London is filled with many historical buildings: the Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, the Buckingham Palace. Some iconic, some a reminder of history, some an interesting work of art; all frequented by tourists every year. But one shouldn’t miss checking out London churches.
Just as historical as the rest of the buildings in the city, their intricate architecture is admired by many. There are so many of them, but here are five London churches that will take your breath away:
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Opens for visitors: Monday to Saturday: 8:30am to 4pm (But do check before going as some schedules may not be available)
Entrance fee: Adults (18yrs+) £18, Concessions (Students & 60yrs+) £16, Children (6-17yrs) £8 (There are discounts for large groups or if you book online)
St. Paul’s Cathedral is known as an iconic part of London’s skyline. This church has stood for over 300 years and people from all shapes, sizes and walks of life come to see its beauty.
The cathedral was rebuilt by Christopher Wren after what is known as the Great Fire of London. Feel as if you’ve stepped back in time and reminisce about London’s past. Pay reverence to the famous and iconic names in history buried here, such as Alexander Fleming, Florence Nightingale, and the Duke of Wellington.
Viyahe tip: The church still holds Masses even after all these years. There is a morning service you can attend at 7:30 am.
Photo Credit: Matt Buck via Flickr
Opens for visitors: Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays (9am to 5:30pm), Tuesdays Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays (9am to 7:30pm) Times may also change due to events and concerts.
Entrance fee: Free but certain events require tickets
Located on Sloane Street, this church is often referred to as The Cathedral of Arts and Crafts. It is frequently visited by artists and architects who see the whole church as a work of art.
Marvel at the architecture gothic revival design. View the collection of beautiful stained-glass windows which gives a vivid narrative tour of the Bible, from the crucifixion and ascension of Christ, as shown by the monumental transept windows to the 15 clerestory windows which illustrate old testament (south side) and new testament (north side) figures.
Viyahe tip: The Holy Trinity is known for its Anglican Church music. If you’re fond of listening to choirs, stay behind or participate in one of their services.
Opens for visitors: Monday – Friday: 08:30am – 6:00pm, Saturday – Sunday: 09:00am – 6:00pm
Entrance fee: Call 020 7766 1100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for event tickets
In Trafalgar square stands a Gregorian church so beautiful that you would think you were transported to another era. Rebuilt in 1722 in a Neoclassical design, St. Martin-in-the-Fields is known for the concerts performed in the church from time to time.
If you’re not in the mood to watch any performance, spend time checking out the different shops in the area. Grab a cup of coffee the Café in the Crypt while on break from exploring the exhibitions in its galleries. Stay for the service, should you wish to participate.
Viyahe tip: Free concerts are available during Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at lunchtime.
Opens for visitors: Monday to Wednesday: 7:30am – 6:00pm, Thursday: 7:30 – 6:30, Friday: 7:30 – 4:00pm
Entrance fee: Contact the church at 020 7248 5139 for guided tours
Christopher Wren is not only famous for only one masterpiece: the St. Mary-le-Bow is another one of his stunning re-creations after the Great Fire. Also known as the Bow Church, they say those who were born within earshot of the bells of St. Mary-le-bow is a true cockney.
Check out the artifacts and statues inside the church. Stand in awe at the church’s magnificent stained-glass artwork. Notice the architectural beauty of its steeple, piercing the London skyline.
Viyahe tip: Don’t forget to stop by the café down in the crypts and try out their English breakfast.
Opens for visitors: Opening hours vary and depends on service times
Entrance fee: £6
Known as the second largest building in London and the largest Catholic Church in England, the Westminster Cathedral is popular for its quiet grandiosity.
Feel transported to Istanbul as the red and white stripes on its façade takes influences from the Byzantine Empire. Enter the cathedral and feel the grandeur even more as the Westminster Cathedral can seat up to 1,000 people. See the most spectacular view from its tower.
Viyahe tip: While it’s not quite as popular, the Westminster Cathedral is not to be confused with the Westminster Abbey. People know of Westminster Abbey more than the Cathedral, but you will surely find the cathedral amazing after visiting.