$ admission to cathedrals

Is there a membership or a pass card a visitor can buy for admission to many/most cathedrals in the UK? I just bought a membership in the National Trust to cover our visits to their properties, and I'm hoping there's a similar offer for cathedrals. I'd even be willing to buy two - one Anglican and one Roman Catholic ;-) Thanks in advance.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
3313 posts

In the UK I've not had to pay anything to visit a cathedral. You need to be careful about visiting during services. Also, there is usually a donation box somewhere and I usually put in a Pound. The box usually says something like the monies donated are for the maintenance of the building. Pam

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1634 posts

There is the Heritaga Pass that covers some...take a look at their website to see if it covers places you will be. I know that it covers St. Paul's Cathedral in London....and the admission to there is £14.50 per adult.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3409 posts

Last time I was in Winchester there was a £5 admission charge to visit the cathedral.

Posted by Nancy
Greeley, Colorado, USA
11 posts

The cathedrals "suggest", "ask" or "encourage" payment/donations. So even though they won't refuse you entry, I think it's absolutely necessary to pay... unless you absolutely can't afford it. I can and will, but I'm retired and a bit thrifty, and if I can get a pass (making sure each cathedral gets something) I'll take advantage of that. And I get my money's worth. I've been kicked out of more cathedrals than bars. Because of closing times, people, closing times! Upkeep and care of these incredible places must be equally expensive - I'll contribute my fair share.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2391 posts

Not sure where some of the above posters are getting their info, but some UK churches absolutely charge an entry fee. They are not optional but mandatory. St. Paul's is the most expensive, and actually the priciest one I've ever been in. Not all do but many of the major ones do. I'm not aware of any special pass as these are run by the local churches themselves. You can get in free during services or for special things like evensongs. But then you must sit and absore the service, not wander around.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

I have been told by docents at various UK cathedrals that they do not receive money from the Church of England for maintenance of the cathedrals; they are dependent on donations. (Perhaps someone who actually lives in England can tell us if this is true or not.).........Are any of the English medieval cathedrals still Roman Catholic? I thought none were after Henry VIII.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3409 posts

At Winchester Cathedral if you plead total poverty and look the part, the entrance fee will be waived, but who among us would go that far.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
3313 posts

I'll bow to those with recent experience in the south. In Scotland, though, I've not had to pay, just make donations as affordable. I was in Glasgow Cathedral this July and there was no charge. It's been a while and maybe policies have changed since I visited the big famous ones in the south. ; ) Pam

Posted by j.c.
Cary, NC, United States
842 posts

York Minster charges a fee, and offers a display explaining the high costs of operating and maintaining very big medieval buildings. E.g., the heating bill alone is huge, and when repairs are needed you need to call in specialists. When I was last there, they had hired some stonemasons to craft stone blocks in the exact shape of a good number of sculptured blocks that had fallen off, or threatened to fall, off the building. Westminster Abbey also levies an admission fee and, if memory serves, so does Salisbury Cathedral. I've never come across a pass card like you are looking for.

Posted by Chip
Tipton, Iowa
329 posts

At £15 Westminster Abbey is even more expensive than St. Paul's Cathedral's £12.50 fee.

Posted by Nancy
Greeley, Colorado, USA
11 posts

They are expensive to visit, but worth every penny... or pence. I remember seeing a sign outside one cathedral two years ago announcing they had just received a significant grant from the UK lottery to pay for some renovation project. Since we plan to visit at least 20 cathedrals during our two month visit, it's a fiscal commitment. But I can hardly wait!!!