Extending a Christian welcome to all has been an important part of the Cathedral’s mission since it was founded in 1096, long before the term ’accessibility’ was first used. We aim to build accessibility into everything we do and to make continuous improvements within the constraints of our medieval buildings and as our resources permit.
We appreciate that some people may need extra help and advice to make the most of their time spent at the Cathedral.
If you want more information or have any requests do please contact us (at Norwich Cathedral Office, 12 The Close, Norwich, NR1 4DH (01603 218300).
Once in the Cathedral and precincts, Cathedral staff and volunteers are identifiable by their badges of the Norwich Cathedral Priory Cross – a black cross on a white background – which was given to this Cathedral by Henry VIII. Additionally, Cathedral Guides wear a green sash whilst on duty. Please contact a member of staff or a volunteer if you have any particular needs.
Our welcoming style to all worshippers and visitors is responsive to need. We value everyone who comes to the Cathedral and, although we recognise some have greater need for assistance than others, we do not want to embarrass, patronise or offend. Please do not hesitate to ask for help either in advance or during a visit. We will do our best.
The Cathedral is a medieval building and it is not always possible to provide all the facilities that we would wish. For example, it is currently, not possible for a wheelchair user to visit the Treasury or Cloister Garth (grass) or Broderers' Workshop.
If you feel that any of the information in this section has not dealt with your special requirements we will be pleased to answer any queries or concerns that you may have. We are continuously looking to improve accessibility and facilities for people with special needs.
Please see our site plan of the Cathedral and Close.
We can make special arrangements for disabled groups. Please apply in advance to Susan Brown (01603 218300).
Special Schools should apply in advance to the Education Department (01603 218320).
Please inform one of the stewards or vergers if you are unable to go up to the altar so that we can make special arrangements. The vergers (01603 218325) can be contacted in advance.
Level access into the Cathedral is available through the Hostry which is open 0930 to 1630 Monday to Saturday. At all other times level access is through the Cathedral South Door and a life gives access via the West Door.
There is wheelchair access to the Refectory Restaurant and Coffee Shop, Library, Hostry Education and Visitor Centre and Gift Shop. Please see our site plan.
We have a small number of wheelchairs available for free loan to visitors for use within the Cathedral and Close. Please contact the vergers (01603 218325) in advance of your visit.
Blue Badge parking
Limited parking is available for vehicles bearing an official Blue Badge - see site plan. Disabled parking permits will be issued by the gatekeepers for a duration of two hours on a first-come, first-serve basis.
A space is provided at the South Door for a minibus carrying disabled passengers. Minibuses must book this space in advance through the Cathedral Estates Manager (01603 218309).
Toilets - suitable for wheelchairs and baby changing
A wheelchair accessible toilet with baby changing facilities is situated on the lower floor corridor of the Refectory Restaurant and Coffee Shop - see site plan.
A ramp can be provided to the Presbytery if you ask a verger on arrival.
Following the opening of our new Hostry Visitor and Education centre level access is now available to the Cathedral and all other areas save the Cloister Garth (grass). The Hostry is open 0930 - 1630 Monday - Saturday. Outside those hours and on Sundays there is ramped access to the north west door of the Cathedral and level access without a ramp through the south door.
Wheelchair accessible lifts
One lift in the Refectory building serves the
- Refectory Restaurant and Coffee Shop,
- wheelchair accessible toilet in the Refectory lower floor corridor.
Another lift in the Hostry Education and Visitor Centre links the
- Hostry ground floor which provides level access to the Cathedral and also the Exhibition Room, Education Room and Locutory interpretation area.
- Hostry first floor with the Weston Room and Song School.
Those with impaired vision
We realise that the light levels in the Cathedral can appear low, especially on dull days. Increasing the light level is easily done by a Verger, who can be contacted via a volunteer on the Welcome Desk or a Cathedral Guide.
Visitors with impaired vision are encouraged to touch the many different shapes and surfaces around the Cathedral and precincts. Some of our more interesting carvings, such as the misericords (monks' seats) in the Choir, are behind ropes which can be moved on request.
Care is needed on the uneven floors (including some tombstones) and steps. Wherever possible we have edged the steps with a contrasting colour.
Large-print editions are available for Discover Norwich Cathedral – an exciting trail around the building, written in partnership with ‘People First of Norfolk’.
Tactile tours can be arranged. Please contact Susan Brown (01603 218300) for adults, or the Education Department (01603 218320) for schools.
Assistance dogs are welcome and can be provided with water on request.
The hard of hearing or deaf
An induction loop has been installed in the Cathedral; hearing aid users should adjust their aid to T. The loop system covers the Nave, Choir and Transepts. This is unlikely to be of use to visitors except during services and when the sound system is in use.
As yet, none of our guides are trained in sign language, although some special worship events provide this service. However, many of them have experience of guiding with an interpreter. Although the Cathedral is a place of prayer, it can at times be quite noisy, especially when the organ is being practised or tuned. Cathedral guides and stewards will endeavour to compensate for background noise.
An induction loop has also been installed in the Weston Room in the Hostry Visitor and Education Room; hearing aid users should adjust their aid to T.