The history of London’s Iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral dates back to its consecration in 604. It was destroyed several times through the centuries–by Vikings and by fire twice–before its 1668 redesign by Christopher Wren. It then survived the Blitz, becoming a symbol of resilience. In 1924, the cathedral was served a Dangerous Structures Notice and went through what was called The Great Restoration. This architectural masterpiece has played an important role throughout British history, hosting events like the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles and the funerals of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.
Guests can explore the interiors on guided or self-guided tours or join one of the Christian worship services. A trail of theological artwork is on display, including William Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World painting and Henry Moore’s Mother and Child sculpture. The library holds a collection of rare texts from medieval manuscripts to Tyndale’s Bible, considered to be one of the most dangerous books in Tudor days. Highlights of a visit are the Whispering Gallery and 360° views across London from the Golden Gallery after climbing 528 spiral steps to the top. The cathedral is also home to a crypt with memorials to some 300 of the country’s most honourable people, including the famous architect himself.
St. Paul’s opens daily from 8am for morning prayer. Worship sessions throughout the day are free to attend and offer an opportunity to hear the choir and organ resonate through the atmospheric space. Standard adult sightseeing tickets cost £18 for access to the main floor of the cathedral, the dome galleries, the crypt and multimedia guides. Discounts are available. Sightseeing access opens at 8:30am (Wednesdays at 10am) Monday to Saturday and closes at 4:30pm with last entry at 4pm.