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Access

Access Statement

This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all our guests/visitors.

Introduction

St Albans cathedral is situated on the edge of the town centre. The high street is within 200 meters. The Cathedral is at the top of a steep hill but is downhill from the town centre.

The Cathedral is based on one level although in some areas wheelchair access require the use of lifts or ramps. Access from the Cathedral to the Restaurant is by stairs or using a short external pathway.

Welcomers or information staff are on hand to advise on access and can summon help from virgers to provide access ramps.

We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 01727 860780 or email mail@stalbanscathedral.org.

Pre-Arrival

  • There are two railway stations in St Albans - St Albans City, Station Way, AL1 5HE is 1 mile away and is a 16 minute walk or a short bus journey to the city centre and a 6 minute walk. - St Albans Abbey, Holywell Hill, AL1 2DN is 300metres away and is a 7 minute walk up a steep hill. Seating and covered waiting areas provided. For full travel information visit www.stalbans.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/public-transport/ www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/saa/details. Taxis are also available from both stations.
  • Shopmobility - see www.stalbans.gov.uk/advice-and-benefits/disability/shopmobility/ for full information.
  • Disabled public conveniences in Cathedral area are in - the City Centre adjacent to the Alban Arena car park, Civic Close RADAR keypad - Verulamium Park Causeway adjacent to the Fighting Cocks Public House RADAR keyed - Verulamium Park Changing Rooms, St Michael's car park RADAR Keyed - Verulamium Park, Westminster Lodge running track, end of running track building RADAR Keyed. Other facilities can be found at www.stalbans.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/road-and-pathway-maintenance/Public-conviniences

 Car Parking and Arrival

  • The plan of the Cathedral at the bottom of this page can be downloaded.
  • Entering via the Slype visitor entrance provides access with no steps to reach the main Cathedral areas. Disabled parking and drop off entrance see parking below.
  • Entering via the West End entrance is by foot path only. The paths inside the Cathedral grounds are level and an even surface but some of the paved areas in the park surrounding the Cathedral can be uneven. No drop off points for cars within the grounds but from the road it is a very short walk. The lighting along the paths is limited, but the entrance lighting is good. Individuals in wheelchairs or who have difficulty going up steps can use the lift to the main Cathedral floor level.
  • Entering via the Chapter House is not suitable for wheelchairs gaining access to the Cathedral areas due to a number of steps, visitors should go round to the slype entrance. The Chapter House entrance is the access point to the Abbot's Kitchen restaurant.
  • Access to the restaurant requires leaving the Cathedral via the Slype entrance along a short external pathway and entering through the Chapter House entrance; surface of path is reasonably even.
  • The Cathedral has two disabled car parking spaces for visitors to the Cathedral, entry to these spaces is via Sumpter Yard. These are not Blue Badge spaces and are only for visitors to the Cathedral. There is no charge for disabled parking. Paths from the disabled spaces to the Slype visitor entrance are level but the surface is not even in places; due to cobbles and irregular York stone. Sumpter Yard also provides a drop off point if the spaces are already taken. The lighting in this area is sufficient.

Plan of the Cathedral

Download the Cathedral Floorplan showing Disabled Access Entrances (PDF)

Main Entrance, Reception and Ticketing Area

  • There are several visitor entrances as described in the arrival section. All can accommodate wheelchair users.
  • The interior floor surfaces in the Cathedral are either flag stones, grave stones or various types of tiles. Most surfaces are fairly even but the age of the building means that the Cathedral is on different levels but access to the whole Cathedral can be achieved by using lifts or ramps; some ramps are only temporary but assistance from a virger is available.
  • The West End entrance has wooden exterior doors and a interior glass porch so some additional assistance might be required by those in a wheelchair.
  • The Slype entrance has a heavy wooden door; some additional assistance might be required by wheelchair users.
  • There is no charge on entry but visitors can make a donation to low level donation boxes.
  • Seating is available throughout the Cathedral.
  • There is a hearing loop system for Services and concerts.
  • None of our external doors open automatically.

Attraction (displays, exhibits, etc.)

