Groups and Travel Trade

There is plenty for groups to see and enjoy at Wells Cathedral and Vicars’ Close.  Easily accessible from Bath, Bristol, Wales and the West Country, Wells makes an unforgettable and unique addition to your group’s itinerary.

Call us to pre-book your group on 01749 671663 (Mon-Tues and Thurs-Friday) or email us at visits@wellscathedral.uk.net

Unfortunately we cannot guarantee entry to the Cathedral for groups who do not pre-book due to the large number of services and events which take place here on a regular basis.

Group visiting the Quire

Why Wells Cathedral:

We are a recipient of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and have been awarded ‘Coach Friendly’ status from the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, reflecting our commitment to understanding the requirements of coaches and their passengers, as well as also providing first-class facilities, access and information for drivers.

We are also delighted to have been awarded Gold in the ‘Large Attraction’ category of the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards 2017/18 and Silver in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2017/18.

Coach-Friendly-Attraction-logobristol_bath_and_somerset_gold_2017-18 cr     

Book the Tour of Your Choice:

Pre-booked groups of ten or more will be guaranteed the services of one of our highly trained, experienced guides which can really add to the enjoyment of your visit. Pre-booking means we will also be able to ensure we can accommodate the date and time of your choice. Call us on 01749 671663 or email us at visits@wellscathedral.uk.net

Groups who aren’t able to pre-book will be asked to consider making a donation on arrival.  Unfortunately we also cannot guarantee entry to the Cathedral for groups who do not pre-book due to the large number of services and events which take place here on a regular basis. The suggested donation per person is Adult £6/Child £3 for a visit only (ie no guide).

Other benefits for pre-booked groups include:

  • A group rate of £6.60* (inc VAT) per head for a general guided tour OR
  • £10 (inc VAT) per head for a Special Interest Tour (£13 for High Parts or Chained Library* tours) OR 
  • £5.70 (inc VAT) per head for a visit only (no guide)

*minimum group booking rate of £100 per Chained Library tour

PLUS:

  • 10% discount for all group members in the Cathedral café and in the Cathedral shops
  • Free place for the group organiser, tour manager or bus driver
  • Free familiarisation visit for the tour leader ahead of the visit
  • Option to pre-book leaflets
The Nave and famous ‘Scissor Arches’ at Wells Cathedral The famous Chapter House steps  West Front

Wells Cathedral is open to pre-booked groups on Monday-Saturday between 10.00am-3.30pm and Sunday between 12.30pm-1.30pm (note that no guided tours take place on Sunday).

Tour Themes:

We can offer your group a General Guided Tour or choose instead from our comprehensive range of Special Interest Tours.  A minimum of 8 people is required for Special Interest Tours, details are below:

Chained Library – Wells Cathedral has one of the few chained libraries in Britain. It is especially attractive as it is still in its original location built in the 1450s, although the current bookshelves and chains are 17th Century (minimum group booking rate of £100 per Chained Library tour applies).

 The Chained Library Quire Embroideries View from Lady to Chapel West

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 – a tour of the Stained Glass in Wells Cathedral shows you glass from C1290 through to the early 1900s. You will see windows large and small including the magnificent 14th century Jesse window high above the Quire, surely one of the most beautiful Mediaeval windows in the country. If you have binoculars, bring them with you so you can enjoy the finer details, and marvel at the skills of the artists who designed and made these windows. So, book your tour now …. larger groups will be able to have more than one Guide.

‘A Doorway into Gothic Architecture’ – Wells is the first fully Gothic Cathedral in England but, as building went on up to the Reformation, offers a unique insight into all  three phases of English Gothic Architecture. The tours are designed to give an insight into the different character of these three phases and the effects the architects were aiming to achieve.

‘The Remarkable Wells Cathedral Stone Carvings’ – one of the more remarkable medieval features of Wells Cathedral, are the stone carvings. They are to be found everywhere, but particularly in the Nave and Transepts, on whose walls and pillars mythical creatures abound, recognisable creatures do strange things, Green Men glare down, and stories in stone are told. Let our trained guides show them to you, and tell you all about them.

Accessibility

Guided tours can be tailored for physically or visually impaired group visitors if booked in advance, including a sensory tour which can include incense. Wheelchairs can be pre-booked.

Please contact our Visits team on 01749 671663 (Mon-Tues and Thurs-Friday) or email visits@wellscathedral.uk.net for more information.  The Accessibility page also has more general information here.

How to Book:

Pre-booking is essential to ensure you benefit from the pre-booked groups rate and so that we are able to guarantee you a guide. Our busy Cathedral diary means that we also ask for two week’s notice if possible. Remember – group organisers go free! Please note that availability of guides will be confirmed at latest two weeks prior to the date of the booked tour.

To discuss your requirements and to book your visit please call us on 01749 671663 (Mon-Tues and Thurs-Friday) or email us at visits@wellscathedral.uk.net

Running late? Please call us on 01749 671663. Please also note that during services access to certain areas of the Cathedral may be restricted. You can check our Closures and Restrictions page here for more details.

Travelling to Wells and Parking:

Wells is easily reached by both car and public transport and there are several car parks within 5-10 minutes walk of the Cathedral. For more details click here.

For coaches, parking is FREE at the Bus Station which is located in Princes Road. Signage is plentiful from whichever direction you enter Wells: Princes Road Coach Park, Wells. BA5 2DT

If you have passengers that are less mobile a setting down point is in Sadler Street which is central to all the mentioned attractions: Sadler Street Setting Down Point, Wells, BA5 2RR

For more information on coach travel, including a map, our new ‘Meet and Greet’ arrangements for your coach at the Bus Station and where to refuel, click here.

Staying in Wells:

A number of accommodation providers can accommodate groups.  Click here for information.

Catering for Groups:

We can accommodate up to 96 people in the Cathedral’s light and airy café. If you would like to bring a group for morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea please email our catering team at catering@wellscathedral.uk.net or phone us on 01749 676543 for details.

Wells Cathedral Groups leaflet:

Wells Cathedral Group visit tours