This section will help you to plan your visit to Bristol Cathedral. For a full report on accessibility please see the AccessAble website.
The Cathedral was originally a medievel abbey, which later became a Cathedral so, like many historic buildings, there are some issues with access and safety.
Main Body of the Church
There is wheelchair access to the nave through the main porch doors and the cloister entrance. The doors are automatic and there are metal blue push plates for entry and exit. There are ramps which enable a wheelchair user to access the east end of the Cathedral, but it is not possible to directly get down to the cloister, Chapter House and café as there is a flight of stairs.
South Range Access (Cloisters, Chapter House, Garden, Café, Accessible Toilet)
The South Range is not directly accessible to wheelchair users from the church part of the Cathedral, as there is a flight of steps. If you are a wheelchair user and wish to access the South Range, you need to go back outside the Cathedral, under the arch of the Cathedral Gatehouse building and up the driveway into the Cloister car park, and in through the large glass doors in the far corner. There is a metal blue push plate for access via automatic doors.
The Cloisters are largely accessible, albeit with a single step down and back up again along the length.
There are two steps back up into the Chapter House. A portable ramp can be made available on request from a Verger to enable access to the Chapter House.
There is a single step up into the slype passage which connects the cloister and the garden. The patio area of the garden is then level access, but there is a flight of steps up to the main garden which prevents wheelchair access.
At present there is no direct wheelchair access into the Café itself. There is an outside seating area on the patio are of the garden (see above)
All the toilets, including an accessible toilet and baby change, are located at the end of the Cloister. Access to the toilets from inside the Cathedral involves 12 shallow steps around a corner. Level access to the toilets is around the outside of the building. Please see the map below showing the route. When on site, please ask a member of staff or volunteer if you would like assistance with this route.
Alternatively, during the daytime there is an accessible toilet available at the Central Library, which is next to the Cathedral and physically closer if you are coming from the church.
We understand that this arrangement is not suitable long term, and we are working on a permanent alternative solution.
All visitors should note that the Cathedral floors are uneven, and include gratings. In places the floor level changes abruptly and care needs to be taken. Blind or partially sighted visitors, or those who have mobility issues, may need to take extra care. The areas where the floor level changes are the quire, the north and south choir aisles, the south transept, and the cloister, outside the Chapter House. Please use the handrails provided in the cloister.
- If you want to see what the Cathedral is like before you visit, try our virtual tour.
- For information on the nearest car parks please see the section on 'How to find us'.
Attending services and events
- If you are attending a large musical event or service at the Cathedral and are a wheelchair user, please let us know in advance and we can create a suitable seating space within the main nave area.
- If you are attending a service we provide large print versions of our service sheets and News and Notes leaflet. Please ask the Stewards as you enter the building. If you need a service sheet or other information in braille please contact the Music Administrator at least three weeks before the event in question, and it may be possible to order a braille order of service.
- If you are deaf or hard of hearing we have a loop system in the main Cathedral, and in the Cathedral's Chapter house. We would recommend sitting nearer the front, as the sound quality is poorer towards the back of the Cathedral.
If you are planning a visit and would like more detailed information in advance about access to the Cathedral please contact the Executive Assistant on 0117 946 8185.