Best 10 cathedral cities in England

With several imposing cathedrals located all around the nation, England is known for its rich past and culture. These cathedral cities have an obvious allure that invites travelers to discover the beauty and history of this exceptional country.

This article will examine the architectural marvels, historical relevance, and cultural variety of the top ten cathedral cities in England. Based on factors including size, population growth, tourist potential, and religious significance, candidates were chosen. Readers may learn more about some of England’s most stunning locales by seeing how each city has been graded in accordance with these criteria.

This book aims to provide readers a thorough overview of the top 10 cathedral cities in England by providing in-depth assessments of each area’s personality and attractions.


The English city of York is rich in both history and culture. It has been very significant to several groups of people over the ages, from the Romans to the current modern culture.

Investigating York’s past may help one understand how it has influenced the region’s spiritual and cultural foundations. York has its start in 71 AD when Vespasian, the Roman emperor, established it as Eboracum. Over time, it gained notoriety for its cathedral, which served as a gathering place for pilgrims traveling to St. Peter’s Church, which is situated within the church grounds. This made it possible for people to stay in touch with their spiritual selves while taking in everything that York has to offer.

Discovering York’s secrets will lead you to some of the country’s oldest taverns, churches, marketplaces, and cobbled streets, which are concealed amid historic walls that have remained since the Middle Ages. Visitors are now welcome to join the community in honoring this history by going to well-liked sites like The Shambles and Clifford’s Tower or taking in one of the city’s enduring cultural traditions like Viking Festivals or Mystery Plays.

Through these encounters, we are able to appreciate York’s distinct history and dynamic present even more.

Check out The Best of York on Foot in a Small Group


Salisbury is one of the best cathedral cities in England

Visitors from all over the globe come to Salisbury, a bustling cathedral city in the south of England.

By investigating nearby landmarks like Stonehenge and Old Sarum, one may learn about the area’s cultural legacy while contrasting architectural styles.

The striking Gothic Cathedral in Salisbury, which was constructed between 1220 and 1258, is without a doubt the city’s center point. This amazing building bears witness to 800 years of history and has a spire that rises 123 meters high and is richly ornamented. King John signed the Magna Carta here in 1215, making it one of the most significant legal instruments in British history.

The construction of planted gardens around this historic structure has further accentuated its attractiveness. Visitors are welcome to tour these areas, which provide insights into past lifestyles and help them better comprehend medieval life behind the city walls.

There are several contemporary stores and cafés for individuals who want something more modern in addition to traditional marketplaces that sell things made locally.

Salisbury’s importance goes beyond only being the location of its beautiful Gothic Cathedral; it also includes its status as a significant historical landmark from which much may be learned about the country’s history.

Wars waged on its streets over religious disagreements or power conflicts between rulers and their citizens have all given tourists a special glimpse into our country’s turbulent history.

Exploring Salisbury is a worthwhile experience that provides a wealth of intriguing tales just waiting to be explored, whether you want to take part in guided tours or just roam about at your leisure.

Check out a Full-Day Tour of Salisbury and Stonehenge from Salisbury


The English city of Canterbury is widely known for its historic and recognizable monuments as well as for having an intriguing culture that has been influenced by many years of history. Any tourist who wants to see the distinct beauty of English culture and architecture may have a pleasant trip to Canterbury.

Here are three reasons why one should consider going to this Cathedral City:

  1. Historical Significance of Canterbury – Not only is it home to one of the oldest cathedrals in England but also it was once a place where Kings were crowned, making it an important part of British History. The city itself dates back to Roman times when it served as a major trade route between Britain and Europe.
  2. Iconic Landmarks of Canterbury – Tourists will find many things to explore including the famous cathedral which is full of stunning Gothic architecture from the 12th century, along with other historic sites such as St Augustine’s Abbey and Westgate Towers. Additionally, there are several charming streets lined with pubs, cafes and shops that provide visitors with plenty of opportunities to appreciate local culture.
  3. Exploring Canterbury’s Culture, Food and Shopping – Visitors can take advantage of all that this vibrant city has on offer in terms or cultural activities such as theater performances, art galleries, music festivals or exploring some traditional English cuisine like fish & chips or trying out some locally brewed beers at nearby pubs. Furthermore, shopping enthusiasts will love browsing through the numerous boutiques selling unique items ranging from handmade crafts to vintage clothing stores.

