Guided Tours for Group Visits
You may wish to walk around the Cathedral and discover it for yourselves but we do recommend a tour by one of our highly trained guides as they can add greatly to your visit and experience with us . These need to be pre-booked (at least two weeks in advance) and are free of charge.
Groups are advised that the best times to visit are Monday-Saturday between 10.00am-4.00pm. No Guided Tours available on Sundays.
Guides and Guided Tours
Wells Cathedral guides are renowned both locally and nationally as some of the best in the country. The Cathedral offers the services of these highly trained volunteer guides at no extra cost. Groups may wish to book a general guided tour, or one that incorporates special interest areas such as the embroideries, stained glass windows, high parts or library (see below).
It may also be possible to have a guided tour in a language other than English. To request this, please contact [email protected] or fill in the appropriate section on the booking form.
Alternatively, your group may prefer a brief introductory talk and then use the free-flow system and complimentary leaflet which allows you to move around the cathedral at your on pace, exploring aspects of particular interest to you.
Special Interest Tours
How Wells Cathedral survived the Reformation. NEW for 2014! Come for a one and a half hour Discovery Tour of the cathedral, learning how to recognise signs of the Reformation – that period of religious upheaval during the Tudors. Booking is essential and places are limited. Click here for more information about this fascinating tour, available dates (three dates are currently available for 2014) and details of how to book.
Cathedral Tower Tour*. NEW for 2014! A unique opportunity to learn about the origins and history of our cathedral. Explore hidden spaces in the walls, roof and tower. You’ll be rewarded, weather dependant, with spectacular views over the city and the surrounding countryside**. Click here to download a poster.
Library – Wells Cathedral has one of the few chained libraries in Britain and has many books published in the 1500s and 1600s. The collection reflects the various interests of the canons over the centuries and includes subjects as diverse as anatomy, herbology, architecture and mapping.
Embroideries – Wells Cathedral Quire contains over a hundred beautiful embroideries from the mid 20th century relating to the Bishops, local history, saints and legends, as well as the magnificent Millennium set of altar frontals and vestments for every season of the church year.
Stained Glass - Wells Cathedral has one of the most substantial collections of medieval stained glass in England. Bring binoculars to enjoy the tour.
High Parts* - Climb to the top of Wells Cathedral and catch a great view of Glastonbury Tor and for miles across the Somerset Levels. The north transept is also home to an astronomical clock (1390) with jousting knights that charge each other every quarter-hour.
How to Book
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.
Catering Packages for Groups
We can offer special pre-booked group catering options for any group booked on a cathedral tour. Tasty options include:
- Morning tea/coffee with a cake £3.50 per head – for a party over 10 only £3.00 (per person)
- Wonderful homemade soup served with a local cottage roll and served with tea or coffee £5.00 per head – for a party over 10 only £4.50 (per person)
- Somerset cream tea £4.50 per head – for a party over 10 only £4.00 (per person)
If you are a group and would like to take advantage of these special deals please contact us to discuss your requirements via email at [email protected].net or call us on 01749 676543.
*Max. 12 people and no under 10s.
**In wet weather, it may not be possible to go out onto the tower roof, but you will be shown additional places of interest instead.