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Grandparents' guide to St Paul's Cathedral

17th April 2024

Image source: Canva Pro

St Paul’s Cathedral is a working cathedral steeped in history. It was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, but it was rebuilt in 1710. The designer, Sir Christopher Wren, came up with the idea of its iconic dome, which is 111 metres (364ft) high. This dome is now one of the largest cathedral domes in the world.

In this article, you will discover helpful information such as where you can get tickets, opening times for St Paul’s Cathedral, how to get to the attraction and some of the amazing things you can see during your visit. Visitors with limited mobility who rely on aids such as stairlifts or wheelchairs can also learn about how accessible St Paul’s Cathedral is. Use the contents below to find the information you need and start planning your trip to St Paul’s Cathedral.


  • How to get to St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Opening times
  • Tickets
  • Accessibility
  • What to see and do
  • Food and drink
  • Hotels nearby

How to get to St Paul’s Cathedral

Where is St Paul’s Cathedral?

St. Paul’s Cathedral is located in St. Paul's Churchyard, London, and its postcode is EC4M 8AD.

How to get to St Paul’s Cathedral by tube

There are several underground stations that are close to the cathedral, but the nearest is St Paul’s Station, which is around a three-minute walk. You will need to get on the Central line, but this station is not entirely step-free.

If you have limited mobility, the nearest step-free underground station is Blackfriars, which is around a seven-minute walk from the cathedral.

How to get to St Paul’s Cathedral by train

If you are travelling to the cathedral from outside London, then the nearest train stations are City Thameslink (4-minute walk), Blackfriars (7-minute walk), Cannon Street (9-minute walk), and Liverpool Street (19-minute walk).

How to get to St Paul’s Cathedral by bus

Several bus routes stop near St Paul’s Cathedral, including Routes 4, 8, 15, 17, 23, 25, 26, 56, 76, 100, 172, 242, 521.

All the major ‘hop on, hop off’ sightseeing bus tours stop outside the cathedral as well.

You can find more buses and plan your tube and bus route on the Transport for London website.

How to get to St Paul’s Cathedral by car

On-street parking is limited, and the closest public parking is the Baynard House car park on Queen Victoria Street, which is about a six-minute walk away.

If you are a Blue Badge holder, there is a map from the City of London that lists the nearest car parks with accessible parking. You can see the map here.

READ ALSO: Grandparents' guide to Kew Gardens

St Paul’s Cathedral opening times

If you want to go sightseeing, the cathedral is open at 8.30am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and at 10am on Wednesdays. The doors close for entry at 4pm.

Where to get St Paul’s Cathedral tickets

Whilst you can purchase tickets at the entrance on the day of your visit, it is recommended that you buy them in advance.

You can buy your tickets online; you just need to go to the St Paul’s Cathedral website and visit their ‘book tickets’ page. Then select the type of ticket you need, the date you will be visiting, and how many tickets you require.

St Paul’s Cathedral prices

The price of tickets to St Paul’s Cathedral varies depending on what type of ticket you need, and below are the different prices available.

  • Adults (18 years or over): £25
  • Students & 65 years or over): £22.50
  • Children (6-17 years old): £10
  • Family Tickets (two adults and two or three children): £60

READ ALSO: Grandparents' guide to the Tate Modern

What is St Paul’s Cathedral’s accessibility like?

As one of the most popular attractions in the UK, it is vital that visitors with limited mobility are catered for. This section looks at the accessibility of St Paul’s Cathedral.

All disabled visitors and their carers or personal assistants are able to get free tickets to sightsee around the cathedral. To worship, it is free to all.

There are wheelchairs available to hire for people with limited mobility, and the visitor's experience team at the cathedral will be able to cater for any extra requirements that are needed.

There is no on-site accessible parking available, but there are car parks nearby that have spaces for Blue Badge holders.

The new North Transept entrance has ramped access available to visitors, and this is the recommended entrance for wheelchair users and people who require step-free access.

Guide dogs, and other assistance dogs are welcome in the cathedral, but you will need to speak to a member of staff if you require some water for your dog.

There are lifts available in the cathedral, and if you use a smaller mobility scooter, you can use it to travel between the cathedral floor and the crypt. However, if you own a Class 3 scooter, you will need to speak to one of the staff members to check that your model will fit in the lift.

St Paul’s Cathedral accessibility

  • Accessible entrances
  • Accessible toilets
  • Wheelchairs available to hire
  • Guide dogs are welcome
  • Audio described tours
  • British Sign Language tours

Further information about St Paul's Cathedral’s disabled access can be found on their website.

What is there to see and do at St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most popular attractions to visit in the UK, and with history to unearth and incredible architecture to view, it is a great place to visit as a family. Let’s look at some of the best things you can do at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The cathedral domes and galleries

The St Paul’s Cathedral dome is arguably its most iconic feature. The dome, which is so eye-catching and can be seen from the outside, is called the outer dome, and to reach the top of it, you have to scale over 520 steps for magnificent views over London’s skyline.

From the inside of the cathedral, you can see the inner dome and how it is stunningly decorated with paintings by Sir James Thornhill, whilst the middle dome at St Paul’s Cathedral is cone-shaped and made from bricks.

Dotted throughout the cathedral are some impressive galleries. The Whispering Gallery may not be accessible to most people with limited mobility, but if you are able to walk up the staircase, you can enjoy an acoustic phenomenon. Just whisper something to the wall, and it will be heard around the gallery.