Join an Official Canterbury Guided Walking Tour – 11.00 Tour


Durham cathedral, England

One of the greatest cathedral cities in England is Durham. It has a rich history, interesting cultural attractions, and stunning architecture that make it a great place to visit and explore. Durham, which has religious origins, has plenty to offer every tourist.

The region’s greatest specimens of medieval architecture may be seen in the city, notably Durham Cathedral, which was built in 1093 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The nearby castle, which William the Conqueror constructed in 1072, offers another window into the past. Visitors may still enter both structures throughout the whole year.

Durham CathedralMedieval gothic-style building with stained glass windows dating from 12th centuryFree admission (donations welcome)
Beamish MuseumOpen air museum recreating an 1820’s industrial village setting with original furnishings, costumes & machineryAdult: £18 / Child: £9 / Family ticket: £45
Crook Hall Gardens13th Century manor house gardens featuring formal knot garden, rose arches & herbaceous bordersAdult: £7 / Child: £3/ Senior Citizen:£6

In addition to these well-known sites, there are a ton of other things to do, including museums like the Beamish Museum, which takes you on a time travel adventure, and Crook Hall Gardens, which has lovely manicured gardens with breathtaking vistas all year long. Durham is one of the greatest cathedral cities in England since it has something for everyone, no matter what their preferences may be.

Check out Durham Walking Tour and Tales of Crime and Punishment


One of England’s most stunning cathedral cities is Norwich. Its extensive history, which stretches back to the Anglo-Saxon period, is reflected in the magnificent architecture that is still present there now, which includes towering spires and complex brickwork. This city has a distinct ambiance that combines spiritual beauty with cultural energy, making it a must-visit location for individuals who value both aspects.

Perhaps the clearest illustration of the magnificence of this city is the historic Norwich Cathedral. The structure is renowned for its Romanesque design, which is magnificent in size and detail and showcases centuries of local craftsmen’ work. Inside, visitors may savor the magnificent wood carvings and spectacular stained glass windows that represent biblical themes. Additionally, there are ongoing art exhibitions that feature the creations of regional artists.

A visit to Norwich would not be complete without taking the time to discover the history and culture of this thriving city. Locally produced beers are served in classic English pubs, and tourists may also discover historical items from various eras at museums like the Castle Museum. While strolling slowly through the cobblestone streets, they could even come across street performers, giving visitors a rare glimpse into the wonderful local culture of Norfolk’s main city.

Join a City Sightseeing Norwich Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour


Wells Cathedral

Exploring Wells’ extensive and interesting history is possible by visiting this little city in Somerset’s Mendip Hills. Wells, which has a population of around 10,000 and two locations that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, provides tourists attractions ranging from its ancient architecture to its culture. Investigating Wells’ past indicates that it has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age, and Roman ruins have been discovered within its borders.

The cathedrals in Wells are without a doubt the city’s most well-known monuments. One of the best specimens of Gothic architecture in England is the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew, which was built in 1185 AD. There are several beautiful stained-glass windows within this structure that were erected during the Victorian era.

The oldest still-existing residential street in Europe, Vicars’ Close, is not far from the cathedral and was previously home to clergy who served at both St. Andrews and neighboring St. Cuthbert’s church.

For those who are interested in learning more about the local culture, Wells has a lot to offer, including artisan stores offering locally produced goods like ceramics and woodcarvings or cafés providing wholesome fare like cheddar cheese and cider. The Priddy Folk Festival, Glastonbury Music Festival, and Bishop’s Palace Summer Concerts are just a few of the music events that take place all year long and each offers something special to see and do while visiting Wells.

Discover what makes this thriving, historically rich English city unique by immersing yourself in it.


One of the top cathedral cities to visit is Lincoln, which is situated in the English East Midlands. It attracts tourists from all over the globe due to its rich history and culture.

Travelers have the chance to comprehend Lincoln’s historical importance since it was once the capital of Roman Britain by researching Lincoln’s history.

Tourists may explore some of Lincoln’s most famous buildings, including the Cathedral Church of St. Mary and The Collection Museum & Art Gallery, which are both well-liked by both locals and visitors from other countries.

