THEN: Christopher Wren’s masterpiece is an architectural marvel. NOW: Test the Whispering Gallery and stay for music and poetry
LONDON: Iconic though St Paul’s may be the Cathedral as we know today is in fact version six, at least. Mark five was razed to the ground by the Great Fire of London in 1666. In fact mark three was also burnt out of existence by fire in 1087 – and mark four fell to ruins under Henry VIII’s leadership and parts of it were used to build Somerset House.
Thankfully Sir Christopher Wren’s design, which was completed in 1708, survived 12 monarchs and two world wars. This Anglican Cathedral remains one of the key places of worship for high-profile weddings and funerals.
The Whispering Gallery
Already buried in the Crypt at St Paul’s you’ll find Admiral Lord Nelson, Sir Christopher Wren and the Duke of Wellington. These can be accessed with a sightseeing ticket, which will also get you into the unquestionably cool Whispering Gallery. Not so much a gallery, but a walkway that leads around the inside of the St Paul’s most recognisable bit – its dome. While on this walkway you’ll be able to hear someone speaking from the opposite end, even if they’re whispering, thanks to some impressive early eighteenth-century acoustics.
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Several Tour Options
Normally, there are several different tour options depending on how long you’ve got to explore. If you’ve paid for main admission you’ll be treated to an introductory talk that lasts around 15 or 20 minutes before being taken on a 90-minute guided tour. But if you pay a little more, you can also join a more detailed, Triforum Tour that lasts an hour and happens on certain days. If you’re hoping to join in make sure to check the website before you go.
No guided tours offered at present, but they are working on bringing these back soon.
Choral Evensong for free
Those looking for a freebie will find lots to enjoy. Church services are run throughout the week, as are Choral Evensong sessions, both of which are free entry. And if you just want to sit on the steps and sing ‘Feed the Birds’ from ‘Mary Poppins’, the grounds are worthy of a visit. Planted with flowers and trees to encourage wildlife, the surrounding gardens are designed with plenty of areas for tourists and office workers to sit out in the sun.
Free to attend service
St Paul´s in London was an Anglican church and the Anglican church still has elements of Catholicism in its services.
It is free to attend a service, to experience all of St. Paul’s glory, including its historic galleries, tombs, and domes. you must buy tickets. Included in your ticket are admission to St Paul’s, an introductory talk, an audio tour, a multimedia tour, and a guided tour.
Be aware, filming and photography is not allowed inside the Cathedral. However, if you take the Guided Tour you can take photos in some areas.
Visit St Paul´s Cathedral
St Paul´s have reopened for sightseeing visits, with capacity controls and 30 minute entry timeslots in place along with other changes to keep everyone safe whilst at the Cathedral.
You can book visit dates up to one month in the future.
Group tickets for parties of 10-30 people are available again.
Please note that the Whispering Gallery is temporarily closed and is expected to remain closed until at least January 2021. The Golden Gallery is currently closed. The Stone Gallery is currently open.
Get me there:
Address: St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD
Underground: St Paul´s station, Central Line
Busses stopping nearby: 4, 8, 11, 15, 17, 23, 25, 26, 56, 76, 100, 172, 242, 521
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