This wasn't my first visit but I wanted to write a review after taking a guest with me and enjoying a wonderfully quirky personal guided tour. When we arrived at the cathedral we found that we were too late/early for a guided tour, but one of the volunteers (Kathy) who was greeting visitors asked if we'd like her to show us three interesting things in the cathedral. We said yes please and then enjoyed being shown what must have been far more than three things - but it was fascinating to see and be told about items of interest that we would probably have missed had we explored on our own.
We were shown that the cathedral is built on shale, with a demonstration of the water level below, also that some of the columns are at an alarming skewed angle, as well as some funny little hidden carvings and engravings. After this enlightening and engaging experience we were left to explore by ourselves, so we wandered around this beautiful cathedral enjoying the Christmas floral displays, the unique overflowing font, the stunning stained glass.
It's amazing to be able to see the Magna Carta so close up. Even better not to have to vie with people only wanting to view it through the lens of a camera! In the Chapter House where it is on display there is also a wonderful carving of biblical scenes around the top of the walls.
There is a good gift shop that connects to the cafe in the cloisters. You can sit inside the cafe or at tables in the cloisters, and there's a choice of cooked meals, snacks and home made cakes, with children's menu also available.
There isn't an entrance fee to the cathedral but visitors are encouraged to make a donation. When we offered, the volunteer suggested that we do so as a family to make it a little less. We felt that this was a very reasonable price to pay to visit such a historical place. If you pay to park in the cathedral car park you are given a voucher for a free tea or coffee of your choice in the cafe.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.