Taking in Lincoln’s culture also provides something unique thanks to annual events like “The Last Night Of The Proms,” which draw music enthusiasts from all over the world to Castle Square.

Visit one of the numerous pubs or bars offering live entertainment located across Lincoln to take advantage of the city’s nightlife.

Traditional foods like Fish and Chips or Pie and Mash are great ways to sample Lincoln’s cuisine, but there are also many of other choices.

In this dynamic city, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy, from cultural attractions to gastronomic pleasures. Lincoln won’t let you down whether you’re seeking for a great night out, fascinating historic sights, or delectable cuisine!

It continues to be a great place to visit for anyone looking for a distinctive experience packed with adventure and discovery since there is so much to do and see here.

Also read: Best things to do In Bristol: England


chichester cathedral

After Lincoln, Chichester is the next significant cathedral city. This historic town, which is in West Sussex, offers a multitude of tourist attractions and has been inhabited since the Roman era.

While those seeking to experience the culture of the city may do so by visiting it or taking part in one of its numerous cultural events, history lovers will appreciate learning about its past. In terms of sites and attractions, the city has a lot to offer, including the Pallant House Gallery, Fishbourne Roman Palace, and Chichester Cathedral itself.

The variety of alternatives available to visitors includes parks, theaters, museums, and galleries, all of which are conveniently located nearby. This makes it perfect for overnight stays or prolonged visits, enabling one to enjoy everything that Chichester has to offer.

Chichester embraces its heritage while still providing attractions that contemporary visitors may enjoy. It is a dynamic blend of the ancient and the new. There is always something new waiting to be discovered here with to its rich history, culture, and variety of attractions, making it well worth include on any list of the top cathedral cities in England.


Gloucester’s stunning architecture, extensive history, and religious importance make it one of England’s greatest cathedral cities. Visitors who want to experience the culture and beauty of this English city now often go there.

A trip to Gloucester offers the chance to see some of the most exquisite Gothic structures still standing in Europe. The Cathedral Church of St. Peter serves as an outstanding symbol of the significance this city has for religion.

Gloucester’s core is surrounded by old Roman walls, which are interesting to explore since they show how old the city is. One of the earliest remaining medieval cities in England, Gloucester was surrounded by these walls when William I gave it borough rights in the 11th century.

Along with its historical ties, the city is also known for several cultural practices including Morris Dancing, which have their roots in regional folklore. This enhances Gloucester’s attractiveness as a vacation spot where visitors may take advantage of both traditions from the past and contemporary conveniences.

Gloucester’s growth and identity have been significantly influenced by religion throughout the course of the city’s lengthy history. Many pilgrims have been to the city throughout the years to pay respect at its historically significant churches, notably St. Mary de Lode and All Saints church on Westgate Street, since Christianity has been practiced here at least since 679 A.D. These locations continue to be key landmarks in the neighborhood today, serving as religious icons for both the past and current generations who join together to celebrate their shared religious convictions at worship services conducted on a regular basis throughout the year.


Exeter cathedral city in England

One of the top 10 cathedral cities in England, Exeter is a special travel destination because of its rich history. Exeter, which has Roman origins, has a variety of historical attractions, cultural diversity, architectural wonders, and delectable food.

Investigating Exeter’s History: The city has a colorful history, with indications of settlement dating back to 50 BC. It was originally inhabited by the Romans, who constructed an outstanding fortress wall around it that is still in place today. This wall offers intriguing historical context for the region. Here, visitors may also tour some of Britain’s oldest streets, including the historic High Street and Fore Street.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, which features works of art from all over the world, St. Peter’s Church, with its stunning stained-glass windows, Northernhay Gardens, a public park established during the Elizabethan era, and Rougemont Castle, built in 1068 A.D., are just a few of the landmarks worth exploring while in Exeter. All of them are fantastic attractions for anyone interested in learning about Exeter’s rich history.

