St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the best known landmarks in London. We’ve decided to visit it on our last trip to London, this month. As the weather was rather lovely, but cold, I wanted to visit an indoor location, so I picked St. Paul’s. Buckingham is only open in the summer and we’ve already been to Kensington Palace (link to my visit).
One of the things that made me wonder if we should visit it or not was the high price tag, £20 per person is not exactly a bargain. After visiting it, I think it is worth it, if you take one of the guided tours. There are two guided tours available, the one that we took, a 90 minutes tour, and a short tour with highlights, that lasts for 30 minutes. I think the 90 minutes tour is more interesting because the guide talked a lot about the cathedral, Christopher Wren, the architect who designed St. Paul’s, about Nelson and Wellington, both buried at St. Paul’s. Of course, Wren is buried at St. Paul’s too.
After taking pictures outside of the building, we went in. No pictures were allowed inside, not even in the crypts or in the whispering gallery. I’ve seen some people taking pictures, but I found that disrespectful. Obviously I don’t agree with the statement that taking pictures would disturb people praying, as no pictures are allowed in places where nobody is praying, but these are their rules.
Also, I can’t imagine people taking picture of other people when the ceiling is just stunning, and the cathedral is made up of two very different parts. One that is white and clean and another part, decorated in the Victorian era that looks very much catholic. I asked the guide about that and her answer only told me that she is Anglican and not an explanation of why there are, gorgeous looking, Italian and Italian-style mosaics with pictures of saints.
I was also intrigued by the beautiful ceiling painted at the time of Charles II, with myths from the life of Paul. I wonder if these show the attraction Charles II had for Catholicism. I didn’t ask the guide that though.
The whispering gallery is were I stopped. I’m not good with heights, so I stood there and waited for my husband. He went up and saw London. Luckily he took so many pictures and I can share them with you.
I love this picture. With Tate Modern in the background and Millennium bridge. The Globe can barely be seen, on the left.
Before leaving, we went to the tea rooms for cream tea. The lady said they could make a vegetarian afternoon tea, but I’m not keen if I can’t see a vegetarian option mentioned in the menu. So, we only had cream tea. It was delightful. The tea was a bit strong, but it was very good. The scones were hot and delicious. I would recommend having cream tea at St. Paul’s cathedral.
Have you ever been to the cathedral?