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Tickets and opening times

We can’t wait to welcome you to Canterbury Cathedral. Tickets can be booked online or are available to buy on the day at our visitor centre. Please check our website prior to your visit as opening times may be subject to change.

Monday to Saturday 09.00 - 17.00 (last admission at 16.00)

Sunday 11.30* - 17.00 (last admission at 16.00)
*Between 11.30-12.30, access is available to the Cathedral grounds and Shop only. The Cathedral church opens at 12.30.

 

 

Adult

£17.00

Our standard visitor ticket is valid for 12 months, meaning you can re-visit the Cathedral as often as you want during that time at no extra cost.

Children (aged 17 and under)

Free

Children go FREE when accompanied by a paying adult. (Max 2 children per paying adult; does not apply to group bookings or school visits). Children must be accompanied at all times.

 

Canterbury Students

Free

Students studying full-time at local universities - Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Kent, University for the Creative Arts - enjoy FREE entry with their student ID.

English Heritage Members

20% discount on visitor entry

  • Not valid with other promotions or offers.
  • Discount applies to tickets bought on the door at our Visitor Centre only. Discount is not available for online booking. Standard price admission tickets cannot be refunded and exchanged for discounted tickets.
  • Valid until 31 March 2024. T&Cs apply.

Cathedral Pass

Locals can enjoy unlimited visits for the equivalent of just 10p per month!

You may be eligible for a Cathedral Pass if you:

  • work in the old city of Canterbury
  • live within 4 miles of Bell Harry tower, including within The Precincts
  • are a member of the Cathedral Congregation
  • are immediate family of a Cathedral staff member
  • are a member of any church in the diocese (on the parish electoral roll or equivalent)

Our Cathedral Pass cannot be used in conjunction with other promotions or offers.

Apply for The Cathedral Pass

Event calendar

Have a look at the range of events Canterbury Cathedral has on offer below.

 

 

What's on

There’s something for everyone – see what exciting events are currently taking place.

See what's on

Service times

Daily Eucharist   08:00
Lunchtime Eucharist   12:30 (Wednesdays and Feast Days only)
Daily Choral Evensong or Said Evening Prayer with Organ Meditation*   17:30
Sunday Choral Eucharist*  11:00
All are welcome and there is no charge to attend a service. *Live streamed online.

Services

Online worship

Every day the Cathedral’s services are broadcast on our YouTube channel. It’s perfect for when you are unable to be here in person. 

Explore 

Find us

We can't wait to welcome you to the Cathedral

Monday to Saturday 09.00 - 17.00 (last admission at 16.00)
Sunday 11.30 - 17.00 (last admission at 16.00)

Between 11.30-12.30, access is available to the Cathedral ground and Shop only. the Cathedral church opens at 12.30.

Address

Cathedral House
11 The Precincts
Canterbury
CT1 2EH
United Kingdom

Parking 

Parking in the Cathedral grounds is only available for Blue Badge holders, subject to limited availability and prior arrangement. There are several public car parks nearby. 

Find out more

29 January - 10 March 2024

FREE entry to Canterbury Cathedral Precincts

The perfect chance to discover England’s First Cathedral.

Enjoy free entry to large parts of Canterbury Cathedral’s Precincts daily from 9am to 9pm during our Free Precincts Trial (29 January - 10 March 2024).

Sightseers will only need to pay to enter the Cathedral building and areas including the Cloisters, Herb Garden and Chapter House during standard sightseeing hours.

It is always free to attend a service of worship or to come into the Cathedral to pray.

Discover World Heritage on your doorstep

Canterbury Cathedral is for everyone - a unique place of worship, a major pilgrimage destination, a masterpiece of art and architecture, and one of the UK's most-visited historic sites. As stewards of this special place, we want as many people as possible to enjoy it.

However, the financial reality is that it costs nearly £30,000 per day to keep the Cathedral open to all, and we typically receive no funding from Government or the Church of England. This is why we introduced admission charges for sightseers. Income from sightseers is our principal source of revenue, and the Cathedral simply couldn’t survive without it.

Our 6-week Free Precincts Trial is intended to test the feasibility of balancing free access to large parts of the Cathedral estate with our need to attract paying visitors in order to cover the substantial costs of running and maintaining this unique site and community.

During the Free Precincts Trial

Our Lounge is Open

The Lounge at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge will be open for food and drinks, between 10:00-16:00, during our Free Precincts Trial (29th January-10th March).

So, pop in for a hot drink or stay awhile to enjoy lunch, light snacks and a selection of sweet treats!

FAQs:

What is the Free Precincts Trial?

We want Canterbury Cathedral to be as open and accessible to everyone as possible, and this 6-week Free Precincts Trial is to test the financial viability of having large areas of the Cathedral Precincts – also known as the Cathedral Close - open for free during sightseeing hours.

At present, sightseers need to buy a ticket to enter the Precincts and Cathedral during sightseeing hours (9am-5pm Mon-Sat; 12.30-5pm Sun). During the Free Precincts Trial, sightseers will only need to pay to enter the Cathedral building itself and the north side of the Precincts – including the Cloisters, Herb Garden and Chapter House – during standard sightseeing hours.

Cathedral Passholders and Friends enjoy their usual access and member benefits.

It is always free to attend a service of worship or to come into the Cathedral to pray, and the Precincts are already open for free between 5-9pm each day.

 

When will the Free Precincts Trial run?

Monday 29 January to Sunday 10 March 2024 inclusive.

 

What times will I be able to enter the Precincts for free during the trial?

9am to 9pm daily.

 

Why is the Cathedral undertaking this trial?

As stewards of this special place, we want as many people as possible to enjoy it.

However, the financial reality is that it costs nearly £30,000 per day to keep the Cathedral open to all, and we typically receive no funding from Government or the Church of England. This is why we introduced admission charges for sightseers. Income from sightseers is our principal source of revenue, and the Cathedral simply couldn’t survive without it.

Canterbury is unusual amongst English cathedrals in having a closed Precincts/Close with a surviving medieval boundary. Since charges for sightseers were introduced, the paywall has been at the Precincts boundary as this has been the most practical way to manage access to - and security of - the site within our resources. This does lead to complaints though from those unhappy that they aren’t able to enter the Precincts for free during sightseeing hours.

Our Free Precincts Trial is to test whether we can still generate the sightseeing income that is essential to the Cathedral’s survival, whilst allowing free entry to large areas of the Precincts. During the trial, sightseers will only need to pay to enter the Cathedral building and the north side of the Precincts – including the Cloisters, Herb Garden and Chapter House – during standard sightseeing hours.

As always, it will still be free to attend a service of worship or to come into the Cathedral to pray. Our services are open to all, and everyone is welcome.

 

Which areas of the Precincts will I be able to access for free?

The South side, the Memorial Garden, the Dark Entry, and Green Court.

 

Will I be asked to make a donation?

Yes. Although not compulsory, we hope that many of those enjoying free access to The Precincts will choose to support the Cathedral by giving a financial donation if they can. 

It costs nearly £30,000 per day to keep the Cathedral open to all, and we typically receive no funding from Government or the Church of England. Alongside visitor income, donations are absolutely essential to the Cathedral’s survival.

Donations during the Free Precincts Trial will help to offset lost revenue from visitor ticket sales during this period.

 

Will I need to pay to enter the Cathedral itself?

Yes. Sightseers will need to pay to enter the Cathedral building itself and the north side of the Precincts – including the Cloisters, Herb Garden and Chapter House – during sightseeing hours.

Our standard visitor ticket is valid for 12 months - meaning you can re-visit the Cathedral as often as you want during that time at no extra cost - and children aged 17 and under go FREE* when accompanied by a paying adult.

Your 12-month visitor ticket includes †:

  • Unlimited entry to the Cathedral, Precincts and monastic gardens
  • Exhibitions
  • Mini talks
  • Activity trails
  • Visitor events

*Children go free when accompanied by a paying adult (Max. 2 children per paying adult; does not apply to group bookings or school visits). Children must be accompanied at all times.

†Subject to availability.

 

Is it worth paying to go inside the Cathedral?

We certainly think so, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. The exterior of Canterbury Cathedral is breathtaking, but you need to go inside in order to really experience the awe and wonder that has captivated worshippers, pilgrims and visitors throughout the centuries.

Incredible art and architecture, beautiful stained glass, fascinating exhibitions, and the chance to walk where history happened – to fully experience everything the Cathedral has to offer, you need to explore inside.

Our ticket prices are comparable to other similar UK heritage sites. Our standard visitor ticket is valid for 12 months - meaning you can re-visit the Cathedral as often as you want during that time at no extra cost - and children aged 17 and under go FREE* when accompanied by a paying adult.

Your 12-month visitor ticket includes †:

  • Unlimited entry to the Cathedral, Precincts and monastic gardens
  • Exhibitions
  • Mini talks
  • Activity trails
  • Visitor events

*Children go free when accompanied by a paying adult (Max. 2 children per paying adult; does not apply to group bookings or school visits). Children must be accompanied at all times.

†Subject to availability.

 

We also offer free entry for local university students and refugees, and free entry to Cathedral Passholders.

 

Are services of worship free to attend?

Yes. It is always free to attend a service of worship or to come into the Cathedral to pray. Our services are open to all, and everyone is welcome.

 

Can I go into the Cathedral to pray?

Yes. It is always free to come into the Cathedral to pray or to attend a service of worship.

 

Will sightseeing charges be brought back once the trial ends?

Yes. Our standard sightseeing charges will apply again from Monday 11 March 2024 onwards.

 

Who will decide if the trial has been successful? Could free entry to the Cathedral Precincts be offered again?

Throughout the Free Precincts Trial, we will closely monitor a range of measures – including feedback from our congregations and visitors, charitable donations, and visitor revenue – to assess whether we can generate the level of income essential to the Cathedral’s survival, whilst offering free entry to large areas of the Precincts. Once the trial concludes, our senior leadership team and governing Chapter will discuss and then make a decision on whether or not free entry to the Precincts can be offered in future.

 

Why can’t the Cathedral and Precincts be open for free all the time?

As stewards of this special place, we want as many people as possible to enjoy it, however the financial reality is that it costs nearly £30,000 per day to keep the Cathedral open to all, and we typically receive no funding from Government or the Church of England.  Donations are vital but insufficient. Income from sightseers is our principal source of revenue, and the Cathedral simply couldn’t survive without it.

Whilst it is always free to attend a service of worship or to come into the Cathedral to pray, it is simply financially impossible to offer universal free sightseeing entry to the Cathedral and Precincts as well. To do so would be financially irresponsible and would put the Cathedral’s survival at risk.

Our Free Precincts Trial is intended to test the feasibility of balancing free access to large parts of the Cathedral estate with our need to attract paying visitors in order to cover the substantial costs of running and maintaining this unique site and community.

Our ticket prices are comparable to other similar UK heritage sites, and we also offer a range of discounts and free entry options, including ‘Kids Go Free’, free entry for local university students and refugees, and free entry to Cathedral Passholders.

 

What is the Cathedral Pass?

Our Cathedral Pass allows locals to enjoy unlimited visits to the Cathedral and Precincts, and gives access to exclusive Passholder events and discounts, for the equivalent of just 10p per month. Local residents, those who work in the old city of Canterbury, and members of our congregation are amongst those eligible to apply for a Pass.

Passholders who sign up to our mailing list are also kept up to date with all the latest information on events and activities at the Cathedral, often before general release.

 

I already have a Cathedral Pass – do I still need my card, and have I wasted my admin fee by getting the Pass? 

Whilst anyone will be able to enter large areas of the Precincts for free during the 6-week trial, only Cathedral Passholders are entitled to unlimited free access to the Precincts, the Cathedral itself, and the north side of the Precincts – including the Cloisters, Herb Garden and Chapter House – throughout the lifespan of their Pass. Cathedral Passholders will still need to show their valid Pass to access these areas.

Our Cathedral Passholders also have exclusive access to special discounts and events not available to the general public. For the equivalent of just 10p per month, we hope you’ll agree that this is excellent value.

 

I am a Friend of Canterbury Cathedral. Do I still need my Friends card, and is my membership still worthwhile?

There are lots of reasons to be a Friend of Canterbury Cathedral! The Friends are the Cathedral’s fan club – the first of its kind in the UK. For almost 100 years, The Friends have enjoyed being an inclusive community that helps support the conservation of our Cathedral and its services and work.

Friends enjoy unique monthly e-newsletters, exclusive events, twice-yearly mailings, the Chronicle (an annual yearbook), an exclusive badge and membership card (that gains you free access year round to our Cathedral and Precincts). Friends also benefit from 10% discount in the Cathedral Shop and Lodge, as well as a private guided tour as part of a New Member Welcome event.

The Friends are a valued and special part of our Cathedral and if you wish to find out more about Friends membership, please contact The Friends’ Office or see our Friends page.

Friends will still need to show a valid membership card when entering the Cathedral.

 

Where do I enter the Precincts during the Free Precincts Trial?

During the trial, anyone can enter or exit the Precincts for free via the historic main entrance - Christ Church Gate - in the Buttermarket between 9am-9pm.

Cathedral Passholders, those who regularly attend worship, residents of the Precincts, and people with access requirements, are also able to access the Cathedral Precincts via Quenin Gate and Mint Yard Gate, as at present.

Our Terms and conditions of admission and entry are available here.

 

Is there a public right of way through the Precincts?

No. There is not, and never has been a public right of way or right of access to the Cathedral or The Precincts. The Cathedral has always exercised the right to close its Precincts and gates and to limit public access when required, and there has never been constant, continuous, or uninterrupted public access.

The Cathedral and Precincts are also a burial ground, and it is legally impossible to establish a public right of way in a burial ground.

 

Will third-party commercial activity be permitted inside the Cathedral Precincts?

Commercial activity within the Cathedral Precincts will remain by license agreement only. No vendors, groups or travel trade will be granted access free of charge.

See our Terms and conditions of admission and entry for more information.

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