Cathedral at Height

What is Cathedral at Height?

* KIDS GO FREE special offer this May Bank Holiday*

The offer provides one free child ticket per one paying adult.  Children must be able to walk the tower route (including a spiral staircase) unaided.  Children must be under 12 to qualify as a child.  The offer can only be claimed in person on the day of the tour and cannot be pre-booked or booked online.

* Now booking online here *

Our brand new guided tour will take you take you behind the scenes at Chester Cathedral - providing an unparalleled level of public access.

Our tower tour with a twist will allow you to immerse yourself in our unique blend of medieval and modern history.  See one city, two countries and five counties from the top of the cathedral tower.  Climb through 900 years of history and discover our hidden spaces.

  • Explore our bell-ringing chamber
  • Get up close and personal with our stained glass
  • Peer down on our fourteenth century quire stalls and Victorian organ
  • Amble along our galleries
  • Take in a panoramic view of the city and beyond from the roof
  • Discover the hidden cathedral

How to book

Tickets for the tour will be charged at £8.00 for adults and £6.00 for children. Individual bookings can only be made in the cathedral on the day of the tour. For group bookings of six or more people contact Chester Cathedral Box Office on (01244) 500959.

Is Cathedral at Height for me?

Please note that due to the fabric of our historic building the tour contains lots of steps and twists and turns.

  • 216 steps up and down
  • Very small doorways
  • Spiral staircases
  • Narrow passageways
  • High walkways


The child must be able to walk the tour unaided.  At no point can the child be carried or picked up.

A responsible adult must hold the hand of the child throughout the tour except when ascending/descending steps.  When ascending/descending steps the responsible adult must be directly below or above the child so that they can aid the child when necessary.

Should the child become too tired to carry on, both the responsible adult and the child will need to be escorted to ground level by a member of staff.

Chester Cathedral cannot be held accountable for children while they are on the tour.

There must be one adult to two children under the age of 8.

What work has been done?

Chester Cathedral appointed William Anelay Ltd., specialists in the restoration, conservation and refurbishment of listed and historic buildings, as the project contractor and development work began in Summer 2013.  

The cathedral tower, tower roof, bell-ringing chamber and bell-frame chamber have been prepared for public access. Works include:

  • Transformation of bell-ringing chamber into modern exhibition space – including a new staircase
  • Conversion of bell-frame chamber  into a multi-sensory visitor area – including state of the art surround sound
  • Renovation of tower roof – including a new visitor walkway
  • Repairs to tower spiral staircase
  • New lighting
  • Stonemasonry along our elevated galleries

Key tower facts and figures

  • 1: tour duration in hours
  • 2: number of expert guides per tour
  • 216: number of steps to the top of the tower
  • 125: tower height in feet – the highest accessible point in the city
  • 5: number of counties you can see from the tower roof
  • 1000: number of years the tour’s secret spaces have been inaccessible to the public

Who did we work with?

The Cathedral at Height project would not be possible without the generous support of Cheshire West and Chester Council.  Chester Cathedral received a £1.3 million grant from the council to carry out this work.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with the following organisations:

  • William Anelay Ltd. 
  • Turner and Townsend 
  • Donald Insall Associates
  • Ramboll UK
  • Bob Costello Associates

We are grateful for the advice and support of our project stakeholders:

  • Cathedral Fabric Commission for England
  • Chester Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee
  • Chester Renaissance
  • Chester Civic Trust
  • English Heritage

Want to know more?

Keep up to date with the latest from Cathedral at Height and enquire about bookings by emailing

Press and media

Our Press Office team look after all media enquiries - such as interviews, filming, photography and press releases.

If you have a media enquiry, please contact:

Amie Jones, Marketing and Communications Officer: | (01244) 500969


Support Us

View all Support pages

There are many ways to support the Cathedral from donations through to buying a gift or simply enjoying a coffee in the Refectory. We welcome your support in whatever form it takes.

Refectory Cafe


The Refectory, built in the 13th century, was the dining hall for the 40 monks who belonged to the community at the time. The Refectory is open from 9:30 - 4:30 and a delicious lunch menu, fabulous cakes and free Wi-Fi!


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Online Shop

The Shop provides a full range of souvenirs, books, gifts, cards, CDs and jewellery, some unique to Chester Cathedral;  it's even possible to buy postage stamps!

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Chester Cathedral needs your help! We receive no financial subsidy from government and therefore rely on kind donations and the support of people like you. The Just Giving site is just one way to help.

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