Salisbury Cathedral has been a place of worship, welcome, and hospitality for over 800 years. Its Spire, the tallest in the country and a feat of medieval engineering, rises to a breath-taking 404ft/123m, guiding travellers, merchants, and pilgrims to the historic city.

Salisbury Cathedral

Wiltshire

Churches & Cathedrals

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From the centuries old centre of the Anglican Church to one of the newest Cathedrals in England, South East England's Cathedrals allow us to delve into English history, discover stories of old, marvel at the stunning architechture, enjoy both splendor and serentiy and find out how these iconic buildings that litter the South East cities and towns fit into the history of the destination and a nation. 

Whether you choose to visit Jane Austen or William the Conqueror resting places, walk the UK leg of the famous Camino de Santiago or the Old Way in search of Thomas Becket’s shrine, follow in the footsteps of the British Royal Family, you are sure to visit one of the magnificant Catherdrals or historic churches in the South East along the way.  British history and religion are inter-twinned and it is difficult to discover one without the other.

Why visit a cathedral?

No cathedral sightseeing day out in England would be complete without visiting Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, where at this magnificent structure you will learn about the fundamental role it has played in the history of Britain. It has the greatest length of any gothic cathedral in Europe and is the final resting place of Jane Austen.

Or the centre of the Anglican Church, Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, one of the oldest and greatest cathedrals in England. It's been the spiritual head of the Church of England for nearly 500 years and been granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1988.  There are actually three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canterbury, the Cathedral with its stunning mixture of Romanesque and Perpendicular Gothic architecture, the modest Church of St Martin (the oldest church in the English-speaking world) and the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey, once a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent.

Dating back in 1218, Salisbury Cathedral has been a place of worship, welcome, and hospitality for over 800 years. Its Spire (the tallest in the country and a feat of medieval engineering) rises to a breath-taking 404ft/123m, guiding travelers, merchants, and pilgrims to the historic city.

While you are in Kent be sure not to miss Rochester Cathedral, England’s second oldest cathedral, dating back to the year 604. The old meets the new with ancient history brought to life by ancient visits and entry to the cathedral is free of charge.

In complete contrast, less than 100 years old, Guildford Cathedral in Surrey is one of the newest cathedrals in England. Here you can admire the contrast between the Brutalist brick exterior and the light, soaring gothic arches inside.

Why not make a day of it by visiting a city that has two cathedrals for the price of one, Portsmouth in Hampshire? The city is home to both St John's Catholic Cathedral and the Anglican Cathedral Church of St Thomas.

Over the border in Sussex, Chichester Cathedral has dominated the city's landscape for more than 900 years and is also free to enter. Artefacts range from ancient stone carvings to 20th Century works of art. Chichester Cathedral is part of the 250 mile Old Way Pilgrimage from Southampton to Canterbury. 

Historic Churches

Did you know that St James Church in Reading is departure point for walkers retracing the steps of medieval pilgrims along St James’ Way to Southampton and then on to Galicia in north-west Spain, where they can join the English Way, one of the routes of the world famous Way of Saint James, the Camino de Santiago. 

St George's Chapel in Windsor, was the setting for the marriages of Prince Harry and HRH Princess Eugenie and is the burial place of 10 monarchs including Henry VIII and Charles I and one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. A visit to St George’s Chapel is included in your Windsor Castle ticket or you are most welcome to attend services at St George’s Chapel, which are free to all.

The South East is also home to many churches that tell the story of the history and heritage of the region, none more so than the Churches Conservation Trust that preserves dozens of the region's religious buildings. Browse the list below or use the search box on the left to see what hidden gems you can visit on your trip to the South of England.  

Number of results:

Number of results: 21

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Stonor Park

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Henley-on-Thames

    House built between 12th and 18thC with a 13thC chapel. Has connections with Catholicism and exhibition of the work and life of Edmund Campion, furniture, tapestries and paintings.

  2. Salisbury Cathedral

    Type

    Type:

    Cathedral / Minister

    SALISBURY

    Discover a medieval masterpiece and living church nestled in the heart of a traditional but original city. Salisbury Cathedral is home to one of only four surviving original 1215 Magna Carta and offers exclusive tours of its iconic spire.

  3. St Mary's Church, Itchen Stoke

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Alresford

    A jewel inspired by the chapel of French kings

    St Mary's was built in 1866, by Henry Conybeare for his brother who was the Rector of the church, and felt the previous church was cold and damp.

