Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral
4.5
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Religious Sites • Churches & Cathedrals
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
About
Chester Cathedral is many things to many people: a vibrant community of worship, an ancient abbey, an archaeological treasure, a cultural hub, a centre of musical excellence and a unique blend of medieval and modern history.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Tours & experiences
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The area
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Popular mentions

4.5
5,356 reviews
Excellent
3,565
Very good
1,445
Average
266
Poor
47
Terrible
33

Boho1979
Deal, UK470 contributions
Jul 2021
We visited on a day trip to the city and i have to admit was surprised by how much I enjoyed visiting this cathedral. There was a model railway exhibition inside (not really my thing but worth a look) so not sure if you usually have to pay to enter but there was a small entry price. There were information boards situated in the rooms and cloisters (likely for children to keep them entertained and informed but I learned stuff from these I wouldn’t have known so really appreciated them being there) I’ve visited many cathedrals around the world but this one really stuck with me; I can’t put my finger on why but I really recommend it.
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ShaunH290
London, UK1,651 contributions
Jul 2021
We were visiting Chester for the first time and this was a whirlwind rush through the old cathedral due to the grandchildren being with us! We could easily have spent a couple of hours here - there is so much to see.

We had visited the Church of St John the Baptist earlier on our city wall walk and discovered that that had been the first cathedral before Henry VIII made this the Anglican Cathedral in 1541. The Victorian Restoration added considerably to the buildings since then so I think that most people would need help to distinguish 19th Century from older work. But it is well worth the effort!

We bought the £5 guide book at the end of the visit - well worth the money to understand the buildings and certainly would help before going again!
Written January 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DeanMcc007
Crawley, UK509 contributions
Dec 2021 • Couples
We visited the cathedral on the opening day Christmas Tree Festival which was amazing, we counted at least 40 decorated trees. They had a 1:40 Lego display of the Cathedral, 350,000 Lego bricks which all visitors can donate £1 per brick to help build it. So much to see and read here - took us over 90 minutes to see it all.
Written December 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

P44cka
Partney, UK296 contributions
Jul 2021
Jesus is stated to have visited the Temple in Chester, where the courtyard is described as being filled with merchants, and the tables of the money changers, who changed the standard British pounds for access into the cathedral . Chester was packed with visitors who had come for a visit after lockdown perhaps numbering 2,000-3000.

And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade".

History repeating itself?

I don't agree with having to pay to enter a place of worship. Here you enter through a cathedral shop then have to pass a manned desk by a door in to the cathedral proper requesting money to enter, I would always make a donation when visiting a place of worship as a tourist but I like it to be my choice as to the size of that donation. We didn't go in.
Written July 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John
10 contributions
Aug 2021
Visited the cathedral midweek in August on a lovely warm day. We're quite local to Chester and spend a lot of time in the city but it was the first time we have ventured into the Cathedral.

Strangely at the time of visiting there was a miniature railway show on int he heart of the Cathedral? I'm not sure how that fits in with the ambiance of a cathedral and maybe why we had to pay £ 2.50 to get in? I don't know if it's always that price.

I have seen better cathedrals but it was a nice visit, there was a cafe and toilets and a lovely courtyard garden with a water sculpture that was quite serene. If you like little railways then it would have been enjoyable although I'm quite ambivalent to them, even though there was more in formation regarding the trains than there was for the whole of the cathedral!

And this is where the whole experience was let down. After paying £ 2.50 to enter, I would at least expect some information regarding the actual cathedral rather than being peppered with adverts for tours etc. Other than a small description regarding some tomb toppers, there was nothing to tell you about the structure, absolutely nothing. To me, going to a cathedral is all about education and to admire the work involved in it. I left knowing nothing more than when I went in except what a railway embankment looked like. Of course I could spend a fiver on a tour guide but if you are charging an entry fee then at least give some info. For instance, two beautiful stained glass windows were replaced in 2002 for a modern design, why? no idea, never got told and couldn't access the internet to find out ! I understand these wonderful structures need money to preserve them ( you're told on every corner that it costs £5000 a day to maintain and asks for donations) but the people running them really need to look at what they're offering.

