What to expect

If you haven’t visited the cathedral before, or if you’re visiting with someone with specific sensory needs, here's what to expect on your visit.

When you enter the cathedral

As you arrive, you'll walk through the North Door, where you'll pass the legendary Sanctuary Ring. Once you're inside the cathedral you'll head through the Galilee Chapel and to the Visitor Desk, where you can get more information about your visit, book tickets for a tour or the Tower and make a donation if you wish.

At this end of the cathedral, the West end, you'll see the font with its towering 460-year-old wooden cover and will be able to soak in the view down the main aisle of the cathedral to the Rose Window at the East end of the building. It's an impressive view so don't forget to stop and take a photo.

During our quieter times in the mornings the cathedral is particularly serene and spiritual, while an evening choir or concert rehearsal fills the cathedral with joyful noise. If you have any questions about services, the history of the building or are simply looking for the cafe, one of our friendly volunteers will be on hand to help you out, so please don't hesitate to ask.

What to expect during services and prayers

Services of worship are quiet times at the cathedral, when we set aside the hustle and bustle of our lives to have a conversation with God. During our services we encourage visitors to be a little quieter, and to engage with the service if they would like to. This could be by taking a seat, or by watching and being still for just a few moments.

As well as services, at the start of every hour during our opening times, a chaplain will say a short prayer from the pulpit. We encourage visitors to be still and enjoy the spiritual feeling of prayers being said in the cathedral. For a brief moment, you can step into the continual stream of Christian worship, which is a part of daily life at Durham Cathedral today, and a practice which stretches back into history for a thousand years and stretches forward into the future.

Discover more about our faith and worship

Get in touch

If you need more help in planning your visit, please send us an email at visitor.desk@durhamcathedral.co.uk.