Accessibility

Accessibility


We are committed to making Wells Cathedral accessible to all, however, like many historic buildings, there may be some access issues – more information to help you make the most of your visit is below.

General Information

Visitor leaflets are available in 11 languages. The UK leaflet is also available in Braille and in Large Print (copies available inside the Cathedral).

Wheelchairs are available on arrival (subject to availability) and can also be pre-booked by calling 01749 672773.Spaces are reserved for wheelchair users and their companions in Cathedral services and concerts. These cannot be pre-booked but sides-people will provide assistance on arrival.

Disabled Toilets are provided in two toilet blocks inside the Cathedral (one by the exit, one in the Friends Building).

The Cathedral is equipped with a hearing loop system that covers microphones within the Nave and Quire of the main Cathedral floor, which is used at all services for spoken word elements. A portable hearing loop system is also provided for spoken word services within the Lady Chapel.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs are welcome in the Cathedral at all times. Other dogs are welcome in the Cathedral providing they are on a lead, well-behaved and accompanied at all times by their owner(s). There is no provision for dogs to be left with staff or volunteers.  Dogs are not allowed on any tour that goes above ground-level (which includes the Library and High Parts Tours). Water bowls are available in the Cathedral and dog biscuits are available for sale in the cafe.

Staff and volunteers have received training in Dementia Care, in partnership with the City of Wells Dementia Action Alliance.
Special Schools are very welcome at the Cathedral; we offer multi-sensory tours in very small groups and use of our secure Education Suite. Please click here for more information.

 

Getting into and around the Cathedral

For travel and parking information, please click here.
Public access to Wells Cathedral is via the main entrance in the New Entrance Cloister. From here, the main Cathedral floor (Nave) is accessed via the West Cloister, up a ramp with a handrail adjacent to 5 steps. The main body of the Cathedral has a level floor beyond this point, providing access to all areas except the Chapter House and Library, although visitors are reminded that, as with many historic buildings, some areas of paving have worn unevenly over time.

The Chapter House can only be accessed via a steep set of 31 steps which, due their historic nature, have been subject to uneven wear over time. A handrail is installed on the left end of the stairs.

Access to the Chained Library and Reading Room is via a restricted-width spiral staircase of 28 steps, with a hand rope fastened to the outer wall.

Please be aware that the East Cloister is joined to the Nave via a historic doorway and 6 steps. Step-free access is available via the West Cloister (see above) up a ramp with a handrail adjacent to 5 steps.

Cathedral Gardens

Access to the Camery Garden is via a ramp in the East Cloister.

The Palm Churchyard can only accessible via 3 shallow steps from the West Cloister, or 2 steep steps from the East Cloister.

Cathedral Shop and Café

Access to the Cathedral Café, on the first floor of the New Entrance Cloister, is by either a lift adjacent to the main exit with space for one wheelchair, or a flight of 16 stairs with a handrail.

Access for Services and Events

Access for visitors outside normal opening times is either via the North West door in the West Front, which has a ramp, or via the South West door in the West Front, which has a single step and a small, internal porch with limited room to manoeuvre. For larger and ticketed events, the New Entry Cloister is used for access, as during normal opening times.

The Cathedral’s exits are the same as for entry, though visitors leaving via the New Entry Cloister are directed to the main exit, which has a ramp and handrail.

Tours

On most days of the year (Monday to Saturday), regular hourly tours of Wells Cathedral are available for our individual visitors. These tours are generally accessible for all visitors (including physically and visually impaired) unless the route takes in the Chapter House but the Guide will be able to tailor the route to suit the needs of visitors at the time.

Guided tours are available for visually impaired visitors if booked in advance by calling 01749 672773.

High Parts Tours include up to 250 steps, uneven floors, low ceilings and narrow passages, and are not recommended for those with breathing difficulties, heart conditions, joint problems, balance problems, reduced mobility, or who are pregnant.

Contact Us

Please email office@wellscathedral.org.uk or call 01749 674483 to confirm access arrangements to any other buildings, including offices within the Cathedral.

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