"Climb to the Golden Gallery" St. Paul's Cathedral Tip by Esther180

St. Paul's Cathedral, London: 288 reviews and 565 photos

Climbing up from the cathedral's ground floor is an exciting journey. You get acquainted with the architecture of the dome and are eventually rewarded with wonderful views of London. Not to mention it's great exercise.

After 259 steps you first reach the Whispering Gallery, which circles the interior of the dome. If you are with other people, send them to the opposite end of the gallery. If they whisper into the wall on their end, you'll be able to hear them all the way on your end.

More steps lead you to the Stone Gallery. This gallery rings the exterior of the dome, and when you arrive, breathe deeply and look out over London. The Thames, the Tower Bridge, the nearby Tate Gallery and Globe Theatre, the ferris wheel from the millenium celebrations, all the varieties of London architecture spread out before you.

Finally, after more steps you reach the Golden Gallery. It's a bit more cramped here, and if you're afraid of heights you might become slightly disoriented and afraid. It's worth it though. Though you get much the same view of London as you do from the Stone Gallery, you enjoy it more, maybe because you worked harder and climbed more to attain it.

Then it's time to head back down. In general, throughout this climb, there are places where taller people are likely to scrape and bump their heads in various entryways and narrower, darker stairwells. But even if that's not likely to happen to you, it's still worth it to pay attention to the steps, simply because you'll be tramping up and down a variety of them: broad, narrow, steep, flat, stone, metal. Cataloguing the different kinds of steps can be a sort of activity in and of itself, especially on the way down when there aren't any grand views to anticipate.

Address: St Pauls Churchyard, EC4
Directions: St Pauls tube
Phone: 0 20 7236 4128
Website: http://www.stpauls.co.uk

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  • Updated Aug 25, 2006
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