Wednesday, 23 July 2014

St Paul's Cathedral

I have visited St Paul's on a number of occasions but  I have never been up to the viewing gallery so I decided to go and have a look. The Whispering Gallery at the base of the dome is self explanatory. You can whisper at one side and it can be heard at the opposite side of the dome. At the top of the Dome is the viewing gallery.

On my arrival everyone was leaving the Cathedral. Apparently a fire alarm had gone off so the building was evacuated. Not the greatest start to the day but went for a walk  and returned an hour later.
The vast majority of churches and cathedrals are free to go in and look around but St Paul's and Westminster Abbey make an entrance charge but not if you are attending a service. So if you just want a quick look at the nave then I would suggest attending a service but I wanted to look around the crypt, whispering gallery and the viewing gallery at the top of the dome so I paid the £13.50 fee.

 No photos are allowed to be taken inside the Cathedral so this one was taken when I had climbed the 242 steps up to the whispering gallery and then walked outside the Dome
It was another 200+ steps to get to the top of the dome. It was a narrow winding iron staircase and not easy for someone large or uncomfortable with heights. Once you reach the top there is a thick glass window looking down directly over the centre of the nave.

Then you are outside looking at some of the best views of London. St Paul's is such an iconic symbol of London that no other building is allowed to overshadow it or obscure its view.
There are two bridges next to one another. The first one is Blackfriar's rail bridge with solar panels running along its length. The second bridge is Blackfriar's road bridge. In the distance you can see the wheel of the London Eye.
This is looking towards Fleet street and the Strand but difficult to pick out any features such as the Monument with its golden top.

Looking into Paternoster Square with its temporary Bowler hat events tent.

Looking to the left in the middle of all these office blocks you can see the remains of Christchurch Greyfriars church which I featured in my previous post.

Looking East to the new buildings in the City of London. In the foreground is a new shopping Mall with its rooftop garden.

Standing on the rooftop garden this is the view you get of St Paul's ( but it is free to go up there).

To the left of the picture is Tower42, the Gherkin and then the Cheesegrater. Whilst on the right is the Walkie-Talkie building. In the distance in the centre you can see the 3 tall buildings at Canary wharf, Docklands.

Moving to the right the tallest building in Western Europe - the Shard.

Close up of the Shard with Tower Bridge to the left.

This is the pedestrian footbridge - The Millennium Bridge taking you across the River Thames to the Tate Modern art gallery.
A close up of the bridge and the gallery, which used to be Bankside Power station. The tall building behind is an office/apartment block at the Elephant and Castle. It is distinctive because it has 3 wind turbines on the roof.


  1. What an extraordinary tour.

    Thanks for that :)

  2. What amazing views of London! I loved your guided bird's eye tour and thank you for making the climb because I definitely will not be doing it myself! Winding staircases and heights and me are not a good combination. :-(

  3. Great views and such a clear day. Did you plan your visit because of the weather report? I'm going to send your blog link to Dan so he can remind me of what we missed by not walking to the top.

  4. Wow! I love the views, and the Shard looks almost like it has fire coming out of it (the clouds). What a great tour. Thank you so much. :-)

  5. Very nice post about London and St. Paul's Cathedral. I believe Whispering Gallery is a good suggestion. I love Millenium bridge. Tate modern Gallery is very interesting, too. I have been there three times.

  6. You are a terrific tour guide! I guess this is the first time I have seen London from above. I guess like Prince Charles, I am not very fond of the modern architecture.

  7. Very nice views from on top of the cathedral. Thanks for showing us all your photos.

  8. All of these shots are gorgeous! Really shows off London beautifully. Addition of those lovely clouds is a real bonus.

  9. I was going to suggest that £13.50 is an outrageous fee, but after seeing the views, maybe not.

  10. Never got to the gallery except through a television special.

  11. I would pay the cost just to get to see those gorgeous views... Thanks for taking us on your tour with you.

  12. What a wonderful view! Well worth the admission charge and hike up all those steps. You had a beautiful day to take so many beautiful photos.


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