There are guides at the Cathedral that can bring your experience here to life. They are trained volunteers that have learnt about the architecture of the Cathedral, the daily life of the monks, and about the filming of Harry Potter. Guides are on hand 10.45 till 3.15 Nov-March, and 10.30 till 4.00 in high season, Sunday guides 12 – 2.30.
There are self-guide leaflets for sale at the bookshop which cover all aspects; a general guide, children’s, art & craft, the organ, great lives and gargoyles.
The Crypt Tour
Crypt tours are free. There are four tours daily, at 11.30, 12.30, 1.30, and 2.30. On Sundays there are two tours at 12.30 and 1.30. Tours last about 1hr, just wait outside the entrance to the crypt which is along the South Aisle on the right of the steps that lead up to the Quire. The tour is short at 20mins yet very informative. Many visitors expect to see tombs which is not the case, the tour is about the construction of the Cathedral, the daily life of the monks with an interesting anecdote or two – no spoilers on this page!
The Tower Tour
The tower tour lasts about 1hr and is for those 6yrs or older who are fit enough to climb 269 steps up and down! The medieval spiral staircase leads to a magnificent view of Gloucester 40 miles or so across Gloucestershire towards the Malverns and Cotswolds. This is one of just a few towers that have 12 bells. Also the ‘Great Peter’ is the only medieval bell of its size in the country.
The tower season starts in April and finishes at the end of October. The cost for adults is £7.00 and children over 6yrs just £1.00. Generally Wed – Sat tours (also Mon and Tue during school holidays), are at 2.30pm. There are extra 1.30 tours on Saturdays and on Bank holidays there are extra 11.30 and 1.30 tours.
The bells chime at 8am 1pm and 5pm daily (4pm on Sats and Suns) so you will not be up the tower at the time. The chiming machine of 1763 is on view; today the bells use a digital control system. There are about 100 tunes available to play and usually two tunes are played often inkeeping with the season or festival.
A healthy 38 spiral steps lead to a fabulous collection of books and manuscripts that date back to C11th. You can view rare books and chat to the staff and guide for about 45 – 60 minutes. Large bags cannot be brought into the library so must be left in a secure area. Cost £7.00 per adult while children are free. The price includes admission to the Whispering Gallery and Tribune.
By special arrangement tours of the Stonemason yard can help you understand the life and works of a Cathedral mason.
Historic Church Tour of Gloucester
Other tours involving Gloucester’s Church history can be booked via the Civic Trust
Contact the Cathedral 01452 508210 for group tours.
College Green, Gloucester GL1 2LX
The Edward Hotel is located within a 5-10 minute walk to Gloucester cathedral; guests often attend concerts or just pop along to view the magnificent buildings