St. Clement Danes Church
St. Clement Danes Church
4.5
Historic SitesReligious SitesChurches & Cathedrals
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
St Clement Danes church is the Central Church of The Royal Air Force. It is a perpetual shrine of remembrance to all those who have died in service in the RAF.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Trafalgar Square / Embankment
With its iconic Nelson’s Column, majestic oversized lions and brightly-lit fountains, Trafalgar Square is not just considered the heart of this bustling London hub, but the very core of the city itself. Beyond this esteemed gathering place are more famous icons, as well as a disproportionate numbers of the city’s most popular cultural attractions including the National Gallery and many West End theaters. Along the way to these major sites are quiet lanes and antiquated pubs to discover, as well as riverside vistas to enjoy on the embankment. With a calendar full of celebratory events, any time of year is a fine time to visit.
How to get there
  • Temple • 3 min walk
  • Chancery Lane • 8 min walk
Reach out directly
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
138 reviews
Excellent
81
Very good
47
Average
8
Poor
1
Terrible
1

HINA W
Islamabad, Pakistan6,566 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
You can find this church located on an island in Strand before you enter the Fleet Street. During the 9th century the Danish men who were married to the English women were allowed to settle in this area and have a church for worship and burial.
It stayed unharmed from the 1666 London Fire, but as it was in such disrepair that Sir Christopher Wren had to design a new one. It received a direct hit from an enemy bomb in 1941. It stood in ruins for the next decade. It was reconsecrated as the Central Church of the Royal Air Force in 1958. RAF Church is a very serene church with bells that the Oranges and Lemons nursery rhyme tells us about. You can also see several statues of RAF heroes and more than than 1,000 RAF badges here.
Written July 10, 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.

Yorkterrier01
York, UK2,650 contributions
Feb 2020
This church was originally designed and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren on the site of older churches. It was damaged in the War significantly and then rebuilt being dedicated as the RAF Central Church since 1958.

It is a lovely and well kept church inside.
Written April 26, 2020
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.

George D
Durham36 contributions
Mar 2018 • Couples
Have been to the church a couple of times before but thought today would be a nice day to visit being the day before the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. Was surprised to find the church closed such a shame we saw at least 4 couples looking to get in.
Didn't want to give it one star as when open it is a five but on this occasion sorry.
Written March 31, 2018
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.

Me_n_my_rucksack
Yorkshire, UK6,100 contributions
To the vst majority of the folk who pass this church on the busy thoroughfares which isolate it this is just another place of worship, pretty but little more.
Inside however the special place this church has in the Nations history will become apparent. As the church of the Royal Air Force this is the Spiritual home of the service, and as such is packed with memrobillia and ceremonial paraphanalia. Laid up standards of retired squadrons, station crests, some of long forgotten establishments. There is a wealth of history and tradition enshrined here. It is a working place of worship and therefore a place which should be entered into with an element of reverence and respct, but having said that we were able to wander in off the street and wander around the treasure trove of history at will.
We were amazed at what this relativeley small church had to offer. If in the area make the effort - its well worth it.
Written September 24, 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.

BradJill
Hong Kong, China159,149 contributions
Dec 2013 • Couples
St. Clement Danes is a nice church to visit on the Strand. It is a small Baroque style building with a long history and some interesting things to see both inside and outside the church building. St. Clement Danes church is also referred to as the Church of the Royal Air Force.

Unfortunately, St. Clement Danes is located on an island in the middle of the Strand, with regular road traffic on both sides. This makes visits to the outside of the church a bit noisy. However, the building is large enough that the noise doesn't seem to bother that much once you are inside.

The history of St. Clement Danes stretches back to the 9th century where tradition suggests that a church was built by Danes who had settled here. Some believe the Danes named the church after St. Clement, patron saint of mariners.

There is later reference to the church in William of Normandy's Doomsday book (1086) and it is possible that the church was rebuilt at some stage during his reign as well as again during the middle ages when St. Clement Danes was under the care of the Knights of Templar.

By the 17th century the church had fallen into disrepair. While it survived the Great Fire of 1666, it was demolished shortly after due to its poor condition and then rebuilt in the 1680s by Christopher Wren, who designed the new church in Baroque style. A steeple was added by James Gibbs in 1717, completing this beautiful church.

Unfortunately, the church sustained heavy bombing damage, gutting its interior in 1941. During the 1950s, the Royal Air Force raised funds and had the church restored. This is how you can see St. Clement Danes today.

Within the church, there is a nice wooden panel works behind the alter, a late 17th century organ in the back and attractive glass-stained windows throughout the nave. There is a downstairs crypt, which you can also visit if interested.

The exterior of the church is attractive and it is worth having a look at the statues which surround the building. These include the large Gladstone statue and RAF's past wartime leaders Arthur Harris and Hugh Dowding found in front of the St. Clement Danes. Behind the church, you can see a monument to Dr. Samuel Johnson, who attended services here during the 18th century.

Overall, we like St. Clement Danes Church. Its history is interesting, as are its interior and exterior designs and interesting statues and monuments found outside the church. It is definitely worth a stop if you enjoy church visits.
Written February 21, 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.

TeamWard
Nottingham, UK5,176 contributions
Sep 2020
The Bells of St Clements is all i could think of as we found St Clement Danes Church, a small church on an island road junction, pleasant to view.
Written September 30, 2020
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.

Denise F
United Kingdom94 contributions
Feb 2020
Great visit to this Church and had a look at the Book of Remembrance for The RAF. Very interesting church.
Written February 16, 2020
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.

JoynAlla
Kingston-upon-Hull, UK20 contributions
Jul 2019 • Couples
We looked up this church as our daughter is going to be matron of honour at an RAF wedding shortly
This church is dedicated to the RAF and had memorabilia and history linking to the RAF ousting from every corner .. but in the same breath it is a place of worship that is so calm and tranquil amongst the hub bub of London’s Strand and Fleet Street
It look average as you approach it’s in the middle of a very busy road ... but make that effort if your visiting Somerset House to divert into this church... You will not be disappointed
Written July 25, 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.

Longtime Traveller
Australia34 contributions
Jul 2019 • Couples
Having a father in the RAAF who had attended far too many funerals in this church I had avoided it - WHAT A MISTAKE.
It is full of beauty, interest and history - my thanks to the wonderful staff who were informative and generous with their time.
SEE IT
Written July 13, 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.

Paul W
Rushden, UK2,928 contributions
Sep 2015 • Couples
We had been for a walk down Fleet street,obviously this is just a name these days,after most of the newspaper publishing have moved further East.
So this was a pleasant oasis bathed in some wonderful late September sunshine.Lovely interior,with some historic RAF material etc.
And the gentleman who was on duty was very nice & helpful,my wife picked up some Christmas cards at bargain prices too.
Summing up,really pleasant church in the heart of Fleet street,would we visit again,?yes we would.
Written September 26, 2015
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.

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St. Clement Danes Church, London

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