Feed your curiosity by joining a tour with an expert guide, delving deeper into a range of specific interests.

Tour dates

Timings: Please click ‘book now’ to view the available time of the tour you are interested in. Any questions? Contact our helpful Box Office team. 


Wednesday 27th – Jane Austen: Her Life & Times
Saturday 30th – From Vision to Reality: Architecture and Building of the Cathedral

Wednesday 3rd – Our Royal Heritage
Wednesday 10th – Chantry Chapels
Wednesday 17th – Artistry in Wood
Wednesday 17th – What Happened to William the Conqueror’s Wood?
Saturday 20th – Jane Austen: Her Life & Times
Wednesday 24th – Art in the Cathedral

Wednesday 1st – From Vision to Reality – Architecture and Building of the Cathedral
Saturday 4th – Literary Links
Wednesday 8th – Heroes and Villains
Saturday 11th – Conflict and the Cathedral
Wednesday 15th – Glass
Wednesday 22nd – Jane Austen: Her Life & Times
Wednesday 29th – Green Men

Wednesday 5th – The Winchester Diver
Wednesday 12th – Close Encounters – Exploring the Close
Saturday 15th – Jane Austen: Her Life & Times
Wednesday 19th – Stitched and Woven
Saturday 22nd – Artistry in Wood
Saturday 22nd – What Happened to William the Conqueror’s Wood?
Saturday 29th – From Vision to Reality – Architecture and Building of the Cathedral

Wednesday 3rd – It Takes All Sorts – The Good, The Bad and the Humble
Saturday 6th – Conflict and the Cathedral
Wednesday 17th – Cathedral Women
Saturday 20th – Jane Austen: Her Life & Times
Saturday 27th – Conflict and the Cathedral
Wednesday 31st – Heroes and Villains

Wednesday 7th  – Just Williams
Saturday 10th – The Marriage of England and Spain – Mary Tudor’s Wedding
Wednesday 14th – Art in the Cathedral
Wednesday 21st – From Vision to Reality – Architecture and Building of the Cathedral
Saturday 24th – The Winchester Diver
Wednesday 28th – Conflict and the Cathedral
Saturday 31st – Jane Austen: Her Life & Times

Wednesday 4th – Close Encounters – Exploring the Close
Saturday 7th – Literary Links
Wednesday 11th – Artistry in Wood
Wednesday 11th – What Happened to William the Conqueror’s Wood?
Saturday 14th – The Marriage of England and Spain – Mary Tudor’s Wedding
Wednesday 18th – Our Royal Heritage
Wednesday 25th – Glass
Saturday 28th – Jane Austen: Her Life & Times

You can read a summary of each tour below.

Tour information

Jane Austen – Her Life and Times 
Jane Austen was born in Steventon, near Basingstoke, Hampshire in 1775. She died in Winchester in 1817, in rented rooms in College Street. She knew and loved the Cathedral and is buried in the north aisle. Her brother Henry composed the inscription for her ledger stone. This tour offers an intimate and often amusing insight into her life and connections within the Cathedral. Please note that the tour includes a short walk, weather permitting, outside the Cathedral precinct. If you do have mobility issues, please let us know when making a booking.


From Vision to Reality – The Architecture and Building of the Cathedral 
Winchester Cathedral contains fine examples of all the main styles of ecclesiastical architecture which will all be seen and explained in some detail. In addition, the tour will describe the construction methods used in medieval times and how Bishop Walkelin achieved the amazing feat of completing most of the original building in just 14 years.


Our Royal Heritage 
Join our Guides for a fascinating tour of the Cathedral to discover our many royal connections. Find out why Queen Mary I married Prince Philip of Spain at Winchester Cathedral. Why did the monks blame a king for the collapse of the tower in 1107? Learn about the bishop who became the marriage broker for King Henry VII? Discover the reason for a ‘shot hole’ from a soldier’s musket in one of our royal statues? And find out why Queen Elizabeth II visited the Cathedral in 1979?


Although Winchester Cathedral does not have a special reputation for its stained glass, it nevertheless contains a wealth of coloured glass spanning nearly seven centuries, and almost all of the medieval glass has recently been conserved. Visitors will see examples of the three different types of coloured glass, stained, painted and pot metal. Craftsmen have used all three methods to produce a huge variety of religious and secular images that greatly enhance the Cathedral. Although not essential, binoculars might be helpful.


