Blessed with a vast array of beautiful buildings of great historical import, London is filled with many beautiful palaces, major museums, fascinating fortifications, memorable monuments and pristine parks.
Equally deserving of mention on such a list, too, though, are many of the places of Christian worship to be found scattered throughout the UK capital. Whether you’re religious or not in the least bit spiritual, a large number of these sites offer glorious examples of architecture and are stunning to look around, both inside and out; boasting astounding structures and artistic décor.
So, if you’ve booked a stay at the best hotel in London, why not check out the best churches and cathedrals in London…?
St Paul’s Cathedral
(St Paul’s Churchyard EC4M 8AD)
To be found on Ludgate Hill (one of London’s highest points), St Paul’s Cathedral is probably the most iconic place of worship in the entire country. It was founded way back in the 7th Century AD, being the chief church of the Diocese of London and the seat of the Bishop of London.
Standing 111 metres tall, its legendary white marble dome is surely its calling card (you can inspect the dome’s interior, as well as the remarkable sound quality of the ‘Whispering Gallery’), while the cathedral’s engraved walls, beautiful frescos, wooden fittings, nave and extraordinary crypt – full of tombs of the great and good – are all hugely popular with visitors, too.
(Trafalgar Square WC2N 4JJ)
One of the best-known churches in London, St Martin-in-the-Fields is the Trafalgar Square-located site noted for its (often) twice-daily music concerts. Note: those that take place at lunchtime are often free-to-attend, given the fact they’re usually rehearsals for the evening concerts.
Features-wise, this place is worth checking out, too, for its fine dome, impressive stained-glass windows and fantastic frescos. Unsurprisingly, for such an obvious tourist attraction, there’s also a decent café and a souvenir shop.
(42 Francis St, Westminster SW1P 1QW)
The premier Catholic place of worship in the city, this cathedral isn’t located that far from its Anglican equivalent Westminster Abbey, as it goes; being within very easy reach of the Victoria mainline train and Tube stations – and, therefore, practically any accommodation in the capital, including hotels near Chiswell Street London.
Recognisable for its exterior’s notable red and white brick, the cathedral’s an impressive example of neo-Byzantine architecture; its interior’s construction features around 120 different kinds of marble. Holy mass takes place here at least 40 times a week.
(London Bridge SE1 9DA)
Officially referred to as the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark Cathedral’s located just a few moments from the Thames’ South Bank. A fine example of medieval gothic architecture, it serves as the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark and dates back practically an entire millennium (yes, nearly a full 1,000 years).
Inside, you’ll find a monument in the south aisle that’s dedicated to William Shakespeare, whose acting troupe performed many of his plays at the nearby (original) Globe Theatre. Also, the cathedral’s choir performs regularly – often on the fourth Sunday each month.
(Temple EC4Y 7BB)
Technically a church for lawyers – that is, lawyers of the centuries-old Inner and Middle Temple associations – this 12th-Century place of worship lies between the Thames’s northern embankment and Fleet Street. It was actually built by the legendary Knights Templar and, in the 20th Century, suffered significant damage in World War II’s London Blitz, requiring noteworthy renovation work. Today, owing to its location in the heart of the capital, it tends to host many music and social events.
St Pancras Old Church
(Pancras Road NW1 1UL)
One of the oldest of all churches in London, this St Pancras area-located site effectively dates all the way back to the years of the Norman Conquest (yes, 1066 and all that). Still very much serving as a place of Christian worship today, it hosts regular services on Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, every week. Easy to get to wherever you may be staying in the city, such as Finsbury Square London hotels, (owing to its location so near the major Kings Cross/ St Pancras mainline stations), it’s well worth a visit.
St Leonard’s Church
(Streatham High Road SW16 1HS)
Built in the early 18th Century by the wonderfully monikered George Dance the Elder, St Leonard’s is particularly revered among enthusiasts of the capital’s many places of worship for its enormous bell, its tall dome and engraved pillars. Unsurprisingly, this impressive building also serves as a venue for a good number of music concerts, as well as regular church services.
The creation of architect John Dando Sedding, the beautiful Holy Trinity, to be found in the Kensington/ Chelsea area (so, ideal for popping into while enjoying a day at The Montcalm Spa), is also very well-regarded for its stupendous stained-glass windows and vibrant frescoes, thanks to the efforts of iconic Victorian artists Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. In addition to providing spiritual solace (of course) and its artistic resonance, Holy Trinity is noted, too, for its choir that specialises in Anglican music.
Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission
(49 City Road EC1Y 1AU)
Finally, this place of worship is a particular haven for Methodists, being that it was the first church of that denomination. Constructed by the Methodist movement’s founder, John Wesley, its site also includes a museum dedicated to Wesley and Methodism, ensuring the place is always popular with tourists from far and wide.