Guided tours

There’s so much to see in the Cathedral. One of the best ways to explore is with our trained Cathedral Guides, who’ll tell you all about its fascinating history, characters and events. And if you’re visiting with children, you can follow our free children’s trail.

 

Cathedral tour

These tours offer a great introduction to the Cathedral and its history and treasures. Hear about Winchester during Anglo-Saxon times and what changed when the Normans invaded, and the many characters and events that have shaped the history of England and left their mark on this magnificent building.

When: Mon-Sat starting every hour from 10.00am - 3.00pm, and occasionally more frequently to meet demand.
Duration: 1 hour – 1.5 hours
Price: Included in admission, no tickets required.
Please note: Tours are offered in English. (Welcome leaflets are available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Japanese and Chinese. Foreign language tours are available for pre-booked groups. A minimum of three weeks notice is required)
Find out more about the Cathedral’s history and treasures

Tower tour

Starting May 2021

Book now by calling the Box Office: 01962 857 275


Enjoy an exhilarating tower tour of Winchester Cathedral with one of our experienced guides with magnificent views across Winchester and the county. You will see the ringing chamber, the great Cathedral bells and walk the full length of the nave roof with its huge wood beams.

When:Wed 2.15pm and Sat 11.30am (May-July)
July 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28, 31
August 4, 7, 11, 12, 18,21, 25, 28
September 1, 4, 8, 11, 22, 25, 29
October 2,13,23,27 and 30
November 3,6,10,13,17


Duration: 1.5 hours

Price: £10.00

Please note
The minimum age for these tours is 12 years: children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Although there is no set upper age limit for this tour, please note the difficulty of the climb. This may be unsuitable for those who are elderly, infirm, disabled, pregnant, those suffering from heart or respiratory disorders, or any other medical condition which could be affected by the climb. Due to width restrictions, all large items of baggage are not permitted and regrettably cannot be left unattended or stored at ground level. Suitable clothing and foot-wear should be worn. Please Note: Face coverings must be worn on this tour due to the physical exertions required on the tour. It is not possible to accept anyone who does not wear face covering.

Tower tours can be booked in advance by calling 01962 857 275.

Tower tours are not available to book online.

Crypt tour

Explore one of the oldest parts of the Cathedral and the least altered part of the Norman building. The crypt provides a stunning setting for Antony Gormley’s sculpture Sound II.

When: Mon – Sat at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm
Duration: 20 minutes
Price: Included in admission. Tickets available from the Entrance Desk
Please note: During the wet winter months the crypt can flood. If this is the case we are unable to run tours, but you can still see the crypt from a viewing platform. Find out more about the Cathedral’s Sound II

Curious & Mysterious

Mystifying Cathedral puzzles or secrets, ancient and modern, will be revealed on this tour. The tour covers mysteries spanning some 700 years, often obscured by the mists of time. A range of delights are featured, such as moving tombs, an unofficial high profile burial, First World War personal benevolence with world changing results, disasters at sea and “what’s in a name”.

Art in the Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral is rich in art objects, 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 Harrison, 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.

Face the Music

‘Face the Music’ includes background musical history and examines aspects of music within the Cathedral. There are three types of visual clues: firstly, images in stone, wood, glass and embroidery reflecting ‘heavenly harmony’; secondly memorials and graffiti referring to specific musical personalities; and thirdly, place and objects with musical functions such as the organ or the Treasury.

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.

Jane Austen - Her Life and Times

Jane Austen 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 funeral was probably arranged by her brother Henry who had been ordained shortly before her death. This tour offers visitors an intimate and often amusing insight into her life and connections with the Cathedral.

Just Williams

Learn about the many illustrious or in some cases lesser-known men called William who have played significant roles in the history of the Cathedral.

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.

Pestilence, Penitence and Putrefaction: a Medical History of Winchester Cathedral

For nearly 1400 years, those associated with the Cathedral in Winchester have played an important part in the care of the sick and management of disease. This tour recounts the history of medicine in relation to the structure of the present Cathedral and the people commemorated within it.

Wood Glorious Wood

This tour explores the exceptional riches of the Cathedral’s woodwork, ancient and modern. It considers the indispensable role of wood in the construction and preservation of the building and we discover wood furnishings and decoration as far back as the 12th century. The highlight of the tour is a look in some detail at one of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures, the 14th century quire stalls, described as “the most beautiful in Northern Europe”.

This Royal House of Kings and Saints

The Anglo-Saxon Minster and its role in the birth of the English Nation, the personalities who inhabited it and the traces which are still visible today. Part of the tour is outside on slightly uneven ground and suitable clothing and footwear should be worn.

Free Children's Trail

We want children to enjoy visiting the Cathedral. Our specially designed children’s trail has been written by a professional children’s writer and is beautifully illustrated. Let the children lead the way using the large-scale map, and work through the activities with them. You’ll find fascinating facts, wonderful stories and strange traditions, and discover animals, beasts and people along the way.

Duration: approximately 45 minutes
Price: Included in admission - Available from our welcome stewards and Entrance Desk

 

Pre-booked group tours and group visits

We offer a wide range of themed tours for groups in addition to the tours above, tailored to the needs of the group. Special rates and catering packages are also available.

Download a themed tours list


Free children’s trail

We want children to enjoy visiting the Cathedral. Our specially designed children’s trail has been written by a professional children’s writer and is beautifully illustrated. Let the children lead the way using the large-scale map, and work through the activities with them.
You’ll find fascinating facts, wonderful stories and strange traditions, and discover animals, beasts and people along the way.
Duration: approximately 45 minutes
Price: Included in admission. Available from our welcome stewards and Entrance Desk


Find out more

Contact us
Email our Visitor Services team, or call them on 01962 857200.

Download a map of the Cathedral and Close (PDF)
Includes the Visitors’ Centre, Education Centre and Cathedral Office

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