8th August 2016
At the beginning of August we visited Bristol Cathedral with a few other bloggers.The focus of the visit was on the Bristol Cathedral family tours and crafty cathedral activities which take part in the Chapter House.The appeal for me is that I love old buildings of historic interest and visiting somewhere for free is a big bonus when you have three kids.Situated on College Green opposite the back of @AtBristol Science and Learning Centre, Bristol Cathedral dates back to 11th century and archaeological findings date them back to over 1,000 years old.Possibly a coffin lid dating back to over 1,000 years ago.Found buried under the flagstones in the cloisters but believed to be originally from outside the cathedral
We started our visit in the Cloisters looking at stained glass featuring the original Abbots who founded St Augustine’s Abbey before the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII.King Henry had a change of heart and decided to invest in keeping the Abbey which then became a Cathedral.Henry VIII stain glass window
From the Cloisters we moved to the Chapter House, where readings of the bible were originally heard.The brightly coloured decorations are long gone but it doesn’t distract from the stone carvings.The large windows let in lots of light which is a perfect setting for younger children to take part in the crafty cathedral activities.
Crafty Cathedral Activities
As Kip was the only one of my kids old enough to take the roof top and tower tour, Cat and Mouse sat with other blogger’s kids on the craft table for ‘Crafty Cathedral‘ activities that the cathedral is running in the school holidays. There will be a few different craft activities, suitable for all ages, which children just help themselves to.There’s also a garden quiz for kids to find 10 things in the garden.There’s also a sea trail inside the cathedral where children use a trail sheet to find various things as they walk around the building with binoculars and compasses to help with this activity.
The Nave and chapels
Our tour took us through to the nave of the cathedral, where we were guided through different chapels and the altar.Our guide knew a huge amount about Bristol Cathedral and what she didn’t know, she was able to ask one of the curators.Much of the cathedral has been renovated and restored over the years, in particular in the Victorian times.You can see how tastes have changed throughout the cathedral as some of the architecture becomes more flamboyant and experimental.
Photo credit: Heather Cowper1960’s restored stain glass window
Did you know that the cathedral is used for social engagements such as graduations? It was also part of Hilary Mantel’s award-winning Wolf Hall for five out of the six episodes aired by the BBC.There are Wolf Hall tours led by the Cathedral’s Head Guide.More information on hiring Bristol Cathedral .
Cafe Opening hours
As we stood in the cloisters there was an overpowering smell of curry coming from the cathedral café, which serves teas, coffees and soft drinks, and a menu of light meals and snacks, together with home-made scones, pastries and cakes.The cafe at the end of the Cloisters, just past the Chapter House and opens onto a beautifully kept garden, with a courtyard eating area that you can enjoy in fine weather.
Monday to Friday 10 am – 4 pm
Saturday 10 am – 3 pm
I give up trying to get a decent photo of them now
There is plenty of seating in the garden to sit eat and drink
Roof Top And Tower
If you are aged over 12 years old you’ll be able to have a roof tour, where you can climb into the medieval rafters of Bristol Cathedral and look over stunning views of Park Street, Harbourside and Clifton from the top of the Cathedral roof.Looking the harbourside and @AtBristol. You can see the silver top of the Planetarium in the bottom right corner Looking over College Green
You see more from our by searching on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter #BBCath.
I did a Snapchat and Instagram story on the day and spliced them together to make a video.I am very new to making video, so forgive me for it’s not being brillaint.
Cathedral opening hours
The cathedral is open 365 days a year.From Monday to Friday the Cathedral is open to visitors from 8 am until 5 pm.If you want to attend Choral Evensong or Evening Prayer, this starts at 5.15 pm.
On Saturdays and Sundays opening times are from 8 am until 3:15 pm.The Choral Evensong starts at 3:30 pm.
Go to the Bristol Cathedral website for details of special services.
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