London Around St. Paul's Cathedral
|St. Paul's Cathedral St. Paul's Cathedral is a crown jewel of English Baroque architecture, designed by Christopher Wren. My kids just loved looking out over London from the top of the cathedral.|
|Get to St. Paul's early before it gets crowded, and climb up to the Whispering Gallery in the huge dome above the church floor. The acoustics are so good you can hear someone whispering on the other side of the gallery (we heard the gallery guards gossiping). Continue climbing up to the Stone Gallery, and up to the highest gallery, for a pigeon's eye view of London.|
|The crypt is packed with tombs of admirals and military heroes, most notably Nelson and Wellington. (Tip: Free with the London Pass .)|
Museum of London London has a long and varied history, from the prehistoric period, through Roman, Tudor, Victorian eras, to the present day. This museum is chock full of goodies, especially the archeological stuff, such as 2,000 year old skulls that might be Londoners' heads, lopped off by Queen Boudica, re-creation of a Roman house in London, and finds from the Temple of Mithras. Other items in the collection include Queen Victoria's dolls, a Victorian walk with toyshop, barber, tailor, pharmacy, and 700 years of fashion. You can't miss the Lord Mayor of London's over-the-top gilded coach, decorated with dragons and cherubs.
|The museum is free.|
|London Wall Next door to the museum is a section of the Roman wall (the straight part), with a round 13th century medieval tower added on. Ask at the desk for printed directions how to get to the Roman wall.|
Walk along the Thames (Victoria Embankment) Talk a stroll along Victoria Embankment from Blackfriar's Bridge to Westminster. There are gardens on one side, and broad sidewalks along the Thames itself.
|Don't miss Cleopatra's Needle, an Egyptian obelisk more than 3,500 years old. The poor obelisk had quite a trip from Alexandria. It was sunk in the Bay of Biscay, dredged up, and finally put here along the Thames.|
|Tip: There's another Cleopatra's Needle (the obelisks are a pair) in Central Park, New York City.|