It was a nice 45 minutes spent exploring but Looking at beautiful things and not knowing what you're looking at spoiled it for me. So there are better cathedrals throughout the country but if you're in Chester in the rain and fed up with shopping then its worth visiting but just be prepared to be underwhelmed.
Written August 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alan H
5 contributions
Sep 2021
Have been here many times, and this is the seconf tour I have taken. Each is very different but gives you much better picture of how this great building came to be and is still used. Most memorable item was the Milennium stain glass windows.
Don't forget to buy a pilgrim badge and if you have time pre-book a tour of the tower, you need to be fit to climb the stairs and there is a fee.
Written October 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

winonhols
county durham230 contributions
Jul 2021
We were visiting Chester for the first time and started with the cathedral as we wanted to compare it to our own cathedral in Durham. Although smaller, it still fills you with awe at how these magnificent creations were built all those hundreds of years ago. They could certainly give today's builders some tips, that's for sure! There was no entrance fee but we were happy to make a generous donation for the upkeep which is enormous. The organ was magnificent (all those pipes) it makes you realise how skilled a person needs to be to play those beasts! Part of the cathedral had been taken over for Covid Testing but this did not detract from our visit and my husband was fascinated with the huge model railway being erected for an exhibition and only wished it had been on during our visit! It was lovely reading some of the stories going around the cathedral - the one about the youngest boy to receive the Victoria Cross was very moving and also how the thousands of mosaic tiles need to be renovated underneath the stained glass window. This beautiful building is well worth a visit whether you are religious or not and we even had a coffee and a piece of cake in the refectory. I'm not sure if the service was slow due to lack of staff because of Covid because it wasn't very busy but took ages to get served so not sure what the problem was but the cake was deliciousl when it eventually arrived.
Written July 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ppsavage646
Ashbourne, UK8 contributions
Jan 2022
Visiting Chester Cathedral is a must when going to Chester. I can highly recommend the Cathedral at Height tour which can be booked at the main entrance desk. There is a small charge for this. It involves visiting the upper levels of the Cathedral accessed by some very narrow steps but provides stunning views both inside and outside of the Cathedral. The visits are guided and restricted to a small number of people. Our guide, Matty, provided a very knowledgeable commentary about the history of the Cathedral and the changes that had occurred - often interspersed with humour. Once you get to the top of the tower which is 125 foot high there are far reaching views of Chester. Highly recommended.
Written January 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lynne C
Leicester, UK34 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
I am aware that the cathedral likes to advertise that there is no admission charge. On entering the cathedral we were challenged by a cathedral employee as to the purpose of our visit. We stated that we wished to look round. She stated that the entrance charge would be £2.50 each. I immediately queried this and said I thought admission was free. She stated that it was free before 10 am and after 3 pm.
We turned to walk out and she then said that if we intended to visit the cafe or gift shop we could enter without paying. We said we would visit the cafe and the gift shop.
In the cafe we were charged £8.60 for two very small coffees and two tea cakes. Not impressed with the whole experience and won't be visiting again or recommending.
Written August 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amanda J
Blackpool, UK42 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Visited this beautiful place with Hubby, we booked onto the Cathedral at height tour costing £8.00 per Adult and it was wort every penny.
Matt our guide was very knowledgeable with a good sense of humour. The tour takes you into the nooks and crannies of the cathedral giving great views of the building and the architecture including the original bell tower. Once on the roof of the cathedral your treated to magnificent views of Chester and surrounding areas.
The tour won't suit everyone due to the steep stairs and tight ,low areas that need to be navigated . Don't worry if your not able to tackle this tour there are ground level tours .
Our Guide Matt's love and enthusiasm for the cathedral made the visit a joy.

The cathedral itself is beautiful and to round of the visit there is a cafe that serves yummy cakes and food .
Written February 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Mon - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Chester Cathedral tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 9 Chester Cathedral tours on Tripadvisor