St Albans Cathedral has the only English 11th century central Cathedral tower still in its original form – and you can climb right to the top.
On Sunday my husband and I went on the Tower Tour, which was £9.50 per person. We met Terry and Barry, who would be our Cathedral guides for the hour. There was about 12 people on the tour which was the perfect size, it meant you could ask questions easily and squeeze through the tiny passages.
We made our way up a narrow staircase and through a passage to the North Transept gallery, where we had the most incredible view of the Rose Window. Grimthorpe rebuilt the original north transept which included an original lancet window, and replaced it with a rose window of clear glass. In 1989 the stunning colour glass by Alan Younger was added and unveiled in 1989 by Diana, Princess of Wales.
Whether you looked up or down you were surrounded by the most incredible views. At 85 metres, St Albans Cathedral has the longest nave in England. Alongside the crest of St Albans the ceiling of the tower is decorated with the red and white roses of the royal houses of Lancaster and York who fought each other in the War of the Roses
We then continued up the stairs before we entered the roof space above the Presbytery Ceiling.
We then climbed a few more stairs (there was 211 in total), to the bell ringing chamber. It is here that the bells of the Cathedral are rung by members of the St Albans Cathedral Society of Change Ringers. We then climbed up a few more steps to the Belfry where we got to see all 21 bells – and also got to see them ringing as the time hit 4pm.
The final few steps then took us to a height of 42metres where we had the most incredible views of across the city. The photos truly speak for themselves.
What an incredible experience, and one I would highly recommend to anyone. Even as someone who is a little afraid of heights I didn’t find it too scary, and as you stop at different points of the tower it really helps to ease you in.