York Minster celebrates highest number of visitors on recent record in 2019

York Minster numbers
York Minster welcomed a record number of visitors in 2019 Credit: PA

Last year York Minster welcomed its highest number of visitors on recent record, according to figures released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)on Wednesday 15 July.

The cathedral opened its doors to 706,484 people in 2019, to worship and explore the historical building. That's an increase of 2% on 2018 and its best visitor numbers on record since new recording practices were introduced in 2011.

It sees the cathedral rise four places to number 53 in ALVA’s annual survey of its UK members’ visitor numbers.

York Minster reopened to sightseeing visitors at the weekend Credit: PA

At the weekend, the cathedral reopened its doors to sightseeing visitors for the first time since 16 March as lockdown measures continue to ease. A number of precautions have been put in place to help keep both staff and visitors safe, including a one-way system and hand sanitiser points. Staff and members of the clergy are wearing face coverings, and visitors are asked to pre-book tickets online.

The cathedral has been welcoming worshippers for private prayer since 16 June and services restarted on Saturday 4 July.

The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York, said:

It's believed last year's visitors were drawn to the cathedral to see the Great East Window, which has undergone recent repair work. The feature is the largest single expanse of medieval stained glass in the country. A total of 22,500 people also visited the cathedral to experience the Northern Lights sound and light projection events which took place last October.

The Minster is currently open for sightseeing visitors from Monday to Saturday between 11am to 4pm and on Sunday between 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

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