St Paul's Cathedral London

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St Paul's Cathedral London
St Paul's Churchyard,
EC4M 8AD London
GB

Venue information

St Paul’s Cathedral lies at the heart of this vibrant, international city. Its dome is iconic on the London skyline but inside St Paul’s there is more to explore. Discover the beauty of Christopher Wren’s building, encounter the history and people of this nation and witness the 21st century church.

A cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood on this site for over 1400 years. The buildings have changed and the services have been updated, but throughout it has remained a busy working church, where millions have come to find peace and encounter the enduring love of God in a fast-moving world.

St Paul’s Cathedral, whose dome dominates London’s skyline, is England’s architectural masterpiece and place of national celebration. The cathedral was designed by the famed architect Sir Christopher Wren, after the Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed its predecessor. The cathedral took 35 years to build from 1675 – 1710, spanning the lives of five monarchs and was the first cathedral to have been built in its architect’s lifetime.

St Paul’s Cathedral is where people and events of overwhelming national significance have been celebrated, mourned or commemorated. From state funerals for British heroes such as Sir Winston Churchill, to the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, and National Services of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee’s of Her Majesty the Queen.

Once blackened by pollution, St Paul’s has undergone 15 years of careful internal and external restoration work. This work was completed in 2011 to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the present cathedral which was celebrated between 2010 and 2011. St Paul’s is again filled with a wonderful natural light and the true magnificence of the Portland stone, glittering mosaics and the Thornhill paintings which adorn the inside of the dome can be fully appreciated.

To explore the building and uncover its stories, a touch-screen multimedia guide is included in the admission price for all individual visitors and available in English, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean. The guide combines film, new photography as well as a detailed audio commentary to provide an engaging visit experience for visitors. Tours of the cathedral floor and crypt led by cathedral guides run four times daily; individual visitors can join these on arrival at no extra cost and they last 90 minutes (spaces are limited). Groups benefit from the provision of a new Group Tour System whereby a tour leader can clearly communicate their own commentary, mixed with the audio commentary from the multimedia guide, to all group members using a transmitter to individual receivers and headsets. Groups can alternatively visit with their own Blue Badge guide, or hire a cathedral guide for a private tour at a small additional cost per person.

Visitors can climb the 257 steps to the Whispering Gallery to test the unique acoustics. Climb 119 further steps to the Stone Gallery and then 152 final steps to the Golden Gallery, both affording spectacular panoramic views across London.

Take time to visit the crypt to view the many tombs and memorials to world-famous Britons, including Lord Admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Visitors will also find the award winning ‘Oculus; an eye into St Paul’s’ exhibition located in the crypt. Oculus is a 270˚ HD film experience that brings 1400 years of history to life. Oculus takes visitors to Saxon London amidst the construction of the first St Paul’s in 604AD, through the buildings on the site that have fallen to fire and disrepair, before showing them the Great Fire of 1666 and the devastation of London during the Blitz when St Paul’s became a lasting symbol of strength, survival and hope for the nation.

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St Paul's Cathedral London

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Address: St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Churchyard, EC4M 8AD London
Public transport
By Underground

The nearest Underground station is St Paul's on the Central Line (2 minute walk). Mansion House, Cannon Street and Blackfriars stations on the District and Circle Lines are also within walking distance. Please contact London Transport for information about the closest station to the cathedral with wheelchair access.

By Train

The major local over-ground stations are London Bridge (20 minute walk), Cannon Street (8 minute walk), and Blackfriars (5 minute walk).

By Bus

Buses stopping directly outside the cathedral: Bus Routes: 4, 11, 15, 23, 25, 26, 100, 242.

By Bike

Free bicycle parking is provided in designated places on streets throughout the City.

By road
By Car

Visitors to St Paul's are advised to arrive by public transport whenever possible. There is a public car park on Queen Victoria Street to the south of the cathedral. On-street parking is very restricted around the cathedral itself, but if you do need to drive to St Paul's, avoid frustration by checking the City streetworks first. View a list of currently planned street works.

By Coach

Short-term parking is available on Angel Street and St Martin's Le Grand to the north of the cathedral. This is operational between 0900-1900 Monday to Friday and 0800-1100 Saturday, with a maximum stay of 90 minutes. Long-term parking is available in Queen Victoria Street. This is operational between 0800-1900 Monday to Friday and 0800-1100 Saturday, with a maximum stay of 4 hours.

A dedicated telephone helpline (0845 604 0770) is available for coach drivers to obtain further information and advice on coach parking matters across London.

Find out more details about coach parking by visiting the City of London website.

Accessibility

Access to the Cathedral

The Cathedral has two entrances at the west end which are accessed by 24 steps. The south entrance is step-free, and is the recommended access for entry with wheelchairs.

South Entrance

From the south entrance there is direct lift access to the Cathedral floor and the crypt. Wheelchair users can access all part of the Cathedral floor. The quire and sacrarium has a small chairlift that can be operated by the user. Wheelchair users can access all areas in the crypt including the shop, café and restaurant. Toilets for wheelchair users are in the crypt opposite the shop. We have a small number of our own wheelchairs which are available during your visit. Please ask staff at the south entrance. Standard charges apply for wheelchairs users, and carers' entrance is free.

North Entrance (temporary ramp)

A temporary ramp is currently in place on the north side of the Cathedral in order to test proposals for a more permanent (but reversible) solution that will increase St Paul’s accessibility for all. The proposals for a new permanent stone structure requires much careful consideration and wide consultation. The current temporary structure will help us to evaluate the concept in order to improve access to the Cathedral for all our visitors. From the temporary ramp there is direct access to the Cathedral floor only. Use of the temporary ramp for groups can be requested in advance by contacting the Visits department on 020 7246 8357.

Access to the Galleries

Access to the Whispering (257 steps), Stone (376 steps) and Golden Galleries (528 steps) is via stair only. We recommend that those with pre-existing medical conditions, mobility difficulties or concerns with heights and confined spaces do not attempt this climb. For those people who have difficulty climbing the stairs up to the dome, we suggest visiting Oculus: An Eye into St Paul’s (located in the crypt) which has a virtual access ‘fly-through’ film of the dome.

Visually Impaired

Visitors Audio Description Guides are included in the cost of admission. A guided ‘Touch & Feel’ tour is also available if booked in advance through the Admissions department on 020 7246 8357. We can also provide large print or braille copies of orders of service.

British Sign Language

Discover the Cathedral’s history, architecture and daily life of a busy working church with the touch-screen multimedia BSL signed tour with subtitles. This is included in the cost of admission.

Induction Loop

The Cathedral is equipped with a hearing loop system that covers the Cathedral floor. This is used at all services.

Parking

All enquiries should be made in advance to the Chapter House on 020 7246 8350. For information on disabled parking near to the Cathedral, please visit the City of London website.

Assistance Dogs

Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Assistance Dogs are welcome in the Cathedral at all times.

Services

To arrange wheelchair access for services, please telephone 020 7246 8320.

If you have a question or comment about access, please either call the Admissions department on 020 7246 8357 (Mon-Fri 9am-2pm) or email admissions@stpaulscathedral.org.uk .

Outside of these hours Mon-Sat please contact the Visits department at lynn@stpaulscathedral.org.uk or telephone 020 7246 8330.

Sunday access - telephone the Virgers 020 7246 8320.