Artistry in Wood 
This tour explores the exceptional riches of the Cathedral’s woodwork, ancient and modern. We discover wood furnishings and decoration from as far back as the beginning of the thirteenth century, and examine exquisite per-Reformation carving in the Lady Chapel. A highlight of the tour is to look in some detail at one of the Cathedral’s greatest treaures, the fourteenth century choir stalls, described as “the most beautiful in Northern Europe”. The tour lasts 60 minutes


Art in the Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral is rich in art, some from hundreds of years ago. More recent works include pieces by well known artists such as Peter Eugene Ball, Cecil Collins, Eric Gill, Antony Gormley and Justin Knowles, as well as local artists Sophie Hacker, Tim Harrisson, Alice Kettle, Tracey Sheppard – and many more. This tour enables visitors to enjoy a close-up interaction with a number of these works, within the context of this very special, time-honoured place.


Cathedral Women
Famous, reforming, talented, artistic, professional, all at the top of their fields – our latest selection of women for this tour introduces more Cathedral personalities. Your tour may include the woman who electrified the Cathedral and later many large properties in Great Britain and two women with close relationships to the crypt. One a Queen, a close friend of Queen Victoria and the other a woman who was awarded an MBE by the King for fostering female migration, which led to increased membership of the Anglican church in the British Empire! This tour, does not feature Jane Austen, as she has her own ‘Jane Austen – Her Life and Times’ tour.


Conflict and the Cathedral Tour 
The Cathedral was born out of conflict between Saxons and Normans and stands along with the other fourteen English Cathedrals commissioned by William the Conqueror as a permanent landmark to a revolution without parallel in church architecture. Since its early beginnings when the first stone was laid in 1079 our Cathedral records and bears the marks and memories of conflict throughout the ages from the Hundred Years War, the Wars of the Roses, the English Civil War, overseas campaigns and wars to the truly awful First and Second World Wars to the current conflict in Ukraine. This tour showcases one of the most comprehensive collections of military and war memorials in the country and takes visitors up into the bell ringing chamber, the loft space above the Nave, and through the rich collection of memorials in the main body of the Cathedral to the humblest of war memorials in the Crypt.
If considering this tour you should be aware that it involves a climb up 125 steps to reach the loft space above the Nave and lasts around 90 minutes including the ascent and decent.


This Royal House of Saxon Kings and Saints
Return to the roots of the Kingdom of England. Visit the Anglo-Saxon Minster and learn about its role in the birth of the English nation, the historic figures who ruled, reigned and are remembered here, and the traces of their world which remain visible today. Part of this tour is outside on slightly uneven ground, suitable clothing and footwear should be worn.


The Winchester Diver (William Walker) 
One of the most fascinating stories around Winchester Cathedral is that of William Walker “the diver who saved the Cathedral with his own hands”. In the early years of the 20th century, alarming foundation defects appeared in the east end of the Cathedral and desperate measures were needed to safeguard it for the future. In the end the hero of the day was William Walker, who worked in atrocious and dangerous conditions for over 5 years. The tour will describe in detail this unique project, one of the greatest engineering preservation feats of its time. Evidence still visible will be highlighted both within and outside the Cathedral, as will the commemorative statues to William Walker, a truly remarkable man.


Chantry Chapels – Our Hidden Places 
The Cathedral is famous for its chantry chapels. However, as access can sometimes be difficult they are usually kept locked and can only be seen from the outside. On this tour the chapels will be open and visitors will be allowed inside to see, at close quarters what they contain.


Literary Links
On this tour you will discover some of the many literary links we have in the Cathedral, including ‘literary legends’ who are buried here and other writers with memorials. The building itself has inspired novelists such as Thomas Hardy and most recently Tracy Chevalier. Medieval conflict, Tudor intrigue and Victorian scandal have provided writers with some great material. Come and learn about these literary connections and listen to extracts spanning over four hundred years of Literature from Shakespeare to Hilary Mantel.


The Marriage of England and Spain – Mary Tudor’s Wedding 
Queen Mary I Marries Prince Philip of Spain: the most famous wedding ever to have taken place in Winchester Cathedral. Discover the intrigues and plots behind-the-scenes in these turbulent Tudor Counter-Reformation times, and eavesdrop on the sumptuous ceremony itself…


Heroes and Villains 
Who fled the Cathedral in a dung-cart? Who refused lodgings to Charles II’s mistress? Who owned the hoof of a griffin? Find out about the great, the good and the occasionally ghastly men and one woman whose fascinating stories are told in this tour.


What Happened to William the Conqueror’s Wood?
This tour provides an opportunity to visit the forest of massive timbers above the vault of the Nave, whose origins provoked amazement in William the Conqueror. Equally amazing is the Victorian engineering which lifted heavy timbers from resting directly on the vault underneath. Please be aware the visit involves a climb up and down 130 steps. The tour continues with highlights from the”Artistry in Wood” tour and overall lasts 90 minutes


The cost of a special interest tour is £6pp in additional to a general admission ticket. A general admission ticket grants you access to the cathedral for 12 months, and you can purchase your tickets in advance online, or upon arrival at the cathedral.