I guess my earliest memory of St Pauls Cathedral is seeing Diana spencer walking up the steps. She looked so radiant in her beautiful wedding dress. Then there was the scene on Mary Poppins with the old lady feeding the birds. So St Pauls Cathedral is such a part of our childhood. But have you actually been inside? Because you can take a visit yourself, and see the beauty inside.
It costs just £17 for an adult ticket to get into St Pauls Cathedral and £7.20 for a child. With the entrance cost, you also get a free audio guide. The prices are cheaper online to book and on the day, it costs £20 for an adult ticket. The entry is for a 30-minute time slot that is bookable online before you go. There are Covid regulations and procedures in place to protect everyone at the moment. You can only visit in groups of 6 or 2 household bubbles to stay within the government rules.
A Little Bit Of Cathedral History
There has been a cathedral dedicated to St Paul in the same spot for more than 1,400 years and it is often at the centre of national events. I have even attended an event there a few years ago as part of The Annual Service of Remembrance & Wreath Laying Ceremony for the firefighters memorial trust. My grandad was a fireman and died at work, so his name appears on the memorial across the road from St Pauls Cathedral.
The St Pauls Cathedral stands in the place it is in now. It was designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren. The building started in 1675 and was finished in 1710. It was the 4th cathedral to stand in its place after the previous one was burned down in the great fire of London. It was also the first Cathedral to be built after the English Reformation in the 1500s. When Henry VIII and the crown took control of religion and the church from the Pope.
St Pauls Cathedral was built in the shape of a cross with the dome crowning the intersection. This is unique in English Cathedrals and the dome is one of the largest cathedral domes in the world. Where ever you are in London, you can usually see the St Pauls Cathedral dome.
Inside St Pauls Cathedral
When you get inside the thing you notice is that everything is so bright and white. There are many parts of St Pauls Cathedral to visit, and as you enter the cathedral you find yourself in the nave. On the north side of the nave is an amazing monument to The Duke Of Wellington after he defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Going through the nave you get to the dome the most amazing part of St Pauls Cathedral. There is the dome altar, where you can sit and reflect for a few minutes. Light a candle for loved ones that are now lost and pray.
You carry on down the south quire aisle and it takes you to the back of the quire, where you find the high altar. The high altar played a big part in Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding. Lady Diana, of course, became Princess Diana. There is much to see in the quire and quire aisles.
Going downstairs it takes you to the crypt. You will find the tombs of Wellington and Nelson as well as Sir Christopher Wren’s tomb. There is a small chapel called the chapel of St Faith’s dedicated to the OBE. You can book a wedding there for just over £3000. Imagine saying, you got married in St Pauls Cathedral!
The Whispering Gallery
This is 30 metres up from the Cathedral floor and it is 257 steps up, so if you struggle with health problems, this isn’t for you. It runs around the interior of the Dome and it gets the name from the fact that if you whisper against its walls, you can hear it on the other side. The Whispering Gallery is currently closed due to Covid restrictions.
The Stone Gallery
Climbing 378 steps up to the Stone Gallery is the first of two galleries above the Whispering Gallery. It encircles the outside of the dome. The Stone Gallery stands at 53.4 metres from ground-level and can be reached by 378 steps.
The Golden Gallery
The Golden Gallery is the smallest of the galleries and runs around the highest point of the outer dome. It is 85.4 metres above the ground. Visitors who climb the 528 steps to this gallery will be treated to panoramic views of London. The views include the River Thames, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
What We Thought Of St Pauls Cathedral
It was a different visit to Westminster Abbey, it was so quiet and tranquil. It has worn really well over the years and there was something special about being there. The staff were really welcoming and there were some of the robes from the clergy on view. There is so much work that has gone into them.
Although you can have a tour guide around St Pauls Cathedral, it is so handy to have an audio guide. You can look around at your own pace and see things again if you like. You need to wear your mask in the Cathedral to keep yourself and others around you safe from Covid and there is a one-way system in operation.