If you look at any list of London’s most iconic landmarks, two will appear on all of them: St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. These two buildings both have uniquely storied histories, draw travelers each and every day, and are actually two of my personal favorite “tourist” spots in the City of London.
If you’re planning your London itinerary and will spend a day in the City of London, you’ll probably visit these two iconic London sites. But how can you travel from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral – or vice versa? Even more importantly, what’s the best way to travel between them?
In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know: how far it is, what your transport options are, which one I recommend, and even directions for each option. Unlike some of my other guides for getting around London, I think it’s pretty clear what the best way is to travel between the Tower and St. Paul’s.
Ready to sort out this part of your London trip? Read on and you’ll be all set!
TL;DR: The best way to travel from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral (or reverse) is by walking; it’s a 1-mile, 11-minute walk. (Read below to see why I say this!)
Getting Oriented: Tower of London & St. Paul’s Cathedral
Before we dive into the different ways of getting from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral, I’ll give you a broad idea of where these places are located in London and what you can find in the surrounding area.
What’s at the Tower of London?
As you probably already know, the Tower of London is one of the city’s most historic landmarks; it has been the site of some of the city’s most important events, including the place where William the Conquerer set up his first fortress in London in 1066 and where famous prisoners including Anne Boleyn and Guy Fawkes were held.
The Tower of London is located in central London on the north bank of the River Thames, within the City of London. It is easily accessible as it is served by different train and tube lines. The closest tube station is Tower Hill Underground Station.
What’s at St. Paul’s Cathedral?
Another London landmark, St. Paul’s Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of London. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is easily one of the most iconic buildings in the city. The building is also located in Central London, sitting on Ludgate Hill, which is the highest point in the City of London.
St. Paul’s has its own tube station, St Paul’s Underground station, served by the Central, District, and Circle lines.
The Distance from the Tower to St. Paul’s
The Tower of London is just over one mile away from St. Paul’s Cathedral, as one of the Tower of London’s ravens might fly between them. How long it takes to cover that distance varies depending on the mode of transportation you choose. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- By car, it takes a short 11 minutes to get there.
- The Tube journey lasts 14 minutes, assuming the trains are running normally.
- On one of London’s iconic double-decker buses, the ride takes 17 minutes.
- It’s only an 11-minute ride by bike.
- On foot, the walk is 22 minutes long.
How to Get Between the Tower of London & St. Paul’s Cathedral
In this section, I’ll cover in detail each of the five ways in which you can get from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the Tower of London, including the directions you should follow. Then it’s up to you to decide which way makes sense in your London itinerary – though I do provide my own top recommendation at the end of the post.
Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral by Black Cab
Given the short distance between these places, it may not make sense to take a cab. However, it’s a good option for travelers who are short on time.
For logistic purposes only, let’s take Tower Hill street as our starting point. This is a busy street, so you’ll see many cabs passing by. Just wait for one that’s got the yellow light on and hail it off the street.
Once you’re in the cab, all you have to do is tell the driver where you’re going. London black cab drivers know the city as the back of their hands and will find the fastest route to get you to your destination.
Here’s what you can expect, though. Your driver will continue on Tower Hill street for 1 mile to enter the City of London. Then, he will turn right onto Puddle Rock and again onto Queen Victoria Street. He’ll stay on Queen Victoria Street for 0.5 miles and then turn left on Friday Street. Then, he’ll turn left again onto Cannon Street and continue until St Paul’s Churchyard.
If this is your first time taking London’s black cabs, make sure you check out my guide on how they work.
Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral by Tube
You can also take the Tube to get from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The nearest tube station from the Tower of London is Tower Hill – the station is right across the road from Tower Bridge.
Once at the station, you can catch either the Circle or District lines, heading toward Embankment. Both will take you to Mansion House Station, where you’ll have to get off. Then, come out of the station and it’s a 4-minute walk to St. Paul’s Church.
Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral by Bus
Taking the bus is probably the least convenient way to go from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the Tower of London; for comprehensiveness, I’ll cover it anyway.
Fortunately, the journey is pretty straightforward and you only have to take one bus to reach St. Paul’s. Head to Great Tower Street (Stop TT) and take Bus 15 toward Charing Cross. You’ll have to get off at St Paul’s Churchyard (Stop SH) and walk about 2 minutes to St. Paul’s Churchyard.
We can’t deny that London’s double-decker buses are an attraction in themselves. If you’d like to ride them, here’s a guide to help you do it.
Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral by Bike
Riding a bike is the most efficient and cheapest way to go from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral. London has an excellent public bicycle hire scheme, Santander Cycles, so all tourists can rent a bike and get around the city.
In case you choose this option, I have a whole article devoted to Santander Cycles, how it works, and how you can take advantage of it on your next trip.
To reach St. Paul’s Cathedral from the Tower of London, head east on Tower Bridge Approach and turn left onto Tower Hill – in a way, you’ll be circling the Tower of London. Keep right and continue on Byward Street and then onto Lower Thames Street. You’ll have to turn right onto Queen Street and continue for about 400 feet. Next, you’ll turn left onto Great St Thomas Apostle and then right onto Garlick Hill. Turn left onto Cannon Street and you should be able to see St. Paul’s Churchyard by now. You have to make it right into Peter’s Hill and then a slight turn to the left.
Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral on Foot
Walking is the best way to travel between the Tower of London and St. Paul’s. It is a pleasant one-mile walk where you’ll get the chance to stroll through the City of London past other iconic buildings like
Taking the Tower of London as our starting point, head northwest and turn onto Lower Thames Street. Then turn right onto St. Dunstan’s Hill and then turn left to find Lower Thames Street again. You’ll have to turn left onto Monument Street. Continue for 0.1 miles and then turn left onto King William Street. Take the pedestrian tunnel stairs and turn left toward Cannon Street. Now, all you have to do is to continue straight until you find St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Traveling from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the Tower of London
Depending on where you’re staying in London, there’s a good chance that you may want to go from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the Tower of London.
If that’s the case, all you have to do is reverse the directions I mentioned above. You’ll cover the same distances, walk the same streets, and take the same Tube and bus lines – just in reverse. Regardless of the mode of transportation that you go for, make sure to have St. Paul’s Cathedral as your starting point.
Honestly, the easiest way to map the route in either direction is by using Citymapper, one of the London apps I recommend for your trip.
Have any other questions about how to travel from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral, or reverse? Let me know in the comments!