What is Newcastle Cathedral?
Newcastle Cathedral (also known as St. Nicholas Cathedral) is based in the centre of Newcastle. It showcases over 900 years of the city’s development. And its stones have stories to tell!
The mediaeval marvel boasts stunning stained glass and an iconic Lantern Tower. it’s a hotspot for both locals and tourists. Some come to worship and pray. Others visit to admire the architecture and find out about the history of the cathedral.
If you’re in Newcastle, the only cathedral dedicated to St. Nicholas in the UK is a MUST visit. There’s plenty going on. Whether you’re looking for worship, good grub, family fun, or history. Let’s take a look…
What can I do at Newcastle Cathedral?
Lantern Tower Tours
This the most recent addition to the exciting things you can do at Newcastle Cathedral. The Lantern Tower Tours offer an insight into the history of Newcastle, from a height. As the name suggests, you’ll climb right to the top, reaching the iconic Lantern Tower. Here, stunning sweeping city views await. All of this for a mere £10 per person? Yes, please.
Dates have only been announced until 31st July 2022. But keep an eye on the website for future dates!
If you arrive at 2pm on a Thursday, you can take a tour of the cathedral. And there’s no need to pre-book. Tours last around half an hour and are guided by a clergy member. Here, you’ll be able to learn about the Newcastle Cathedrals history.
These informal tours are for all ages. So if you’ve got toddlers or teens, they’re more than welcome!
However, Newcastle Cathedral does have tours designed for children. These take place every Tuesday in school holidays from 2-2:30pm. Your children (and the big child that is YOU) can try on robes, go dragon hunting, and make some awesome art.
The ages for these tours are 3-11. But, the cathedral understands that even 37 year olds still want to go dragon hunting. So they make allowances.
Keep the little ones entertained
Newcastle Cathedral is a family friendly attraction and has tons of activities for little ones.
Little Lanterns offers weekly self-led activities for children aged 0-5. There’s no need to book. Plus, during the school holidays, Little Lanterns runs daily and is suitable for all ages!
Baby Play Baskets are available for Newcastle Cathedral’s youngsters visitors. And for little adventurers, the cathedral has plenty of activity sheets and family trails on hand.
However, the starting point for any family visit is the investigation station. Here, children can use play, craft and sensory materials to explore the cathedral.
Slurp and Snack at Cafe 16
After a day of tours and family activities, it’s good to have somewhere to refuel. Newcastle Cathedral’s Cafe 16 offers fresh food, baked goods, and a variety of hot & cold drinks.
Take home a piece of Newcastle Cathedral – literally!
Of course, there’s a retail space where you can pick up a keepsake. However, Newcastle Cathedral sells gifts that are actually made from parts of the cathedral. From coasters to crosses. So, you can literally take a piece of the cathedral home with you!
Experience a cathedral concert or comedy night
Newcastle Cathedral hosts regular concerts and comedies. Yes, you heard that right. Comedy in a cathedral!
If you’re a fan of classical – you can experience Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Candlelight in the winter months. Or, the Viennese Christmas Spectacular. Alternatively, if you prefer a right good laugh, the monthly Cathedral of Comedy will be more up your street.
You can find out more about Newcastle Cathedral events and book tickets here.
Soak in spiritual sounds
If you’re looking for spiritual sounds, you’re in the right place. Newcastle Cathedral’s Choral Evensong takes place Monday, Tuesday & Thursday during term time at 5:30pm. As well as Sundays at 4pm.
Organ recitals also take place on Monday at 1:05pm.
Find a new home for your weekly worship
Newcastle Cathedral is a great place to call home for weekly worship. Looking for a sacred space to pray and praise? Check out the cathedral’s weekly worship schedule.
They also have a special event calendar. So, if you’re thinking about visiting for Christmas carols or Easter celebrations, be sure to have a browse.
- Newcastle Cathedral has level access via the West Entrance. This entrance can be found on St. Nicholas Street opposite Tup Tup Palace nightclub.
- The West Entrance has an automatic door which is wheelchair accessible
- The North and South Entrance have stepped access only.
- Newcastle Cathedral’s East Entrance can only be accessed via a steep cobbled lane. Therefore, it may not be totally suitable for some wheelchair users. However, the entrance itself is not stepped.
- There are 2 accessible toilets within the cathedral.
- One of the disabled toilets is located in the main cathedral. This can be accessed via the North Nave Door by level ground. The other accessible toilet is downstairs and can be accessed via lift.
- Both disabled toilets have baby changing facilities.
- There are 2 disabled parking bays located on St Nicholas Street next to St Nicholas building.
Other Accessibility Information:
- A braille and touch floor plan can be found near the West Entrance.
- The floor is mostly level at the west end of Newcastle Cathedral. Although there are some uneven surfaces.
- At the east side of the building, the floor can be uneven. Ramps / Stair lifts are available to help visitors navigate the east and north aisles.
- There is ramped access into St. George’s Chapel. However, the ramp is followed by two steps and a shallow step of 10cm. Handrails can be found on each side of the entrance steps.
- The Quire has ramped access. Although this does involve a step or step down.
- Newcastle Cathedral has self-operating lifts. A lift provides access to the Cathedral Hall and Cafe 16. The Education Centre and Volunteer Centre can also be accessed via lift.
- The Crypt and Lantern Tower are inaccessible to wheelchair users. Both rooms have stepped access via narrow staircases.
- Newcastle Cathedral welcomes assistance dogs. Water can be provided for furry friends on request.
- A hearing loop system is installed in the Nave. This includes the retail area and Quire. Visitors are advised to switch hearing aids to the “T” position when attending Cathedral events.
- There is a wheelchair available to borrow at the cathedral. It’s encouraged that visitors contact in advance if they need this service.
- The building lift cannot be used in the event of a fire. The Welcome Team will help visitors that cannot exit the building independently.
Resources for Disabled Visitors
Newcastle Cathedral also has a handful of resources to support disabled visitors. These include:
- A large print of the audio recording for the Ledger Stone sound and light show, Stories in the Stones.
- A large print guide of Newcastle Cathedral interpretative graphic panels.
- Large print site map.
Looking for more historical sightseeing and tours in Newcastle? Eric suggests taking a guided tour of The Victoria Tunnel. Because, really, what’s cooler than touring a former air raid shelter right in the heart off Newcastle?
Or, are you looking for more FREE family days out in Newcastle City Centre? The Discovery Museum and Great North Museum: Hancock have plenty for kids and adults alike.