    He himself bore most of the cost, with the…

  4. Church of The Holy Sepulchre

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Ashington

    A country gem from a gentler era.....

    The setting of this 13th-century sandstone church – with splendid views across to the Iron Age fort of Chanctonbury Ring on the South Downs – is lovely, but the building itself surpasses all expectations.

    T

  5. St James' Church

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Rochester

    St James' Church dates from the late 13th century. No evidence of an earlier building survives. It seems likely that the de Cobham family, who held the manor from 1241, were instrumental in its construction.

  6. Bayham Old Abbey

    Type

    Type:

    Abbey / Priory

    Impressive ruins of Abbey founded 1208 by Premonstratensian monks and dissolved by Wolsey in 1525. Ruins of church buildings and gatehouse, set in valley of River Teise.

  7. St Bartholomew Church

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Reading

    The old flint church of Basildon lies close to the Thames below Goring. The nave was built early in the 13thC, the taller chancel has lovely traceried windows.

  8. St Thomas' Church

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Hungerford

    Alabaster nobles and wall paintings in a rural idyll.

    This simple little church, with pre-Norman origins, stands in an idyllic spot beside a water meadow next to the River Lambourn.

    Its village has long since vanished, but the spirit of the…

  9. Winchester Cathedral

    Type

    Type:

    Cathedral / Minister

    Winchester

    Explore more than 1000 years of history in Europe’s longest medieval Cathedral. Discover the beautiful illuminated Winchester Bible, 12th-century wall paintings, medieval carvings, contemporary art and the awe and wonder of this magnificent building.

  10. Guildford Cathedral

    Type

    Type:

    Cathedral / Minister

    Guildford

    Guildford Cathedral is a modern Cathedral with a beautiful interior and an amazing story.

  11. Hospital of St Cross

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Winchester

    Medieval almshouses, church, ambulatory, Brethren's Hall and kitchen, Master's garden.

  12. St Peter’s, Preston Park

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Brighton

    This simple square-towered church, built from flint rubble, is 800-years old. It stands in the beautiful landscaped park of Preston Manor. Now all looks serene but in 1906 the church was damaged by fire and nearly lost its greatest treasures - its…

  13. St. Thomas a Becket Church

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Capel Le Ferne

    Basically a Norman church from the 14th Century with significant wall paintings of 13th Century on the north wall.

  14. Visit Arundel

    Type

    Type:

    Countryside, Parks & Gardens

    Arundel captures the essence of heritage, urban chic and country pursuits, all within a stone’s throw of London. Experience our market town and you will discover more than you’d expect.

  15. St Peter's Church Sandwich

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Sandwich

    The tower of St Peter's dominates the skyline of this town. A long and eventful history has moulded the character of the building. There was once a Norman church on the site. The present church dates from the late 13th and 14th centuries.

  16. St Mary's Church Pitstone

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Leighton Buzzard

    An unspoilt Medieval atmosphere

    St Mary’s is set on a hillside, below the Chiltern escarpment but above the new village stretching along the valley floor. The building dates from the 13th- and 15th-centuries.

    It has a tall tower, a long nave…

  17. Chichester Cathedral

    Type

    Type:

    Cathedral / Minister

    Chichester

    In the heart of Chichester, a magnificent Cathedral with treasures ranging from medieval stone carvings to world famous 20th Century artworks. Free entry and free guided tours. Exhibitions, concerts and special trails for children.

  18. 1066 Battle Abbey and Battlefield

    Type

    Type:

    Abbey / Priory

    Battle

    Visit the site of one of the most famous battles in England's history – the 1066 Battle of Hastings, and discover the fascinating story of events behind that historic date.

  19. Church of St Peter and St Paul

    Type

    Type:

    Church / Chapel

    Guildford

    An ancient Saxon church in a lovely parkland setting

    This charming, ancient church, dating from Saxon and Norman times, is a flint-walled gem, set amongst the trees of beautiful Albury Park above the gently running River Tilling. It is full of…

  20. Tudor History Tours

    Type

    Type:

    Walking Tour

    Station Parade, Eastbourne

    Unique holidays in Southern England, brought to you by Tudor History Tours, who offer an unrivalled opportunity to bring this period in our nation’s history to life!

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