  • The means of interpretation is by guided tours available free of charge.
  • Signage of main spaces or important artefacts uses large black text on a white background.
  • The interior floor surfaces in the Cathedral are either flag stones, grave stones or various types of tiles. Most surfaces are fairly even but the age of the building means that the Cathedral is on different levels and access to the whole Cathedral can only be achieved by using lifts or ramps; some ramps are only temporary but assistance from a virger is available.
  • There are no doors to be negotiated once inside the Cathedral.
  • The Chapter House has a restaurant and a Library open to the public. The restaurant can be accessed by wheelchair (see arrival section for further information how to get to the Chapter House from the Cathedral) but the Library is not; approximately 26 steps with handrail either side.
  • The lighting varies according to the size of the space (LED or fluorescent / economy bulbs used) some dark corners.
  • The cathedral guides offer touch tours by prior arrangement.

Public Toilets

  • Main toilets are only accessible by ten steps in the Chapter House.
  • The male/female disabled toilet is in the main Cathedral space. Entry is by level access (quarry tiles) through a door 83cm wide, wash basin, soap dispenser and sensor hand dryer at low level. The light switch is low level; good fluorescent light provided. Horizontal and vertical grab-rails are provided at the rear and to the right (facing the toilet). There is 54cm clear space to the left of the WC and the height of the toilet is from floor to seat is 55cm. The toilet has no alarm to call for assistance. If concerned inform a virger to check after a period of time.
  • In an emergency an alarm horn is sounded around the Cathedral and public buildings. No specific alarms or warning lights in the toilet.

Catering

  • Access to the Restaurant is from the Chapter House (see Arrival section for details of entry). Level access once in the Chapter House
  • Easy access through double width doors from the outside and through the double width internal fire doors (144cm). Large spaces for wheelchair access and pushchairs; staff will arrange spaces to accommodate large groups of wheelchairs.
  • Tables accommodate most wheelchairs ; 62cm clear height underneath table.
  • Good lighting provided throughout tiled floor area.
  • Self service style but staff are always available to assist in ordering and serving. Staff will read out menu for those with sight problems.
  • Some dietary requirements catered for; allergen report for meals on sale. Some special dietary requirements require a period of notice to accommodate; it is advisable to check in advance.
  • Table contrasts with crockery.
  • Nearest disabled toilet requires going to the Cathedral. Chapter House toilets require negotiating 10 steps; no special handrails etc in the toilet.

Shop(s)

  • Level access for wheelchairs / pushchairs to the gift and book shops.
  • Background choral/organ music sometimes played in the gift shop.
  • Good lighting in gift shop, reasonable lighting in the book shop, some displays lit.
  • Staff available to assist with viewing and purchase.

Grounds and Gardens

  • Access to the Abbey Orchard (Cathedral Grounds) and Verulamium Park (Public area) via tarmac paths.
  • Lighting along pathways (including Cathedral ground) reasonable (provided by local council)
  • Park benches available.

Additional Information

  • Evacuation plan is in place (this includes during daytime or special events and concerts in the evening).
  • All dogs welcome- no drinking water or other facilities provided but staff would provide water for assistance dogs on request.
  • Space for parking mobility scooters, these can enter the Cathedral provided that the speed is that of a slow walk. No charging facilities
  • Signage is either black text on white background or white text on dark grey background.
  • Cathedral box office provides telephone service for booking concerts if online booking or attendance is difficult.

Future Plans

  • Our HLF project in 2018/2019 will provide one level access from the Cathedral to the restaurant without needing to go via external route. The library and education centre (both adults and children) will have disabled toilet facilities and lift access.
  • Signage will be improved throughout the public areas.
  • Touch tours and other special tours to be further developed.

Contact Information

Address (Inc postcode):

Sumpter Yard Holywell Hill St Albans AL1 1BY

Telephone:

01727 860780

Email:

mail@stalbanscathedral.org

Website:

www.stalbanscathedral.org

Hours Of Operation:

0830-1745

Local Equipment Hire:

Shopmobility - see www.stalbans.gov.uk/advice-and-benefits/disability/shopmobility/ for full information.

Local Accessible Taxi:

Taxis are available from both stations.

Local Public Transport:

For full travel information visit www.stalbans.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/public-transport/ www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/saa/details.

Plan your visit

Download our brochure

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