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Visitor FAQs

Visitor FAQs

2021 - the perfect time to rediscover Canterbury Cathedral!

Get ready for a day out 1,400 years in the making! Kids Go Free until 31 October 2022 (T&Cs apply)

Book your tickets

Do I need to book a ticket to visit?
No, tickets can be bought from our Visitor Centre when you arrive, but we do recommend that you pre-book via our website in order to guarantee your preferred entry date and time. Click here to book your tickets.

As part of our online booking process, you will also have the option to opt-in to receive Cathedral updates and marketing messages if you wish.

Will I need to choose when I want to visit the Cathedral and Precincts?
If you pre-book online, you will be asked to select the date and time you wish to visit. This will guarantee you entry on your preferred day and time. Click here to book your tickets.

Tickets can also be purchased from our Visitor Centre when you arrive at the Cathedral.

All tickets purchased are for single-use entry only on the date and time specified.

I have a Precinct Pass, do I need to pre-book entry to the Precincts and/or Cathedral?
Precinct Pass holders can choose to pre-book their visit online, but this is not a requirement. It is possible to just show your Precinct Pass on arrival at the Cathedral.

What safety measures are in place?
For the comfort, safety and reassurance of our visitors, worshippers and staff, Canterbury Cathedral will continue to maintain a number of Covid mitigation measures, including:

  • Provision of hand sanitiser stations*
  • The wearing of face coverings when in close proximity to others
  • Delivery of an enhanced cleaning regime in busier areas.

* With thanks to Allchurches Trust for grant funding towards the cost of hand sanitiser stations and other PPE measures. 

Should I wear a face mask?
For the safety of our visitors, worshippers and staff, we strongly recommend that face coverings are worn within the Cathedral. In line with government guidance, face coverings must be worn* whilst inside the Cathedral’s Shop and Visitor Centre.
*You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to): young children under the age of 11; not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability; if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress.

NHS Test and Trace
In line with revised Government advice (21/7/21), visitors and worshippers are encouraged to ‘check in’ when they arrive at the Cathedral, either by scanning the NHS QR code poster via their NHS COVID-19 app or by providing their contact details to our staff. This will support NHS Test and Trace.

Where do I go when I arrive?
Pre-booked ticket holders can enter via Christchurch Gate where a member of staff will check their timed-entry ticket and direct them into the Cathedral Precincts.

Visitors who need to purchase tickets should enter through our Visitor Centre and Shop. Please speak to our staff if you require access to the lift.

Once inside the Precincts, accessible/wheelchair entry to the Cathedral building is via the North Door and is clearly signed.

How long is my visit likely to last?
Your visit is likely to last one to three hours.

Will audio tours be available?
Our new audio tour app will be available very soon. In the meantime, our Cathedral Stories audio podcast gives you the chance to learn more of the Cathedral’s fascinating history before you arrive. Click here to listen to the episodes.

Will services of worship be taking place?
Services of worship take place outside of visiting hours (click here to read our Worship FAQs). Visitor opening times may change at short notice due to funerals, weddings, services or exceptional circumstances. Please check our website regularly prior to your visit.

Will I be able to light a candle?
Yes. Votive candles will be available at the west end of the Nave during Nave services. A prayer meditation is also available (text and audio) on our website to help guide your prayer.

Can I buy refreshments?
Yes. Our open-air kiosk in the Precincts serves a range of refreshments including tea, coffee, cakes, sandwiches and ice creams. The kiosk opening hours are:

  • Monday – Saturday: 10.00 – 15.30
  • Sunday: 11.00 – 15.00

Will the toilets be open?
Yes. Our public toilets in the Precincts will be open 10.00-18.30 daily. Toilets will be checked regularly.

Is visitor parking available?
Parking is available for Blue Badge holders only, subject to limited availability. No other parking on site is possible. Please use the public car parks within the City.

Can I donate to support the Cathedral?
Yes, we welcome any support for our ministry and the stewardship of the Cathedral. You can donate online, give at one of the contactless donation stands in the Cathedral, or make a cash donation into one of our collection boxes.

People who are symptomatic
Anyone feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19 should not visit or attend services of worship due to the risk that they may pose to others. Remote participation should be considered, for example by watching our daily online videos.

Archives and Library
The Archives and Library reading room is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays. All visits need to be pre-booked. Please click here for more information.

Bag searches
Please note that bag searches may be carried out upon arrival by our Cathedral Constables. To keep delays to a minimum, visitors are asked to avoid bringing large bags or backpacks. The searches are not in response to intelligence of any particular threat relating to Canterbury Cathedral, but we take the security of staff, volunteers, visitors and worshippers very seriously, and we hope this will help reassure all who come to the Cathedral.

Who can I contact with any other questions?
Our Visits team are happy to help with any queries you have. Email them at visits@canterbury-cathedral.org.

Cathedral Constables chat with a family of visitors

Security

The Cathedral takes the safety and security of all our worshippers and visitors very seriously. If you are coming to the Cathedral, please be aware that as a condition of entry we reserve the right to search any bags or luggage on entry. Our Cathedral Constables and Visits Teams are there for your safety, so please do cooperate fully with all security checks and support these vital members of our team as they carry out important work to keep us all safe and sound.

An exception will be made for medically necessary items after thorough proper inspection at a designated area set aside for this purpose.

Our bag policy

Regrettably, we do not have a left luggage facility and we would prefer you do not bring large bags into the Cathedral. If you bring any luggage or bags, you must not leave them unattended as they may be treated as suspicious items and could be destroyed.

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