As one of the most iconic features within London’s skyline, St Paul’s Cathedral is steeped in British history, dating back to the 17th Century when it was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The cathedral was a significant part of a rebuilding programme after the Great Fire of London, and has played host to many notable events in history, including peace services marking the end of WW1 and WW2, as well as the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Today, guests can visit the cathedral either to explore or to worship privately, with sightseeing tours available between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. Tours include a walk across the famed Cathedral floor, a climb up the dome to try the acoustics in the Whispering Gallery, rooftop views of London and a look at the resting place of some of Britain’s best-known heroes.
Accessible features for disabled visitors
Wheelchair users can enter the cathedral via the south churchyard entrance, which includes lifts to the crypts and Cathedral floor. Mobility scooters are welcome within the cathedral, though the lift may not be able to accommodate Class 3 or some large Class 2 scooters. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this Grade 1 building, access to the Whispering and Stone Galleries is only available via steps. Wheelchairs can be booked in advance by calling 0207 2468320.
Visually impaired guests
Guide dogs are welcome and dog bowls are provided, while audio description guides are included with admission. Those who would like to experience a guided touch tour can book in advance, and large print and Braille copies of the day’s services are readily available.
Hearing impaired guests
A multimedia British Sign Language tour is available as part of the admission price, and induction loops are available for the entire Cathedral floor, covering all services featuring spoken word elements.
Standard admission (£18 or £16 for concessions) applies to visually and hearing impaired visitors, though a free companion admission is available on a 1:1 basis. The Stone and Golden Galleries are currently closed but will re-open on December 16.
As part of my work with Deafblind UK, I compose feature articles for their bi-monthly magazine, Open Hand. A regular feature is a review of local tourist attractions with accessible facilities for disabled people.
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