The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is the cathedral of York, England, and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the third-highest office of the Church of England, and is the mother church for the Diocese of York and the Province of York. It is run by a dean and chapter, under the Dean of York. The title "minster" is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title. Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.
York Minster is one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals.
Since the 7th century, the Minster has been at the centre of Christianity in the north of England and today remains a thriving church rooted in the daily offering of worship and prayer. The Minster was built for the glory of God. Every aspect of this ancient building - from the exquisite, handcrafted stone through to the unrivalled collection of medieval stained glass - tells the story of Jesus Christ. We invite you to discover this sacred place and the love of God at its heart, which has attracted people from across the globe for more than 1000 years.
Take a journey with our expert tour guides to see hidden spaces normally closed to public access. Hear untold stories about how parts of the Minster were built and the people who made it happen.
Stoneyard & Scaffolding Tours
See the ancient craft skills used to maintain this 800-year-old cathedral. Go behind the scenes at the Minster’s Stoneyard – see our stonemasons at work in their workshop and visit the Drawing Office where every stone of the cathedral is mapped out, before climbing the South Quire Aisle scaffolding (external) to explore the current conservation projects and see exclusive views of the city.
These tours take place on Fridays at 1.30pm (Stoneyard Tour) and 2.45pm (Scaffolding Tour). Both Tours last for around 1 hours and leave from the Stoneyard on Deangate (Stoneyard Tour) or Mason’s Lodge on the South-East side of the building (Scaffolding Tour).
Those interested in these tours must adhere to the Health and Safety guidelines detailed here.
Please note that these tours take place outside of the Minster and do not include a general admission ticket.
Chapter House and Mason’s Loft
Go above the rooftops of York and explore one of York Minster’s architectural gems with our hidden tour of the Chapter House roof and old Mason’s Loft.
Learn how 13th century Masons used a revolutionary engineering technique to create a structure that is one of the wonders of medieval carpentry. View the centuries-old design drawings still visible on the Tracing floor, see Victorian wooden templates and touch timber believed to be nearly 1,000 years old.
These tours take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 11am.
Crypt Passages Tours
A rare opportunity to delve behind the walls of the present-day Crypt, where your expert guide will reveal the foundations of three spectacular cathedrals, built on this site over nearly 1,000 years.
These tours take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11am
Prices and booking
Chapter House and Mason’s Loft – £19 – £21.50pp, which includes general admission and a 12 month pass for York Minster (£10 for York residents, as entry to the cathedral is free all year round with a valid York Card).
Crypt Passages Tours – £14 – £16.50pp, which includes general admission and a 12 month pass for York Minster (£5 for York residents, as entry to the cathedral is free all year round with a valid York Card).
Stoneyard & Scaffolding Tours – £10pp each or a joint trip of £15pp. Does not include general admission ticket.
Book online or by contacting our team on 01904 557200. Tickets can also be purchased from the Minster’s admission desks.
Booking in advance is recommended as spaces are limited to ten people per tour, but tickets may be available on the day. Hidden Minster Tours are only available to those aged 18+