steps in St Paul's Cathedral

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:25 AM
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steps in St Paul's Cathedral

Question for anyone who has climbed the 250+ stairs to the top of St Paul's Cathedral in London (the dome?)... are the steps dark & narrow? We are going soon & would love to make the climb, but have some peripheral vision troubles -- especially with dark areas. Especially when it's crowded. We don't want to hold up the line.

Any information is appreciated.
Mar 11th, 2002, 09:36 AM
mary lewis
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We climbed the steps in 1998 - I wouldn't say the steps are dark - but they are narrow and spiral (which for me was kind of hard). When we went up there wasn't anyone else climbing - but it was also late September - not peak travel season. If you want to do it - I would just do it! It was a great experience.
Mar 11th, 2002, 09:45 AM
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I went up the steps to the Whispering Gallery in Feb this year, and, speaking as someone who HATES spiral staircases, they were fine! Wide steps, not steep, and plenty of space for people to pass in both directions. Also well lit. However, the steps further up, to the outside gallery, and then to the top of the dome, looked much narrower and steeper, and I chickened out (my excuse was I wanted to visit the Crypt before it closed)! But the Whispering Gallery was well worth a visit, to give a quite different view of the internal architecture.
Mar 11th, 2002, 09:47 AM
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I visited St. Paul's in 1980, the day after I fell in a bath tub and cut my foot. I was walking with a noticeable limp, and when my wife and I headed towards the stairs, one of the guides asked if we'd like to use the elevator, a small cage affair. You might check before you go to see if it's still available.
Mar 11th, 2002, 10:10 AM
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We climbed the stairs to the very top of St. Pauls in mid-February. The elevator was out of service on the day of our trip, I believe. The steps from the Wispering Gallery to the top of the dome were a spiral staircase wide enough for one person, but there are landings about every 15 steps to either stop and catch your breath or to let someone pass. The spiral staircases are one-way, so you don't have to worry about someone coming down while you are going up. The spiral stairs are in an "open" area that didn't feel boxed in. I believe at the very top, as you are exiting to the viewing spot, the are a number of stone steps in a narrow corridor. But it was fairly well lit and I didn't feel claustrophobic.
Mar 11th, 2002, 03:42 PM
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We climbed to the top of St Pauls this past January--unless you are in very good shape, prepare to be jelly-legged for the rest of the day, and sore for the rest of your trip! We should have done that on our last day, not the first!!
Mar 11th, 2002, 11:16 PM
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I also have vision problem (radial kerototomy that went wrong making it difficult to see in dark places), so I can really appreciate what you're saying.

However, I went up the steps at St. Paul's all the way to outside gallery. No problem with eyes - truly in that respect you'll be OK, (however, I must admit I was rather out-of-puff by the time I reached the top, well worth it though, excellent views over London.
Mar 12th, 2002, 12:19 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the great information. I think we're going to give it a try... at least to the Whispering Gallery. If the elevator is in service, that would also be a really great option for our circumstances.

Thanks again!

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