3. The Whispering Gallery at St.Paul’s

A glorious sunny day.  One of the warm blue sky days of September.  Up all those stairs to the Whispering Gallery and on up two more sets of steps for the wrap around views of London from the top of the dome.

This was a great suggestion.  The gallery itself is fun. You put your head to the wall and whisper your message along its side.  People on the far side of the gallery can hear you as clearly as if you are standing next to them.  It’s strangely intimate to hear the words of a person you can barely see on the other side of the dome.  The sound takes a few beats to travel from mouth to ear.   I wondered how many marriage proposals had been made and accepted there.

The stairs leading to the gallery are broad and wide, and there are places to rest on the way up.  It’s all very civilised.  Once in the gallery the floor below does seem a long way away but not in a vertigo inducing way.

The real treat for me was climbing further up metal stairs to the outside walkways with fantastic views over London.  I passed several people with a fear of heights slowly making their way up, being encouraged by friends and partners.  At the highest viewing point, a man had one foot on the viewing platform, one inside the building and both arms firmly around the side of the building.  He got his view but nothing would make him venture outside to get the full effect.

After the whispering and the views I had a wander around the cathedral itself.  I lit candles for two friends.  Sat and listened to a brief service.

When I next saw the friend who suggested this visit, I told him how much I’d enjoyed it.  His face fell slightly.  I assumed he’d suggested it because it was an experience he’d enjoyed.  He’d always wanted to go and thought it might be something fun to do together.  Lesson learned.

Your ticket, if you gift aid it, is valid for a year.

I plan to visit many more times.