On day three, we got up bright and early to head to the St. Paul’s Cathedral. The cathedral was massive, and was even more grand than Westminster Abbey. The architecture is stunning and it is my favourite structure in London, maybe even Europe. The intricacies in the stone could make me stand there forever, memorizing every detail. Inside the cathedral makes you feel tiny, my heart felt like it was being pulled down into the black and white tile floor (But in a good way). The statues are beautiful and each tells you another story. When you look up at the dome you can see the stunning painting of columns stretching up to the top. The spandrels under the dome had mosaics of the prophets but they weren’t just any mosaics. They sparkled up they and highlighted the other monochrome paintings.
You could walk up a WHOLE LOT of stairs (my legs were still sore from the stairs of The Monument) to the three levels of the dome: The Whispering Gallery (257 steps), Stone Gallery (376 steps), and the Golden Gallery (528 steps). The Golden Gallery offered a panoramic view of London which was obviously stunning.
After our visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, you walked across the Millennium bridge. From the bridge, you can get an excellent photograph of the Cathedral. The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge takes you across the River Thames from the Cathedral to the Tate Modern.
View of St. Paul’s Cathedral from Millennium Bridge
We returned to Borough Market for lunch and the delicious details are available in the London Food Guide here.
From the Millennium Bridge we found our way to London Bridge City. It is the area that has a lot of business skyscrapers and city hall. The City Hall is an interesting building that to me, looks like a cross between a rolled up armadillo and a wood bug. You can visit inside the building on weekdays but we decided not to. The reason we visited London Bridge City is the view of the Thames. In my opinion, this is where you can get the best photo of Tower Bridge
There is a walkway down the Thames and you can get pictures of different city views like the Walkie-Talkie building, the Gherkin, and of course the Tower Bridge. If you try to sit on the ledge, someone might tell you to get down so take your photo fast. We actually took the walkway to a stairway that takes you onto the bridge. My word, was it crowded. Many people pushing past each-other and an extremely long queue to go into the Tower Bridge museum (which we opted not to visit). On the other side of the bridge is the Tower of London a historical castle that doubles as a museum.
The Tower of London is one of my favourite museums because every aspect is interesting, from stories of executions, torture, and missing children. If you are interested in more morbid or medieval stuff, I think you would also have a good time there. My mom enjoyed the torture devices and the execution sites less than I did. If you are like my mom, fear not, there is till something in the Tower of London for you.
The Tower of London is also the home to the Crown Jewels, some of which are still in use by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in ceremonies. They are gorgeous pieces of art that are just mesmerizing to look at. The Crown Jewels include tiaras, spoons, plate, swords, orbs and a whole bunch of other sparkly items. There will definitely be a queue when you go because of security checks and the sheer number of people who visit this exhibit so plan around 45-60 minutes just for the Crown Jewels.
I would recommend that you plan 2-3 hours for the Tower of London, depending on how fast you walk and read.
The Tower Pier is near the Tower of London and you can take a number of Thames cruises to get some excellent photos of the riverside. We decided to take the Thames River Boat Cruise from Tower pier to Westminster pier and back again. There are four stops total for the cruise, Westminster pier, London Eye pier, Tower pier, and Greenwich pier. You have to option of going on the deck (if you want photos, I would recommend) but it is ridiculously cold out there so make sure you bundle up. For the majority of the cruise, it was a relaxing hour as we sat inside and ate our Bread Ahead Doughnuts (which are the best doughnuts ever. Full review available here.)
London Bridge City
Coca-Cola London Eye/London Eye Pier
As we disembarked the vessel we were starting to get hungry so our last stop of the day was dinner and Emilia’s Crafted Pasta who makes fresh pasta in-house and delicious sauces that match the noodle shape. Emilia’s Crafted Pasta is available in the London Food Guide here.