For younger children the cathedral might seem a vast and intimidating space. When you arrive we will usually meet you in the Cathedral Barn to welcome your class and talk with them about what to expect and what to look for inside the cathedral. There will be plenty time for the children to have a mid-morning drink and snack, use the toilets and ask any questions before beginning their trail or workshop.

We can also provide a space for you to eat packed lunches.

For Reception children we offer short Mini Visits, which we will plan with you to suit your children and your objectives.

For Key Stage 1 children we are also happy to plan visits to your suit needs, but additionally we offer three standard visits: A Special Place, Story Time, and the Shapes and Spaces Trail.

Mini Visits

Before you bring your class to visit the cathedral we will discuss your objectives with you, and plan the visit to suit your needs. For example, as part of the children's experience of the cathedral you might like them have the opportunity to:

  • Look and wonder at the size of the arches
  • Look and wonder at the height and decorations of the ceiling
  • See the colours in the widows
  • Feel the shapes and texture of the stone and the wood in the columns and carvings
  • Sit in the choir stalls, listen to choral singing, sing for themselves
  • Watch the incense burner being lit and smell the incense
  • Taste ‘special food’
  • Colour a stained-glass window of their own
  • Meet and talk to a member of the cathedral clergy
  • Try on some special clothes that people in the cathedral wear
  • Climb up into the pulpit and speak through the microphone

You might also like to take the opportunity to light candles and include a moment of quiet and stillness, or to bring your own prayers and have a short act of worship. Additionally, sometimes it is possible to arrange for children to hear the organ being played.

Duration This can be to suit you, but 30–45 minutes for a ‘trail’ and 15 minutes for a short act of worship are ideal.

Price £2 per child

Hereford Cathedral: A Special Place

Focus Question Why and how do special places and symbols help people show what they believe?

In this trail the children meet Hugh Hummalot, a friendly vicar choral puppet from the Middle Ages. The children learn something about his clothes and his life in the cathedral, and then they help him to look for some lost toys. Along the way they find water in the font, discover an enormous Bible, climb the steps to the pulpit, kneel on the kneelers, sing in the choir and finish their trail at the High Altar. At each station along the trail, Hugh helps them learn a little bit more about what this special place means to Christians.

The children are given an opportunity to say a prayer and to light a candle for something or someone special.

A Teacher’s Pack for this visit is available from the Education Department on request. This visit is also suitable for Year 3 children.

Recommended workshops to accompany this visit
Stained Glass Windows

Duration About 45 minutes

Price £2.50 per child

Story Time

Focus Question Why are holy books special?

This is a story workshop based on ‘Godly Play’. Children sit in a circle and watch, listen and speak their thoughts as a Bible story is played out in front of them. They are encouraged to wonder out loud about the action as it unfolds. In this way the children make the story their own, and are encouraged to think about what it means for them.

Duration About 45 minutes

Price £2.50 per child

Shapes and Spaces Trail

The architecture of the cathedral lends itself perfectly to a shape and space trail. Children explore the cathedral to find familiar and not-so-familiar 3D and 2D shapes and spaces.

Additionally, they look at the tower from the outside and wonder what keeps it standing, then they look at the arches that are underneath the tower inside the cathedral. They learn that Hereford Cathedral once had two towers, but one fell down, and that the supporting arches of the remaining tower had to be rebuilt to stop that one falling down too.

The children also build models of the cathedral out of chunky, 3D wooden puzzles that have been made for us by attendees at the St Owen Centre in Hereford.

Duration 60 minutes

Price £2.50 per child