St. Mary-le-Bow
St. Mary-le-Bow
4
Architectural BuildingsReligious SitesChurches & Cathedrals
About
This church, designed by Christopher Wren and also known as Bow Church, is truly significant: anyone who is born within the sound of its bells is considered a "true" Londoner, or Cockney.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
The area
Address
Neighborhood: City of London
From its ancient past as a Roman trading outpost to its 21st century status as the wealthiest square mile in the world, the financial district known simply as “The City” is one of London's most historic and fascinating neighborhoods. Here high rise office towers such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin mingle with Roman ruins and architectural marvels from virtually every era in between, including Christopher Wren's glorious St.Paul's Cathedral, and John Soane's dauntingly classicist Bank of England. This neighborhood is also home to some of the finest restaurants and plushest hotels in Europe, in addition to an assortment of watering holes, upscale shops, and Tube stations. During the week, the City is abuzz with white collar workers going about their business; the weekend sees this area turn into a quiet haven for sightseers.
How to get there
  • Mansion House • 3 min walk
  • St. Paul's • 4 min walk
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles83 reviews
Excellent
30
Very good
42
Average
9
Poor
1
Terrible
1

therichastill
Stevenage, UK2,969 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
St Mary-Le-Bow church is located in the city of London rather than in Bow.

I wonder if it is the bell mentioned in the nursery rhyme "Oranges and Lemons"?

It is a really lovely building and just a short walk from Mansion House.

If you like lovely churches it is definitely worth checking out.
Written March 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

readysetgocrazy
London, UK10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Bow church is famous for it's connections with its historic bells. This beautiful Wren church is well worth a look and offers a nice sanctuary from the noise and chaos of the financial district it is located in.

There was a nice exhibit detailing the history of the place on the day we went there, including some great photos showing how the place had been gutted by bomb damage during the Blitz.

But the real gem of this place is the restaurant and coffee shop, located atmospherically in the crypt downstairs. The grub is good and I thought this was a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat and a coffee the evening I went there.
Written November 25, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tinkle_24
Northampton, UK1,742 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
Feeling of space in Church as it is painted white. Elaborate gold fittings but not too ornate. Intricate designs on stained glass. Famous for its church bells and crypt.

Sadly a small group of women were having a prayer meeting in the crypt and selfishly wanted the chapel all to themselves. They ignored the fact that we travelled a long way to visit the Church/ crypt and told us to leave! How inhospitable and rude!

Hopefully the church will display a big sign to tell visitors not to bother visiting,
Written August 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

macedonboy
Glasgow, UK185,162 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Solo
One of the many churches that were destroyed during the Great Fire of London. This is another of the restored churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Much of the architecture showcase Wrens signature designs and features. The main thing that's obviously not are the stained glass, which along with much of the church were destroyed (again) during World War Two. The stained glass have a much more modern, fantastic design. Worth a small detour if in the area.
Written March 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew
St. Albans, UK7,137 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Solo
No visit to the City of London is complete without a visit to one its most famous churches: St Mary-le-Bow. This historic church was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London by Sir Christopher Wren; then restored in 1964 after most of the building was destroyed by a bomb in 1941. A church has existed on this site since Saxon times with a medieval version of the church having been destroyed by a Tornado in 1091.

According to tradition a true Cockney must be born within earshot of the sound of Bow Bells; and it is believed that the sound of Bow Bells (12 bells in total) persuaded Dick Whittington to turn back from Highgate and remain in London to become Lord Mayor.

The café has changed since my last visit (many years ago) and is now more of a restaurant than a café.

In the church there is a memorial to members of the Norwegian resistance who died in the Second World War.

In the churchyard is a statue of Captain John Smith (of Jamestown) who foundered Virginia (USA) and was a former parishioner of St Mary-le-Bow; and who a lot of people will know from the Disney film Pocahontas (who once saved his life).
Written April 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

neddyb1
Northwich, UK1,086 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014
Had a couple of hours to fill this afternoon and poked my hard in here. There's a fantastic Cafe in the crypt - had an amazing fish pie and salad for under a tenner - and then sat through the most amazing choral work performed in the church - almost had me in tears!!! All this right in the centre of the city. I had no idea this was here and only found it by accident - I recommend you find it on purpose!!!
Written April 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David H
Bury, UK1,637 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
This is a beautifully restored church right in the heart of the city. When we came out the famous Bow bells were ringing - it must have been quite impressive to hear in the days before the church was outflanked by all the new tall buildings. Inside it loverly and bright, ornate and peaceful.
Written December 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Newinnman
Pontypool, UK564 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Friends
The 6 Bow Bells. If you can hear the sound of those bells at the place where you were born, then you are classified as a true Londoner - a Cockney!

This 1000 year old church has stood through everything that the world could throw at it, the plague, cholera WW2, the swinging sixties and architectures. But it still stands as a shining example of a great London church.

Free to visit
Written May 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MickyC
Bromley, UK613 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Friends
This is worth a visit if you a near, for the lovely windows and decor in the place.

Downstairs they have converted the old crypt in to a restaurant. We didn’t eat there, but I’m sure it would be a great experience. Just a shame it’s not possible to view it now, without walking in to a restaurant full of people.
Written February 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wraxall_Travellers
Bristol, UK1,070 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
Nice to visit and see the windows, plus sit for a while. The crypt is now a café.

This is the original Bow bells church too.

Plenty of information on hand to purchase for a very small fee.
Written January 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 63
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

St. Mary-le-Bow, London

All London HotelsLondon Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in London
All things to do in London
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars