First of all, let me state that this is a wonderful place to visit more than once. If however, like me, you've been more than five times, then you might want to just visit the new café and shop area, instead of going around the chapel itself, particularly if you are passing through late in the afternoon. I tried to do this on a snowy afternoon on January 25th 2013. I didn't have the time to do another tour of the chapel, but I was in need of a comfort break, having just driven up from B'ham.
"No, sir, you cannot go into the shop to buy some gifts; you must buy a ticket to go on the tour", I was told when I arrived at the rather modern-looking entrance to the new visitor centre. "I don't want to do the tour. I need a hot drink, a toilet break, and I want to buy some items from the shop" - all of these requirements being tantalisingly within reach. "No, sir, we cannot allow you in without a tour ticket." "I don't want a ticket, I want to buy something from the shop and buy some refreshments from the café".
'You can't do that without a tour ticket!", came back the robotic reply.
I gave up and departed. Apparently, people were originally admitted to the café, but then sneaked off and went into the chapel without paying. So now we are penalised for the inability of the planners to come up with a building where visitors have an option to just buy refreshments and gifts without having to pay £9 for the privilege! Very badly thought-out, if you will excuse the oxymoron! Nil marks for the initiative that was not forthcoming from the attendants on that particular day. They weren't exactly rushed off their feet and we could have been chaperoned if need-be.
Not a welcoming experience and it needs a re-think if anyone has the will to do so, or are they now only motivated by money alone?
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.