Cathedral Guides, identified by a purple neck ribbon, are occasionally on duty and available to conduct informal tours for individuals. We do not currently offer daily turn-up and join tours for individual visitors. We have free self-guided leaflets and descriptive signage around the Cathedral to assist and enhance an individual’s visit. There is also a Cathedral Guidebook which may be purchased (priced £4.50).
Bookings for Group Visits
Because the building is a busy and active Cathedral church, catering for the surrounding businesses, charities, schools and colleges, as well as a destination for increasing numbers of visitors, we strongly encourage all groups to pre-book their visit.
Mandatory admission charges are in operation for all group visits.
Bookings should be made through the Visitors' Officer (Tel: 020 7367 6734; fax: 020 7367 6730; e-mail: email@example.com)
We are willing to consider group visits 7 days per week, although these are subject to services and other activities taking place
For more information and to request a group brochure for the following
- Clubs and Societies Visits
- Visits by Parish Groups within the Diocese of Southwark
- Commercial / Trade Groups Visits
please email our Visitor’s Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Group Tours of the Cathedral with a Cathedral Guide £6.00
Group Tours of the Cathedral with an external guide/leader £5.00
Escorted Walk with a Cathedral Guide £7.00
Cathedral Tour + Escorted Walk with a Cathedral Guide £11.50
(*A minimum charge of 10 people applies to all bookings)
Tour Companies / Operators: Please contact our Visitors' Officer for trade rates and brochure.
Please note that the maximum number permitted entry with an external guide / leader is set at 53 people. To qualify for concessionary rates the minimum number per group is 10.
All prices are inclusive of VAT.
Each booked tour will be allocated a time-slot of one hour; this period may be extended at no additional cost upon request.
Cathedral guided tours are usually of 90 minutes duration.
No single tour group will have exclusive use of the Cathedral and there will be occasions when other tours are taking place concurrently. In these circumstances we ask tour guides to follow the directions of Cathedral staff as to the route they should take around the building.
Escorted Walks around the Area
Group leaders may wish to combine a visit to the Cathedral with an escorted walk within the area.
Our Visitors’ Officer can arrange these and they can be combined with a guided tour of the Cathedral. Morning coffee / lunch / afternoon packages arranged by our in-house caterers can also be pre-booked. A private refreshment room may also be available for groups of 20 persons or more.
Walks are led by a Cathedral Guide and are at a leisurely pace, stopping at various points of interest.
1. Shakespeare Anniversary Walk (New for 2016)
Commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death in 1616 with a fascinating, informative and revealing tour of Bankside and the Southwark Church he and his actor friends knew so well.
Begin by exploring the many Shakespeare links with Southwark Cathedral, known to the Bard as St Saviour's parish church.
See the famous Shakespeare memorial and the ledger stone marking the burial in 1607 of William's actor brother Edmond.
Explore atmospheric Bankside, visiting the site of the original Globe Theatre for which Shakespeare wrote many of his most famous and accomplished plays.
Pass the Rose, Bankside's oldest theatre, on the way to the replica Globe where Shakespeare's works have been performed for almost 10 years in an authentic open-air arena.
Return to Southwark Cathedral via some of the other riverside streets trod by Shakespeare and see the ruins of a grand medieval palace he would have known very well.
The tour starts in Southwark Cathedral's Millennium Courtyard (next to the Mudlark pub) and last between one and a half hours to two hours.
(Round trip approx 90- 120 minutes)
2. Historic Bankside Walk
Your Cathedral guide(s) will uncover the rich and colourful history of this area, sometimes referred to by those on the City side of the Thames as the “side of the undesirables”. The walk records the time when bishops, bards, and prostitutes lived and worked alongside each other and the docks were adjacent to London Bridge. Stops will be made at various locations including St Mary Overie Dock, The ruins of the Bishops’ of Winchester Palace, the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Deanery. The events which took place during the winters when the Thames froze over will be recalled. We will also pass the sites of the original Rose and Globe Theatres, and the former site of what was once one of the biggest breweries in Europe.
(Round trip approx 75/ 90 minutes)
3. Borough High Street
With the help of a Cathedral guide this walk will recall the time when the street was the medieval version of today’s Victoria Coach Station, with the numerous inns, and coaches arriving and departing for various locations throughout the country. This was where the pilgrims set out for Canterbury as recorded in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. The sites of various inns will be visited, including the last surviving galleried inn in London. We will also visit the site of US University benefactor John Harvard’s mother’s inn, which he inherited and sold before departing for the New World.
