Wells cathedral has been welcoming pilgrims and tourists for over 1100 years and today receives over 300,000 visitors from all over the world. Here is some information you might find helpful when planning your group visit.
Pre-booking your visit
While pre-booking is not essential for groups, we do recommend that you let us know when you are coming. This allows us to let you know of special services and events that might be taking place so that you can get the most out of your visit. This is a working cathedral and therefore from time to time events and services may need to be arranged at short notice. Having your details means we can keep you informed.
Groups are advised that the best times to visit are Monday-Saturday between 10.00am-4.00pm or on Sundays between 12.30pm-2.30pm. Groups are welcome outside these times but free access to parts of the Cathedral may be restricted if in use for the primary purpose of worship. Groups and individuals are always welcome to attend services. Please note the Cathedral operates a Quiet Hour, 12.00pm to 1.00pm from April to October at which time guided tours do not take place.
How long will my visit take?
This really depends on what you want to see and do. A relaxed tour of the Cathedral, Chapter House, Cloisters and Interpretation Centre takes just over an hour, although tours can always be adjusted to meet your schedule. Special Interest tours of the embroideries, stained glass windows, high parts (this is limited to a maximum of 12 people and not available for children under 10 years old) and library must be booked in advance. See Guided Tours. You may also wish to add a visit to the Camery Gardens and take a stroll up the wonderful medieval Vicars’ Close, the oldest continuously inhabited street in Europe, still lived in by the people for which it was built.
UK School visits
All UK school visits are handled by the Cathedral’s Education Officer and a range of programmes are available, many of which have been created to meet the National Curriculum. If you need help to arrange your visit please contact [email protected]
As Wells Cathedral is above all else a place of worship, there is no charge to visit. However, the Cathedral receives no direct government funding and costs approximately £4,000 a day to run. We simply cannot function without donations and therefore we suggest that groups follow the donation pattern outlined on the Entry Donations page.
With its views of the stunning West Front of the Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace, Chapter Two Cafe and Restaurant is located on the first floor of the Entry Cloister and is accessible either by lift or stairs. It can seat up to 96 people and serves coffees, lunches and afternoon teas.
Special events can be organised here or in some of the cathedral’s other function rooms such as the Vicars’ Hall, a unique medieval function space. Special discounts for group leaders/drivers or for multiple bookings are available. Please see the Eat and Shop section of this website or contact [email protected] for more details of how you can incorporate refreshments or dining for your group.