St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the greatest landmarks in the British capital. It’s located on Ludgate Hill, which is London’s highest point. It serves as the mother church for the London Diocese, the Bishop of London’s seat and the Church of England cathedral. The 17th century building design was signed by Sir Christopher Wren and is it the second largest Cathedral in the country, only surpassed by Liverpool Cathedral.

Highlights

  • The Dome – St Paul’s Cathedral dome resembles St Peter’s Basilica. However, unlike that one, St Paul’s dome features 2 storeys of masonry measuring almost 95 feet in height. It is one of the world’s largest cathedral domes. Visitors can climb the dome and experience the breathtaking views over London. The dome is painted with scenes depicting St Paul’s life.
  • The Whispering Gallery – As you climb up the dome, the first gallery that comes to your sight is the Whispering Gallery. It was given this name due to the echoes (or rather whispers) heard on opposite gallery walls. The Stone Gallery is located above the Whispering Gallery. It’s located 54 meters (173 feet) above the ground and it offers great views of London.
  • The Golden Gallery – This is the highest point of the dome, located almost 85 meters (280 feet) above the cathedral floor. You will have to climb 528 steps to get to this amazing gallery, but you will be rewarded for your effort with a panoramic view of the British capital. The view incorporates Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern and River Thames.
  • The Nave – This is the first thing you will see when entering St Paul’s Cathedral. It is the section that will lead you to the dome. This is where the large services and congregations take place. You will also notice the Great West Door that measures 9 metres in height and it’s only used on ceremonial occasions. This end of the church features 3 chapels: the Chapel of the order of St Michael and St George, St Dunstan’s Chapel and All Soul’s Chapel.
  • Wellington’s Monument – This monument was erected in honor of the Duke of Wellington, one of the greatest statesmen and soldiers in Britain. The monument is located on the north aisle and was finished in 1912.
  • The Grand Organ – Built in 1695 (although it was rebuilt a few times), this is one of the greatest artefacts in the cathedral and was constructed by Grinling Gibbons. It’s UK’s 3rd largest organ with 138 organ stops, 5 keyboards and 7,189 pipes.
  • The Crypt – This burial place features the tombs and monuments of famous British people. The most notable are Sir Christopher Wren’s Tomb, Wellington’s Tomb and Nelson’s Tomb.
  • The Chapels – St Paul’s features 5 chapesl on the ground floor: The American Memorial Chapel, the Middlesex Chapel, Chapel of St Michael & St George, Chapel of St Dunstan and Chapel of All Souls. The crypt also has 2 chapels: OBE Chapel and Knights Bachelor Chapel. All of them are used for smaller services, prayer and reflection.
  • The Collections – Visit the cathedral’s collections to explore the history of this imposing building. The items have been carefully maintained. They include the library, the object collection (archaeological stones, paintings and models) and the architectural archive. For more info about the collections, visit the website.

Prices

Individual rates

Adult (18+) £16.50
 Child (6-17) £7.50
 Student £14.50
 Senior £14.50
 Family (2 adults and 2 children) £40.00

Online and group (10+) rates

Adult £15.00
 Child (6-17) £6.50
 Student £13.50
 Senior £13.50
 Family (2 adults and 2 children) £36.50

Tips

  • Arts Programs – St Paul’s Cathedral hosts art collections and programs on a regular basis. Make sure you check their official website before visiting to see if there are any special exhibitions.
  • Shopping – St Paul’s Cathedral also features a shop from where you can buy a wide array of souvenirs and gifts, including religious merchandise, jewellery, postcards, books and prints.
  • Restaurant and Café – If you’re hungry or you want to have a coffee, you can do this at the Café or Restaurant at St Paul’s. The restaurant includes menus for afternoon tea and lunch.

Transport

  • London Underground – St Paul’s station is the closest to the cathedral. You can get there by taking the Central line. You can also take the District and Central lines and stop at Blackfriars, Cannon Street and Mansion House stations. They are within walking distance.
  • Train – The closest overground stations are Blackfriars (5 minute walk), Cannon Street (8 minute walk) and London Bridge (20 minute walk).
  • Bus – There is a bus stop outside the cathedral. You can use the following bus routes: 242, 100, 26, 25, 23, 15, 11, 4.

History

The first cathedral to stand on London’s highest point was constructed in 604 AD. It was established by Saint Erkenwald or Saint Mellitus.

Between 1087 and 1559, the cathedral was enlarged and it also featured the Cathedral School. They were the glory years of St Paul’s Cathedral.

By the end of the 17th century, the cathedral was almost ruined and Christopher Wren was chosen as the leading architect for the restoration of the building. Unfortunately, in 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed both the cathedral and the crypt.