(Round trip approx 75/ 90 minutes)
4. Themed Medical Walk with visit to Guy’s Chapel
Sections of the above walk can also be combined with a visit to the Georgian Guy’s Chapel and the original hospital buildings and precincts. [The Chapel is now administered by King’s College, London as it is situated within their Guy’s campus]
The Cathedral’s historic links with the medical profession will be recalled. We will also visit the Chapel Crypt, not normally open to members of the public, where its founder and others are buried.
(Round trip approx 90 minutes)
5. Themed Dickensian Walk with visit to St George the Martyr Parish Church
Events of 1824 in young Charles’ life sparked ideas, themes and characters which would later reappear to colour many of the novelist’s `best known works. A Cathedral guide will lead us to some of the places associated with Pickwick Papers, The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield and Little Dorrit. It will visit the remains of The Marshalsea where his father John was interned for debt. The tour will also include a visit to St George the Martyr Church where Amy Dorrit was baptized and eventually married.
(Round trip approx 90 minutes)
To book any of the above contact our Visitors' Officer
Payment for tours can be made in one of three ways:
Cash - payable on the day, for which a receipt will be issued upon request.
Cheque - payable either in advance, on receipt of a VAT invoice, or on the day, for which a receipt will be issued upon request.
Company Voucher System - for which a VAT invoice will subsequently be issued. The Cathedral reserves the right to refuse to operate the voucher system where previous invoices remain outstanding more than 28 days from the date of issue.
The nearest coach drop off point is in Southwark Street.
The nearest stations are:
Mainline - London Bridge;
Underground - London Bridge and Monument
For information on assisted access in the Cathedral, please contact our Visitor’s Officer - T 020 7367 6734; E email@example.com
Group organizers, or external guides, wishing to arrange a familiarisation visit are most welcome. Please contact our Visitors' Officer.
Group Entrance to Cathedral
We request that group entry to the Cathedral be via the North (Riverside) Millennium Courtyard entrance. Unless otherwise advised, this is the assembly point for groups meeting our Cathedral guide(s).
By entering the Cathedral complex from this doorway, groups may visit the Archaeological Chamber before proceeding along Lancelot's Link, the glazed internal street, towards the Cathedral church itself.
The Cathedral has established the practice of having hourly prayers throughout the day from 1030 to 1630. These are led by our Day Chaplains and last approximately two minutes. During the prayers, all visitors are requested to remain still and are invited to join in saying The Lord's Prayer, in their native language. Tour Guides should be made aware of this and are requested to encourage all within their group to comply, wherever they may be within the Cathedral.
Please also note that the Harvard Chapel is reserved for private prayer. Whilst members of your group may enter, tour guides are not permitted to speak to their group inside this Chapel.
Photography and filming
Visitors to Southwark Cathedral are welcome to take photographs for their own personal use subject to the pre-purchase of a photo permit.
Professional and commercial photography is not permitted without prior agreement.
The current charges for a permit per person are:
Cameras - £2.50
Video-Recording - £5.00
Permits may be purchased from a member of our Welcomers Team, Welcome Desk or the Cathedral Shop.
Please note that the purchase of a permit does not permit filming during services or ticketed concerts.
For information and fees relating to the commercial use of photography, requests to use Southwark Cathedral imagery including interior shots and for information on reproduction, please contact the Development Director, Rose Harding. T 020 7367 6704; E firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Visitor Facilities
We encourage you to provide time within your itineraries for group members to visit our Cathedral Shop. This is situated on the North (River) side of the Cathedral. The Shop carries a range of Cathedral souvenirs, cards, books and gift items.
There is also a Cathedral Refectory. This is assisted-service. It is operated by Elior. Set in a courtyard-setting, it is an ideal venue for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon teas before or after your Cathedral tour. British breakfasts and lunches are also available. These can be individually purchased.
For bookings or further enquiries please contact our Catering General Manager: T 020 7407 5740
Toilets are located at the West End of Lancelot's Link, the glazed internal street. The Ladies toilets are located in an alcove near the upper Shop entrance. The Gents toilets are located down the steps towards the nave of the Cathedral on the right-hand side [Charges apply]. There is also an accessible toilet at the West end (RADAR key controlled). This toilet also has a baby changing facility. For those buying food or drink, the Cathedral Refectory also has toilet facilities, which are located through the door on the right-hand side at the far (street) end of the room and then down a flight of stairs.
We look forward to receiving your booking in due course. In the meantime should you wish to discuss any aspect of the above, or require any additional help in arranging or planning group visits to Southwark Cathedral please do not hesitate to contact our Visitors' Officer: email@example.com; T 020 7367 6734