Gloucester Cathedral is one of the county’s most noteable landmarks, with its fascinating history, royal connections and of course, famous filming locations!
In this hot list, SoGlos shares 10 reasons the fantastic attraction should be on your must-visit list this summer 2021.
Go on the Summer Challenge Trail
From finding the tomb of the murdered king to feeding hungry gargoyles, there are plenty of fun things to do on the Gloucester Cathedral Summer Challenge Trail.
Visitors can pick up a free challenge sheet at the welcome desk and work their way through the activities – with one completed challenge earning little ones a sticker to complete the picture on their challenge sheet, and nine earning them a gold medal to take home!
Get hands-on in the Tribune Gallery
Children and adults can dress up as a cathedral character and have a go at designing their own gruesome gargoyle. The Tribune Gallery at Gloucester Cathedral has plenty of fun family activities to try, as well as a multi-sensory interactive medieval chapel and video footage of the cathedral captured by a drone revealing never-before-seen features.
There’s also the Whispering Gallery, where – due to the ingenuity of its design – even the slightest whisper can travel through the long passageway and be heard clearly on the opposite side. Get someone to stand at the other end and try whispering a secret, a rhyme or even singing a song and be amazed at the result!
Take a tour of the tower
Gloucester Cathedral’s impressive tower offers spectacular views across the city and countryside beyond – as far as the Malvern Hills on a sunny day. The hour-long Tower Tour takes visitors up the winding medieval staircase to see ‘Great Peter’, the only medieval bell of its size still in use in England; visit the ringing chamber; and of course, soak in those incredible views.
Tower Tours are due to restart during the summer holidays in 2021 and are suitable for adults and children aged six and over.
Venture down into the crypt
Brave souls can dare to take a tour of the Gloucester Cathedral crypt. Located down in the belly of the building, the hidden subterranean level contains the remains of some of the very earliest parts of the cathedral – with 25-minute tours available to reveal all the secrets it hides.
These underground chapels and passages were used by the monks who used to live in the abbey, and later, the bones dug up from the churchyard were stored there too. Spooky!
Crypt Tours are due to restart during the summer holidays in 2021.
Walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter
Potterheads can literally walk in the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione in the cathedral’s iconic fan-vaulted Cloister – originally used by medieval monks. Stand in the exact locations where famous scenes were filmed and feel the magic all around.
Film fans can also pick up magical souvenirs from the gift shop, for the perfect memento of their visit to Hogwarts.
Play games on Cathedral Green
Eagle-eyed kids can seek out medieval games, like Fox and Geese or Nine Men’s Morris, carved into the stone blocks out on Cathedral Green. Download the free Gloucester Cathedral app for instructions on how to play them.
Families can also enjoy a moment of mindfulness by following the finger labyrinth carved into the stone at the centre of Cathedral Green, taking some time to relax and enjoy how the smooth stone feels.
Unlock the cathedral’s secrets with a digital tour
The free Gloucester Cathedral app is full of interactive content and augmented reality features, giving visitors the chance to meet a cast of different characters, hear their stories and unlock secret content. Download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Look up and gaze at the angels
While laying on the floor of Gloucester Cathedral might sound like a strange thing to do, it’ll give you the best view of the golden angels and the heavenly orchestra carved and painted onto the ceiling above the Quire. There’s also a special mirror which you can view them through too, if you don’t fancy getting down on the floor!
Watch outdoor theatre at Gloucester Cathedral
On Friday 20 and Saturday 21 August 2021, Gloucestershire-based theatre company, Jenny Wren Productions, brings its performance of The Railway Children to Gloucester Cathedral. With live music and a heart-warming story, families are invited to bring a blanket and a picnic to the Cloister Garth to enjoy along with the show.
Performances start at 7pm with the Cloister Garth open from 6pm for picnics. Tickets cost £12 for adults and £8 for children under 16-years-old and are available from the Everyman Theatre box office.
Enjoy divine food from The Monk’s Kitchen
No trip to Gloucester Cathedral is complete without enjoying some tasty dishes from The Monk’s Kitchen – offering homemade cakes, sandwiches, paninis, Ploughman’s platters and even afternoon tea. There’s a Mini Monk’s lunch bag that’s ideal for little tummies, as well as the Monk’s Hut on Cathedral Green selling ice creams throughout the summer.