Marion, the travel writer behind the Love Travelling Blog, says she was really impressed with the dome and architecture of the cathedral: “The Cathedral is filled with glittering mosaics, sculptures and religious artwork and we gazed in awe at the magnificent domed ceiling and internal Whispering Gallery high above our heads.  At 365 feet high, the dome of St. Paul’s is one of the world’s largest, weighing 65,000 tons.”

The American Memorial Chapel

The American Memorial Chapel, which is also known as the Jesus Chapel, was part of the cathedral which was destroyed during the Blitz. As part of the restoration project, it was decided this chapel was built to commemorate the 28,000 Americans in the UK who died during WWII.

Despite being small in size, the chapel is packed with American symbolism through its wood carvings and stained-glass windows.

The chapel is home to a Roll of Honour, a book with names of deceased American soldiers.

The Crypt

St Paul’s crypt is one of the largest in the UK, and it is the final resting place of many famous people, ranging from military heroes from the UK’s past to renowned artists.

Some of the famous people buried in the crypt are:

  • Christopher Wren – the architect for the cathedral.
  • Horatio Nelson – the naval hero died during the Battle of Trafalgar, and during his funeral procession, it is believed he was escorted by more than 30 admirals, 100 captains, and 10,000 soldiers.
  • Duke of Wellington - Wellington was a military hero famed for defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
  • Sir Alexander Fleming – A Scottish biologist and physician who discovered penicillin in 1928 and changed medical history forever.

The writers behind the Little Old World blog have previously visited the Crypt, and they explained why it is a must-visit: “The extensive crypt beneath St Paul’s is, according to the cathedral’s website, ‘the largest in Europe’, and it’s the resting place for many a notable Briton.

“Among the famous Brits buried beneath its vaulted ceilings are Florence Nightingale, William Blake, the painter's Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir John Everett Millais and JMW Turner, the godfather of penicillin Sir Alexander Fleming and the scientist Robert Hooke.”

Marvel at St Paul’s monuments

With more than 400 monuments, which are scattered around the main floor of the cathedral and the crypt, you will do well to see them all.

The monuments are spectacular pieces of artwork, and one of the most impressive is the one commemorating the Duke of Wellington. This monument is made from marble and cast bronze and is the tallest monument in the cathedral.

Other iconic monuments you can see during your visit are of Admiral Horatio Nelson as he is seen surrounded by the figure of Britannia, various sea Gods and a lion.

The gardens and courtyards

If you are looking for a bit of fresh air during your visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, you should head out to their gardens and courtyard.

Inside the marble bollards around the West steps of the Cathedral and the statue of Queen Anne is all land owned by the cathedral, and its railed gardens are certainly worth exploring.

Something that grandparents can try with their grandchildren during a visit to the cathedral is to follow the free printable trail around the gardens. You can download the trail here.

READ ALSO: Grandparents' guide to the Science Museum

Food and drink at St Paul’s Cathedral

Whilst the eatery at the cathedral is closed, there are plenty of restaurants near St Paul's Cathedral that you can visit.

Bread Street Kitchen & Bar

One of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, the Bread Street Kitchen & Bar in St Paul's, is a bustling urban space comprising a restaurant, open kitchen and large bar area.

Its large windows offer a view out onto the city and the cathedral, and visitors can enjoy an all-day dining menu that embraces seasonal British produce to a globally inspired menu.

The Ivy Asia

If you want to enjoy some Asian-inspired dishes, then The Ivy Asia restaurant is just around the corner from Bank Station and St Paul’s Cathedral. It is a great eatery if you are looking for somewhere to eat with your whole family, and it is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

Terra Rossa - St Paul's

Terra Rossa offers a truly authentic Italian dining experience in the heart of London. You can enjoy delicious fresh pasta and pizza dishes using seasonal ingredients, as well as an extensive Italian wine list.

There is a range of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options available, as well as kids' meals to ensure your whole party can experience the true taste of Italy.

Hotels near St Paul’s Cathedral

If you are heading to London with your grandchildren for a few days and are looking for hotels near St Paul’s Cathedral, you will have many options.

Lost Property St Paul's London - Curio Collection by Hilton

The Lost Property hotel is in sight of St Paul’s Cathedral in the centre of London as well as being within 15 minutes of Millenium Bridge and the Tate Modern Art Gallery.

There is an on-site restaurant, bar, and coffee house, and the hotel offers a variety of accessible features for visitors with limited mobility, including accessible toilets, accessible rooms, step-free routes, and an accessible restaurant.

Leonardo Royal London

The Leonardo Royal Hotel offers some spectacular views of St Paul’s Cathedral, and this luxury hotel in the centre of London is close to the likes of Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, Borough Market and the London Eye.

From Executive rooms to suites, there are rooms to suit every budget. For visitors with limited mobility, there are accessible rooms, toilets, and entrances for guests.

Point A Hotel

Point A Hotel in Shoreditch is a budget boutique hotel that is around 20 minutes from St Paul’s Cathedral.

There are a number of wheelchair-accessible rooms available at the hotel, and eating areas and bars are also accessible to guests with limited mobility.

If you stay at this hotel, you are a stone's throw away from Liverpool Street Station, Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane and Hoxton.

READ ALSO: Grandparents' guide to the Tower of London

Visiting St Paul’s Cathedral as a grandparent

Hopefully, this grandparents’ guide to St Paul’s Cathedral will help you plan a lovely day out with your grandchildren at this popular London family attraction.

For more attraction recommendations or in-depth guides to everyday activities, visit our news page.

This article was brought to you by Handicare, working with Age Co, who provide a range of home mobility products such as stairlifts, homelifts and bathing solutions. For more information about how they can help make your home more accessible, please get in touch.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.