London Architecture Tour: From St. Paul's to the Gherkin

See the stunning juxtaposition of Christopher Wren’s 17th century revival of the City of London (on its medieval foundations) alongside the contemporary jungle of Rogers and Foster et al
From US$526 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • St. Paul's Cathedral
  • The 'Gherkin'
  • Guildhall
Photos & Highlights
  • Immerse yourself in the history, diverse influences, and constant transformation of architecture in London
  • You’ll explore several key venues across the historic city center, hosted by an architectural historian
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Tour Description
Our guided walking tour explores the dramatic impact each of London’s key architects has made on the city’s strikingly unique skyline. Together you trace the narrative timeline of London’s evolution from Norman times to cutting-edge contemporary skyscrapers. 

Beginning from St. Paul’s Cathedral

Your journey begins at the steps of St. Paul's, which was created by Architect Christopher Wren. From here, we may proceed through Temple Bar, London’s only surviving city gate, and on through Paternoster Square, which proves to be a remarkable example of how modern architecture can work in harmony with London’s famous historical monuments.

The Historical Guildyard Hall

We will visit Guildhall Yard – where a fanciful Indian-influenced 18th-century porch and a brutalist 20th-century extension juxtapose the original 15th-century Guildhall. Depending on opening times, we might also venture underground to discover the remains of one of London’s most ancient buildings that lie hidden below the Guildhall Art Gallery. 

The Skyscrapers of the Financial District

Next on the itinerary is a stroll past the magnificent Bank of England, originally designed by the celebrated architect Sir John Soane, and the Mansion House, a classical masterpiece that has long been home to London’s Lord Mayor. Following a walk through the Victorian exuberance of Leadenhall Market, we will encounter the tall skyscrapers that have recently sprouted up in the City. From Richard Rogers’ iconic Lloyd Buildings to the much-discussed ‘Gherkin’ designed by Norman Foster, these stunning structures represent the evolution of London into a center for commerce and banking, offering a striking contrast to the many historic buildings that they now overshadow.
Do we go inside the venues or just see them from the outside?
We generally focus on the outside of buildings, but we do occasionally step inside churches or buildings that are relevant to the discussion. No advance tickets are required for these.

What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your guide will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.

Is this tour good for kids?
Yes! We have some excellent family-friendly guides who can appeal to the learning styles of children. Please book privately if you have children under 13. Feel free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can do our best to match you with the best possible guide.

Is this a walking intensive tour?
The walk covers about 2 miles, but the exact mileage depends on the day and the group's interests.

Where do we start? Where do we end?
We begin near St. Paul's and usually end in the vicinity of the Bank of England. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point.
Where You'll Start
(4.73) 80 Reviews

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Chris was great! very informative and nice. a great guide!
Really interesting- learned a lot!
This was a very informative tour if you are interested in architecture

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