Malmesbury is a truly wonderful place to visit for the day or for a short break. Our stewards count approximately 65,000 visitors through the Abbey's Norman porch each year; admission is free. As well as exploring the beautiful 12th century Abbey, the grounds, the Abbey Kitchen and our bookshop, you can also spend time at Abbey House Gardens, the Athelstan Museum, and explore the numerous shops, restaurants and pubs in town. Westonbirt Aboretum and Highgrove are also only a very short drive away.
We try to keep the Abbey open every single day, but we do close after Christmas & New Year’s Day and also for occasional services, conferences, filming, organ tuning or maintenance. Please check this site for closure details but do contact us if you would like to be absolutely sure that we are open on the day you plan to visit. We never mind a phone call or an e-mail.
Our normal opening times are 9am-5pm (4pm during the winter). Each day life at the Abbey begins with Morning Prayer in St Aldhelm's Chapel at 9am (Holy Communion on a Sunday,) and then fresh Fairtade coffee from the Abbey Kitchen is available from 9.30am onwards (except on Sundays.) Please check our Sunday services page if you would like to join us at worship; you are really very welcome.
Admission is free, but a gift of £5 per person is suggested. Thank you.
NEW Audio Tour
When visiting this remarkable 12th century abbey, don't miss out on the story behind the building. The Abbey has a fun and informative audio tour covering the history, architecture and personalities associated with the site from 7th century monastery to 21st century church.
What others have said:
"Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed it..."
"Fascinating and inspiring- taking us from the 7th century to the Skate Park- brilliant!"
You can hire a handset on arrival from the welcome desk.
A light lunch or afternoon tea is also available from the Abbey Kitchen. Benedict would want it that way.
Travelling by Car
From the south-west or south-east, travel along the M4 and head north at Junction 17 on the A429 for five miles.
From the north-west or north, travel south along the M5 to junction 11a. Follow signs to Cirencester and then a further 10 miles south to Malmesbury along the A429.
On arriving in Malmesbury, follow signs to the Long Stay car park.
From the long stay car park you will see the Abbey quite clearly. Walk across Mill Lane Bridge, climb the Abbey Steps (63 of them) and walk past the semi-derelict East Wall of the Abbey into the 15th Century Market Cross area. There you will see the entrance to the Abbey grounds by the side of the Rajah Indian Restaurant through the Tolsey Gate.
(To avoid Abbey Steps you can park in the Town Centre short stay car park but it is restricted to 2 hours max stay Monday to Saturday, free Sunday).