York Minster

Price guide: Mid-range

Deangate, York, YO1 7HH

Price guide: Mid-range

The glorious York Minster (www.visityork.org).
Save money and beat the queues by booking attractions, tours and things...

By David Cawley, your York expert

I write for Britain Magazine, Heritage .... Read more
#2 of 20
expert-rated things to do in York
Expert overall rating:4.8 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Couples, Culture vultures, First-time travellers, Mature travellers, Art, Chilling out, Design and architecture, History, Sightseeing

Expert review of York Minster

A soaring feast for the eyes, the mind and the soul.

York’s most famous and iconic structure, this monumental dedication is the largest Gothic cathedral north of the Alps. In the making since the early 7th century and built over the heart of York’s Roman fortress, the current structure started in 1220 is the 6th to stand on this site. Whatever your religious persuasion or otherwise, there’s no denying that the skill, craft and artistry that went into York Minster is absolutely staggering and is a must-visit on any journey to York.

A visit to the Cathedral Church of St. Peter reveals some of England’s oldest and finest stained glass, exquisite carpentry and masonry work. An entry ticket also allows access to the treasury, crypt and undercroft where tantalising, in-situ glimpses of York’s Roman and Viking past are on display.

To satisfy confusion, York Minster is both a Minster and a Cathedral. A Minster is an Anglo-Saxon name for a place for missionary learning. A Cathedral is a later conquesting Norman term to signify the seat of a Bishop (a Cathedra) applied when the penultimate church incarnation was begun during the 11th century. The word Minster has stuck, though both terms apply.

Price advice: 

The Minster (including guided tour), undercroft, treasury and crypt: Adults £8.00, concessions £4.50, children under 16 free.
To climb the Central Tower is extra; adults £5.50, concessions £3.50, children £3.50 (8 years of age and over only).
Accepts Yorkshire Pass (See the Sights and attractions section on my York insider tips page for more details).

Expert tips: 
Both the Minster and Chapter house can be closed for services and events and its worth checking in advance to avoid disappointment.
Starting from 10.15am and included in the entrance fee, try to take one of the regular guided tours starting from the information desk. Allow at least one or two hours for a visit.
The choral evensong is memorising, it’s free and takes place at 4pm on Sundays and 5.15pm the rest of the week.
Charged separately, only the fit with a head for heights should opt to climb the central tower. The views from the top are rather good though.
To get one of the best views of the exterior head down ‘The Hole in the Wall’ alley by The Hole in The Wall pub on High Petergate. See my page on [node:178148] for more information of York’s alley collection.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, pre-booked tours can be taken of the Bedern Glaziers' Studio where conservation work on the Minsters stunning stained glass takes place. Tickets sold separately.

More information on York Minster:

Price guide:
Historic site, Landmark / monument, Religious site
Deangate, York, YO1 7HH
+44 844 939 0016
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Mon-Sat 9am (9.30am Nov-Mar)-5.30pm. Sunday noon-3.45pm. No sightseeing on Good Friday and Easter Sunday or on Sundays before noon.
Free tags / Keywords:

Have you been to York Minster? Would you recommended it?