St. Paul’s Cathedral in the centre of London is a world heritage site and a stunning family attraction, providing a breathtaking and invigorating family day out. A ticket to the cathedral might not bring redemption, but it will bring much enlightenment, with Guided tours of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Crypt taking around an hour and a half and taking in such amazing features as the Quire and geometric staircase.
A family day out to St. Paul’s Cathedral should also take in its wonderful peeling bells. There are a dozen in the North West Tower, the second largest ring of bells in the world (chiming in B flat) and 125 years young. The smallest, the Treble, weighs in at half a ton, and the largest, the Tenor, is over 3 tons. Further, the first service bell, The Banger, has been retained in situ. Manufactured in 1700, it’s rung often to warn of the 0800 Eucharist. The South West Tower features Great Paul, the biggest bell in the British Isles. It weighs 16½ tons and rings daily at 1300 over Ludgate Hill. Taking in a demonstration of the bells in action is a unique part of this enjoyable family attraction.
Back down to earth – or underneath it – a family day out to St. Paul’s Cathedral should include a tour of the Crypt, with Nelson at its core, lying in a lead-lined coffin filled with brandy, camphor and myrrh. It sits in a second lead-lined box and a black velvet and gold gilt mahogany outer casket. He remains under the black sarcophagus of Cardinal Wolsey, dating back to the early 16th century
Ticket holders can enjoy St. Paul’s Cathedral’s shop and refectory on a family day out. The crypt Shop has exclusive merchandise, books and religious paraphernalia, and is accessed from the West Front steps. The nearby Refectory has a self-service restaurant. Education tours for schools can be booked, along with private tours and corporate events for up to 350 people.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4M 8AD
Tel: 020 7236 4128
Times: See attraction for specific details.