration.
Date: Sunday, 3rd December 2023
Time: 4.00pm - 5.00pm

The choir westminster abbey

First Eucharist of Christmas night

Experience the quintessential late-night celebration at Westminster Abbey, commemorating the birth of Christ, the Light of the World, amidst darkness. The First Eucharist of Christmas night features Christmas carols, enchanting music by the Abbey Choir, a sermon, and Holy Communion in a spiritually uplifting hour-and-a-half service.

Date: Sunday, 24th December 2023
Time: 11.00pm - 12:30am

Mens choir members holding singing book

Service of Lessons and Carols

Immerse yourself in tradition at Westminster Abbey's Christmas service, blending the joy of Christmas carols with poignant readings and anthems sung by the Abbey Choir. This one-hour experience, while enchanting, is advised for mature audiences due to its solemn nature.

Date: Saturday, 23rd December 2023
Sunday, 24th December 2023
Time: 4.00pm - 5.00pm

Christmas Day Holy Communion

Christmas Day Holy Communion

Engage in a serene and traditional Christmas at Westminster Abbey with a quiet service, following the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Through scripture readings, prayers, and the consecration of bread and wine, experience a sacred moment lasting approximately 40 minutes, enveloped in the timeless essence of the season.

Date: Monday, 25th December 2023
Time: 8.00am - 8.40am

Choristers in Westminster abbey

Christmas Day Sung Eucharist

Celebrate the essence of Christmas morning at Westminster Abbey's main service, heralding the appearance of Jesus as Emmanuel — 'God with us.' The Eucharist features Christmas carols, enchanting melodies by the Abbey Choir, a sermon, and Holy Communion, creating a joyous and spiritually uplifting 90-minute experience.

Date: Monday, 25th December 2023
Time: 10:30am - 11.30am

Musician leads a choir during a concert in a cathedral

Christmas Day Evensong

Embrace the grace of Christmas Day at Westminster Abbey's Evensong, adhering to the revered tradition in The Book of Common Prayer. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Anglican musical tradition, featuring choral masterpieces, scripture readings, and prayers, in a contemplative 60-minute service.

Date: Monday, 25th December 2023
Time: 3.00pm - 4.00pm

Family Day: Christmas at the Abbey

Family Day: Christmas at the Abbey

Embark on a joyous Christmas celebration at Westminster Abbey, featuring carol singing with the world-famous choir in the picturesque Chapter House. Dive into festive fun with Christmas crafts, creating and adorning a wreath, while families enjoy heartwarming winter tales by storyteller Olivia Armstrong. A magical day filled with holiday cheer awaits!

Date: Saturday, 9th December 2023
Time: 10.00am - 1.00pm

Plan Your Christmas at Westminster Abbey

Directions
Facilities & Accessibility
What to Wear
Parking
Visitor Tips
Westminster Abbey - Directions

Address: Westminster Abbey, 20 Deans Yd, London SW1P 3PA, United Kingdom

Find on Maps

By Tube: The nearest underground stations are Westminster and St James Park, each iS about a five-minute walk from the abbey.

By Bus: The bus routes 11, 24, 88, 148 and 211 pass by the Westminster Abbey entrance. The nearest bus stops are the Parliament Square stop, Abingdon Street - Stop L, Westminster Station - Stop G and Westminster Station - Stop A.

By Train: The nearest stations are Victoria and Waterloo stations. It is a 15 minute walk from both.

Westminster Abbey - Facilities & Accessibility
  • Free Admissions: Free admission for registered disabled visitors and their carer.
  • Wheelchairs available: Inquire with an Abbey Marshal for wheelchair availability on arrival.
  • Vision Impaired Visitors: Audio described tour for visually impaired visitors with assistance from VocalEyes.
  • Service Dogs: Guide dogs, hearing dogs, and assistance dogs welcome; no other animals allowed.
  • Hearing Loops: Hearing loop system covers the entire Abbey main building.
  • Accessible Toilets: Accessible toilets in the cloisters and the lobby of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries.
Westminster Abbey - What to Wear
  • Smart Casual Attire: Opt for neat and presentable clothing.
  • Layers: As the weather may vary, consider wearing layers for comfort.
  • Comfortable Shoes: Be prepared for some walking; comfortable shoes are advisable.
  • Weather-Appropriate Outerwear: Bring a coat or jacket if the weather is chilly.
  • Respectful Clothing: Keep in mind the solemnity of the occasion; avoid overly casual or revealing attire.
  • Festive Touch: Consider adding a festive touch to your outfit, such as a holiday-themed accessory or colors.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: If partaking in religious services, dress in a manner that respects the cultural and spiritual significance of the venue.
Westminster Abbey - Parking
  • No On-site Parking: Westminster Abbey does not offer on-site parking.
  • Nearest Parking: The closest parking is on Great College Street, a 3-minute walk away.
  • Waterloo Car Park: The 24-hour Waterloo Car Park on York Road is a convenient option, just a 15-minute walk from the abbey.
  • Q-Park Victoria: Another 24-hour option is the Q-Park Victoria on Arneway Street, only an 8-minute walk from the abbey.
  • Public Transportation: Consider using public transportation due to limited parking availability.
  • Plan Ahead: Due to high demand, plan parking arrangements in advance, especially during peak times.
Visitor Tips
  • Check Event Schedule: Be aware of the Christmas event schedule, including services, carol singing, and festive activities.
  • Dress Comfortably: Wear comfortable clothing and consider layers for varied temperatures inside the Abbey.
  • Arrive Early: For popular events, arrive early to secure a good spot.
  • Parking Considerations: If driving, be aware of limited on-site parking and explore nearby parking facilities.
  • Respectful Conduct: As a place of worship, maintain a respectful demeanor during services and events.
  • Photography: Respect the Abbey's photography policies, especially during services.
  • Explore Surroundings: Take advantage of your visit by exploring nearby attractions, such as Parliament Square and the Houses of Parliament.



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Frequently asked questions about Christmas at Westminster Abbey

Are there special Christmas services at Westminster Abbey?

Yes, Westminster Abbey hosts special Christmas services, including carol singing, Eucharists, and festive events. Check the event schedule for details.

Is photography allowed during Christmas services?

Photography policies may vary during services. It's advisable to check the Abbey's guidelines and be respectful of the solemnity of the occasion.

Are there parking facilities at Westminster Abbey for Christmas visitors?

No, there are no on-site parking facilities. Visitors are encouraged to use nearby car parks on Great College Street, York Road (Waterloo Car Park), or Arneway Street (Q-Park Victoria).

Can I bring my guide dog to Christmas services?

Yes, guide dogs, hearing dogs, and assistance dogs are welcome. However, other animals are not allowed.

Are there accessibility features for visitors with special needs?

Yes, Westminster Abbey provides accessibility features, including wheelchairs, accessible toilets, and a hearing loop system. Check with Abbey staff for assistance.

Are there family-friendly activities during the Christmas season?

Yes, Westminster Abbey often hosts family-friendly activities, including Christmas crafts, carol sing-alongs, and storytelling sessions. Check the schedule for details.

Is there an audio described tour for visually impaired visitors during Christmas?

Yes, Westminster Abbey offers an audio described tour for visually impaired visitors, created with the assistance of VocalEyes.

What is the recommended attire for Christmas services at Westminster Abbey?

Opt for smart casual attire and consider the weather, adding layers for comfort. While there's no strict dress code, it's advisable to dress modestly and respectfully for the occasion.