St Albans Cathedral
St Albans Cathedral is a great place to visit for the whole family – whatever the weather! From the longest nave in England and an extensive collection of medieval wall paintings, to an exciting programme of activities and events and a brand new interactive exhibition with artefacts, audio visuals and an exciting digital tour of the Cathedral.
The history of St Albans Cathedral is rich and, over the centuries, this magnificent building has undergone several transformations. Step inside and you’ll find awe inspiring reminders of the Cathedral’s past as well as the inspiring story at its heart. These include the Shrine of St Alban, a site of national pilgrimage which has been a focal point for visitors and pilgrims alike for over 1700 years. The Nave of St Albans Cathedral is the longest in the country which, at 85 metres long, displays a striking selection of medieval wall paintings, one of the most extensive collections surviving today. Not only is the inside of the Cathedral, with its vast expanses of space and secluded, intimate chapels, it is located in the middle of acres of tranquil parkland, meaning that the Cathedral and surroundings is an oasis of calm just a short walk from the bustling market town of St Albans and a short train ride away from the frantic pace of central London.
Price: no entry fee but a donation is suggested.
The Cathedral has a team of trained volunteer Guides who welcome visitors, lead formal tours and are available to provide information.
Free Guided Tours: These tours start at the west door and typically take about an hour. Available daily for visitors at the following times:
11.30 Monday to Saturday
14.30 Sunday to Friday
Free Highlights Tour: If your time is limited, this tour allows you to explore the highlights of this great building on at 13.05 Daily.
There are many unique sights to take in when you visit the Cathedral, plus an exciting programme of events, tours and concerts.
Please visit the website www.stalbanscathedral.org to find out about all the events happening in the coming months.
The Alban Bun
The Hot Cross Bun is said to originate in St Albans, where Brother Thomas Rocliffe, a 14th Century monk at St Albans Abbey, developed an original recipe and distributed the bun to the local poor on Good Friday, starting in 1361. Find out more on the St Albans Cathedral website.
The Alban Pilgrimage
The spectacular Pilgrimage Procession of giant puppets retells the story of Alban’s martyrdom, as pilgrims retrace the route from the place of Alban’s trial to the hill on which he was executed. It is not only a stunning spectacle; it is a profoundly moving experience. The procession starts at 1100 from St Peter’s Church and travels through the City Centre to the West End of the Cathedral. A Festival Eucharist follows at 1200 with a Festival Evensong at 1600.
The Alban Pilgrimage takes place annually on the Saturday nearest to 22 June – St Albans Day. The Alban Pilgrimage in 2020 will be on Saturday 20 June.
Opening times for Abbot’s Kitchen:
The Abbot’s Kitchen café, overlooking the nearby park, is the perfect place to enjoy tea after you visit the Cathedral, or enjoy lunch and refreshments throughout the day.
Monday to Saturday: 09:30 to 16:30 hrs
Sunday 10:30 to 16:30 hrs
(closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).
Awards and accreditations
Visit England VAQAS Quality Assured visitor attraction
For access information, visit www.stalbanscathedral.org/access or AccessAble
Heritage site, Sacred space
The Cathedral is open from 0800 to 1745 all year round. (We close at 1300 on Christmas Day)
Please enter by the West Door.
The Information Desk is open from 10:30 - 16:30 Monday to Saturday. Telephone +44(0)1727 860780. Occasionally events taking place in the cathedral might make it necessary restrict access to parts of the building. Before travelling to visit the Cathedral you are advised to telephone to check the current situation.
Guided Tours are offered by the Honorary Guides at 1130 and 1430 on Weekdays, 1130 and 1400 on Saturdays and 1430 on Sundays. Tours for visiting adult parties can be booked through the Cathedral Office +44 (0) 1727 860780.
Leaders of school parties should contact the Cathedral Education Centre +44 (0) 1727 890212.
There are facilities for disabled visitors who should enter by the east end Slype door. There is a Touch and Hearing centre and a braille guide plan. The public address system has an inductive loop facility and hearing aids should be tuned to 'T'. There are disabled toilets located within the Cathedral.
Anne Frank + You
- 23 January — 20 February 2020
Discover the remarkable story of Anne Frank in this thought-provoking exhibition about her life and legacy.
2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the death of Anne Frank and the end of World War 2.
To commemorate these three historic events, the Cathedral will be hosting the unique Anne Frank + You exhibition, a touring exhibition produced by the Anne Frank Trust UK. This thought provoking travelling exhibition explores Anne Frank, her diary and the Holocaust and how they highlight contemporary injustices. Far from being just about historical facts, the exhibition also explores how issues such as racial hatred, the value of freedom and education play out in the modern world.
The Anne Frank Exhibition will be on display in the North Transept from Thursday 23 January until Thursday 20 February.
Exhibition Opening times
General admission to the exhibition is FREE and no pre-booked tickets are required.
Schools will be using the exhibition space every day during school hours. Please check the website before your visit for any changes to the below.
Monday to Friday (term time), 2pm - 4pm (last entry)
Monday 17 to Thursday 20 February (half term), 10am - 4pm (last entry)
Saturday, 10am - 3pm (last entry) and Sunday, 1pm - 5pm (last entry)
St Albans Abbey Maths Trail
In a building like St Albans Cathedral there is endless scope for estimating, comparing, measuring. Using everything from trundle wheels to helium balloons, from electronic laser devices to hands and arms of the human body, the children let few bits of the building escape. And then there is the world of shape and pattern to attend to…
How to obtain
Please telephone the Education Centre on 01727 890212 to negotiate a date for your visit. You need to allow a full one and a half hours for each session booked.
Please download our online booking form from www.stalbanscathedral.org.uk/education-centre/booking.php, which you can submit online, fax or post back to us.
St Albans Cathedral
Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban