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With its giant ornate dome, St Paul’s bears some resemblance to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. I found St Paul’s to be less crowded and therefore that much more peaceful, though.
St Paul’s is perhaps best known for the Whispering Gallery, so called because words whispered against the wall at one end of the gallery can be heard at the opposite end. You can bet we tried this, but weren’t entirely convinced.
No matter though, as what we found lacking at the Whispering Gallery was more than made up for by the views from the top of the dome. There are actually 3 levels to the dome, with 259 steps between the cathedral floor and the Whispering Gallery, 378 steps to the Stone Gallery and 528 steps to the Golden Gallery. The climb gets progressively steeper and more claustrophobic, but do persist as it is well worth it, wouldn’t you agree?
In the crypt, you will find the tombs of several greats, including Sir Christopher Wren himself, whose tomb is poetically inscribed lector, si monumentum requires, circumspice, which translates as, “Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you.” Other notable entombments include Admiral Lord Nelson, the poet John Donne, and the painter JMW Turner.
If possible, it is highly recommended that you time your visit for Evensong, at 5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays and 3.15pm Sundays. The choristers are trained to the highest standards, and the magnificent surroundings only serve to add to the beauty of the perfectly harmonised strains.
Take the Tube to St Paul’s Station. Easy peasy right?
Monday to Saturday 8.30am-4.30pm (last tickets 4pm, last admission to dome 4.15pm).
Save up to £1.50 and get fast track entry by booking your tickets online.
Adults tickets at the door £16.50, seniors and students £14.50, children 6-17yo £7.50.
Your ticket includes entry to the cathedral itself, the crypt, and all levels of the dome.
It also includes access to a 90 minute guided tour, commencing at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm – ask at the desk to reserve your spot.
Did the Whispering Wall work for you? Or did you just head straight up for the views, as we did?
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