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Visitor FAQs

Visitor FAQs

We can’t wait to welcome you back

The Cathedral reopens to visitors on 17 May 2021. Book your tickets now, and be amongst the first to rediscover the Cathedral’s amazing spaces. Kids Go Free until 31 October 2021 (T&Cs apply).

Book your tickets

Do I need to book a ticket to visit?

Yes. Timed entry tickets must be pre-booked online via our website. This is to help us safely manage physical distancing and the number of people in the Cathedral and Precincts. At present, we are only accepting bookings up to two weeks in advance of when you intend to visit. Click here to book your tickets.

In line with Government guidance we will collect your personal details during the online booking process to keep a temporary record of our visitors for 21 days to assist NHS Test and Trace requests if required (see ‘NHS Test and Trace’ below).

As part of the 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?

Yes. Timed entry tickets must be pre-booked online via our website. As part of the booking process, you will be asked to select the date and time you wish to visit. This is to help us safely manage physical distancing and the number of people in the Cathedral and Precincts.

If you arrive outside of your allotted time, you may be asked to wait until other visitors have left. We will do our best to get you into the Cathedral as quickly as possible, but the safety of our staff and visitors is paramount and will take priority. All tickets purchased are for single-use entry only on the date and time specified. Click here to book your tickets.

I have a Precinct Pass, do I need to pre-book entry to the Precincts and/or Cathedral?

Yes, to help us safely manage physical distancing and the number of people in the Cathedral and the Precincts, all visitors – including Precinct Pass holders – must pre-book an entry ticket. Click here to book your tickets.

What safety measures are in place?

We have been working hard throughout lockdown to put in place measures to ensure your safety and that of our colleagues. These include:

  • one-way routes. Leaflets with details and accessibility information – as well as some fun historical facts and figures – can be downloaded here:
  • 2 metre physical distancing with 1metre+ distancing where this is not possible
  • enhanced cleaning regimes
  • hand sanitiser stations
  • protective screens
  • staff and volunteers to assist with the flow of visitors, prevent queues and ensure that everyone complies with safety guidelines
  • distanced seating
  • additional signage including floor markings and visual reminders of the need for physical distancing
  • the removal of leaflets, books and other similar shared items to reduce transmission risk
  • additional training for our staff
  • PPE for our staff, volunteers and Cathedral Constables as appropriate
  • Comprehensive Risk Assessments
  • Our Visitor Centre and Shop were deep cleaned prior to reopening

Please respect our staff and other visitors. The restrictions are there to keep everyone safe so observe social distancing, barriers and use the hand sanitisers that are provided. Visitors accompanied by children are responsible for ensuring the child’s social distancing practices.

Should I wear a face mask?

Yes, in line with government guidance, face coverings must be worn in all buildings including Visitor Centre, Shop and Cathedral.

All Cathedral staff, volunteers and contractors will wear face coverings inside the Cathedral, Visitor Centre and Shop.

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. For detailed guidance, please see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

NHS Test and Trace

In line with government guidance we are required to keep an accurate temporary record of our visitors and worshippers for 21 days to assist the NHS Test and Trace service with requests for data if needed for contact tracing and the investigation of local outbreaks. Your personal details will be captured securely during our booking process.

Where do I go when I arrive?

All visitors should enter through our Visitor Centre where a member of staff will check their timed-entry ticket and direct them through the Shop and into the Cathedral Precincts. Please speak to our staff if you require access to our lift. Once inside the Precincts, accessible/wheelchair entry to the Cathedral building is via the North Door and is clearly signed. Download our visitor leaflets for more details:

How long is my visit likely to last?

Your visit is likely to last one to two hours.

What will I be able to see during my visit? Will all areas of the Cathedral be open?

Areas including The Precincts, The Nave, Quire, Martyrdom, Trinity Chapel, Crypt and Cloisters will be open. To ensure safe physical distancing and that one-way visitor routes can be maintained. Any closures or restrictions on entry will be clearly signed.

Some areas are very popular and some places are quite narrow and may only allow 1 metre+ distancing. Please be aware of other people around you.

Will audio tours be available?

No. To reduce the risks of coronavirus transmission from shared items, our audio guides will not be available. 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 guided tours be available?

Yes, There are a variety of tours, but limited availability. Please phone the visits office to check for the day of your visit or email visits@canterbury-cathedral,org

Will services of worship be taking place?

Yes. Services of worship will take place outside of visiting hours (click here to read our Worship FAQs). Our daily online videos will also continue.

Will I be able to light a candle?

Yes. Candle stands have been provided in a safe way that complies with Government and Church of England advice. A prayer meditation is also available (text and audio) on our website to help guide your prayer.

Will the visitor toilets be open?

Yes, the toilets are open during visitor hours (10.00-16.30 each day). The facilities are supervised by an attendant member of staff until 16.00. In order to maintain safe physical distancing, one-way routes and gender-inclusive toilets will be in operation.

Can I buy refreshments?

Yes. A range of bottled drinks and pre-packaged snacks will be available from our open-air kiosk in the Precincts, and our ice cream cart will be located in the south side of the Precincts selling Kentish ice creams in a range of flavours during the following hours:

  • Monday – Saturday: 10.00 – 15.30
  • Sunday: 12.30 – 15.30

A full Risk Assessment has been completed and signed-off for the kiosk, including social distancing measures.

Will the Visitor Centre be open?

Yes. Visitors enter and exit the Precincts through clearly signed one-way routes and our Visits team are on hand if you need any assistance.

Will the Cathedral Shop be open?

Yes. Our Shop in the Visitor Centre will be open. We also offer a Click & Collect service so you can pre-order items online before you arrive. Visit our online shop to find out more.

Will the Cathedral Lodge be open?

Yes. See the Cathedral Lodge website for details.

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 or make a cash donation into one of our collection boxes.

People who are symptomatic

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not visit the Cathedral due to the risk that they pose to others; they should self-isolate at home immediately with other members of their household. Remote participation should be considered, for example by watching our daily online videos.

Archives and Libraries

The Archives and Library reading room is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays. All visits need to be prebooked. 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.

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