Cultural diversity in Exeter: Today’s Exeter is home to a flourishing multicultural population made up of individuals from many ancestries and cultures, in addition to its historical past. This makes a trip to this energetic city even more interesting since you never know what novel experiences are ahead! There is something for everyone here, from classic English pubs selling regional ales to cosmopolitan restaurants providing cuisine from Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Architectural Wonders of Exeter: In addition to being the location of many historic structures, Exeter is also a haven for fans of modern architecture. The Forum building by Sir Michael Hopkins, the striking Devon County Council Headquarters by Foster + Partners, and Princesshay Shopping Centre constructed on former battlefields are examples of contemporary masterpieces. Whatever design aesthetic you choose, there is a lot to view here!

Eating Out in Exeter: After building up an appetite touring the city, why not try some of the tantalizing cuisine on offer? There are a variety of eateries to suit every taste, whether you want traditional pub fare or something more daring like vegan tapas or Nepalese momos. If you’re in the need for dessert, go to South Street, where ice cream shops abound, serving up delectable cones for those hot summer days spent visiting this lovely city’s numerous attractions.

When everything is taken into account, it is simple to see why so many people travel here every year to enjoy everything that this magnificent cathedral city has to offer. It certainly deserves to be included among England’s top 10 cathedral cities since there is something for everyone here, including exciting gourmet places and centuries-old landmarks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Admission Fees For Each Of The Cathedral Cities?

It’s crucial to take into account all of the variables that could affect cathedral city entry prices while talking about them.
Admission prices for these places include access to prayer services, art galleries, sightseeing excursions, audio tours, and religious items.
Any discounts or incentives provided by certain churches or other groups in each city must also be taken into consideration by the researcher.
Additionally, several facilities could change their price structure to reflect seasonal variations in attendance.
Understanding the entrance fees for cathedral cities as a whole necessitates a close examination of several features of each place.

Are There Any Special Events Or Exhibitions Taking Place At The Cathedrals?

Many of the cathedrals spread around England are well known for their exceptional church architecture, spiritual importance, and religious history.
These cathedrals are hosting a broad variety of unique events and exhibits, from musical performances displaying some of the most magnificent stained glass artwork to guided tours that concentrate on examining the individual cathedrals’ historical beginnings.
Visitors may frequently learn more about the magnificence and majesty of these hallowed locations via these pleasurable activities, and they also have the chance to understand their special cultural and spiritual significance.

Are There Any Accommodation Options Near The Cathedrals?

There are several lodging alternatives around cathedral cities, ranging from affordable to opulent. Travelers may simply compare prices and facilities by reading internet reviews of each lodging option.
In the area surrounding the cathedrals, there are local attractions including churches, parks, galleries, and museums that enhance the experience. Local pubs are often near by for fast meals or beverages after a long day of touring. Dining options vary based on location.
Some destinations may also provide audio tours that let guests understand more about the history of these magnificent houses of worship.

Are There Any Restaurants Or Cafés In The Cathedral Cities?

Visitors have a wide range of alternatives while learning about the eating scene in cathedral cities.
Travelers have a wide range of options when searching for somewhere to dine, from restaurants that use local products and convenient online booking systems to cafés with access to transportation nearby.
Accessibility concerns should also be taken into account since certain places may not have facilities or routes that are appropriate for those with mobility impairments.
Visitors may be guided by cathedral city scholars through the variety of gastronomic possibilities these locations have to offer while satisfying their irrational yearning for independence.

Are There Any Guided Tours Available At The Cathedrals?

The history and architecture of these historic structures may be explored at England’s cathedrals, which is a rare opportunity for tourists.
Many cathedrals provide guided tours that let visitors compare various architectural styles, go to the graves of significant historical personalities, locate artwork and antiques, and learn more about the rich history of the cathedral.
Guided tours are a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the intriguing history of these magnificent buildings while getting up close and personal with them.

Check out 5-day tour from London: Devon & Cornwall


It is obvious that there are a variety of beautiful cathedral cities in England for travelers to visit.

Every city, from Salisbury Cathedral to Manchester Cathedral, provides a distinctive cultural experience rich in history, architecture, and creativity.

The cost of admission varies from location to location, however special activities or exhibits are often going on in particular cathedrals.

Along with lodging alternatives, several of these sights are also close to eateries or coffee shops that guests may enjoy.

Most places provide guided tours for visitors who want to learn more about their visit.

Finally, cathedral cities provide a unique experience that will leave all visitors with priceless memories they will treasure always.

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