Between 1675 and 1711, Christopher Wren dedicated all his work to reconstruct St Paul’s Cathedral. It took 9 years of planning and at the end he came up with the masterpiece we see today.

Since 1711, St Paul’s Cathedral evolved with the social and industrial changes. It has become a symbol for London and the UK. Also, it is considered a modern cathedral, hosting frequent art programs and exhibitions.

Interesting Facts

  • St Paul’s crypt is the largest in the entire Western Europe. It features more than 200 memorials and monuments.
  • During World War II, the Cathedral was hit by German bombs, but none of them managed to destroy the building.
  • The funeral services of Winston Churchill were held at St Paul’s Cathedral. The royal wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles was also held at the cathedral.
  • Turner, Canaletto and Pissaro are some of the famous artists who painted St Paul’s Cathedral.

9 Reviews

  1. Elena Madalina
    Elena Madalina 25 Comments
     -  15 Jul 2018

    Excellent location

    Before coming to London I made a very long list of places I would like to visit and of course St. Paul’s Cathedral couldn’t miss it. I got the chance to experience its beauty both from outside and inside. Exquisite architecture!! I even climbed the dome and got the chance to see a beautiful city view! Prepare yourself for quite a workout 🙂

  2. Tracey Best
    Tracey Best
    Australia 26 Comments
     -  24 Apr 2018

    Try the whispering gallery

    This is a beautiful cathedral that I’m glad was on my list. It was easy to get to with the tube. We were most interested in the whispering gallery, but weren’t very success. Until a staff member helped us. He stood far away and whispered and we heard him!! It was very excited and we found it really cool. Make sure you try it and ask a staff member if you can’t hear you’re companion. If you’re going on your own, ask a staff member!

  3. tamara-v
    tamara-v
    Yugoslavia 26 Comments
     -  30 Dec 2017

    Excellent

    This architectural jewel is worth of taking an hour or two of your time and some money since it is not really cheap. Be sure to take the stairs to the top. Cathedral looks stunning in the daylight and during the night time.

  4. Kyra_Kiwa
    Kyra_Kiwa 50 Comments
     -  29 Dec 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    St Paul’s is a site to behold; elegant, majestic, and inspiring. A beautiful church, indeed! Mesmerizing ceilings, breath-taking architecture and the atmosphere is just amazing. The whispering gallery is a must see – once at the top, the views of London are spectacular! I read up on the history of the cathedral, which made it that much more stunning. Visiting St Paul’s is a must for anyone visiting London.

  5. infinitesundays
    infinitesundays
    Philippines 25 Comments
     -  27 Nov 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    I’ve seen photos of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and even in photos it looks so grand and royal. It did not disappoint, I was enthralled to go inside and marvel at this cathedral. The outside grounds are also worth venturing. Too bad I did not do the tour and climbed the stairs, I would definitely do it on my next visit.

  6. dzammit
    dzammit
    Canada 59 Comments
     -  03 Aug 2017

    It was good

    I was looking forward to visiting St.Paul’s Cathedral as I had read all the history about it and as a person who enjoys following the British Monarchy, I was excited to see the cathedral. It is a beautiful church in a great location, but what I enjoyed most was climbing the thought to be never ending stairs to the top to see views of the city. The dome is incredible!

  7. sattard
    sattard 16 Comments
     -  14 Jul 2017

    Excellent

    St. Paul’s is a wonderful example of London architecture. I’m not sure you would find the ground floor interiors that special if you have seen many cathedrals around the world – the real prize is climbing up the stairs to the top. If you make the effort you will be rewarded by an absolutely stunning view of London!

  8. AlanStock
    AlanStock 41 Comments
     -  05 Jun 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    Not just a pretty face, inside St Pauls is actually beautiful too. Lovely architecture and artwork inside this vast cathedral with stained glass windows, massive pillars and a huge organ. Incredibly detailed stone carvings too and the dome interior is amazing to look at. There are great views from a long climb up to the dome. For me though the highlight are the cyrpts below, where you can find the resting places and memorials of incredibly famous British heros like Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. The ticket price at the time I visited allowed repeated visits – this is probably still the case today.

  9. revmarq
    revmarq 20 Comments
     -  04 Jun 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    I love St. Paul’s Cathedral! It is majestic from the outside and even better on the inside. If you choose to pay for tickets to enter, make your way into the chapels then into the crypts. Make sure you just take your time to marvel the architecture and history inside this church. After this, you can climb the dome, which is not for the faint hearted as it is 500+ steps! And remember, once you are there, you cannot turn back as the stairs are very narrow. You will be rewarded of magnificent views of the south of the Thames and the beautiful artwork on the walls and ceilings.

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