One of the most enjoyable experiences of a visit to this magnificent building for young and old alike, never failing to astound and impress any visitor from any part of the world.The single, massive Vestey Tower, named after its benefactors, the Vestey family, replaced the original twin-tower concept for the cathedral after going through several design iterations & has a floor to top height of 101m (331ft).
Open to the public most days, it is accessible by 2 consecutive lifts followed by 108 stairs. Our new lifts can transpiort visitors to the top even more quickly so that they can spend more time enjoying the view. (Please note - Caution MUST be exercised by those with asthma, other chest conditions, heart problems, or those who are pregnant, before deciding whether to ascend such a large number of stairs. There are NO external views of the city available at the intermediary levels)
Twilight Tower (March-October)
Each spring, we open the tower on Thursday evenings for our spectacular Twilight Tower experience. Through the summer, the tower can be open as late as 10pm, allowing visitors to take in a spectacular view of the city and beyond as the sun sets and the lights go on. Final ticket times vary according to sunset times. The dates and times for 2014 can be found here. (Tickets can now be ordered on-line)
Limited access to Tower during Bell-Ringing
For Health & Safety reasons it is not possible to allow the public into the Tower during times whenever the bells are being rung and to assist you in planning your visit, and avoid disappointment, a timetable of known times when access may be limited, plus ticket sale times for 2014 can be downloaded here. The list is always subject to change due to the injection of special services/events in the Cathedral which may require bell-ringing.
Some of the main dates affected by bell-ringing are as follows
- Friday 27th June – Tower closes at 3.30pm (Last Ticket 3pm) (Wedding Bell Ringing)
- Saturday 28th June – Tower opens at 11am (rather than 9am) (Ringing for the Armed Forces Service)
- Wednesday 2nd July – Tower closes at 3pm (Last ticket 2.30pm) (Radio 3 Evensong)
- Saturday 5th July – Tower closes at 3.30pm (Last ticket at 3pm) (RLPC Concert)
- Sunday 6th July – Tower Closed all day (Ordination Service & event ringing)
- Sunday 20th July – Tower Closed all day (Bell Ringing Peel attempt)
How many people does it take to change a light bulb?
Well, in our case – more than one! The huge chains used to lower the great central chandeliers (965kg/19cwt each) to the Cathedral floor (over 52m/170ft) can be seen just before you enter the second lift - just to change the bulbs! It takes a team of at least 5 people and a whole day to carry out this skilful operation.
The journey from the 2nd stage lift brings you to the bell tower itself from where you begin ascending 108 steps. This chamber houses the highest (67m/219ft) and heaviest (31.5tonnes/31 tons) ringing peal of church bells in the world.
The main roof section (101m/ 300 ft) above ground floor level and over 150m(500ft) above sea level offers panoramic views across the city as it spreads like a giant jigsaw of buildings, roads, parks and other landmarks.
- Northwards you may just see Blackpool Tower and the Big Dipper approx 80km (50 miles) away.
- Westward, the beauty of the Welsh Hills, whilst eastward the Pennines rise against the city outline.
- South-eastwards, see the circular Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, 800m (half a mile) away.
- Southwards, follow the river line to the Runcorn Bridge, the local gateway to the county of Cheshire.
As you descend from your trip, drop in to the Elizabeth Hoare Embroidery Gallery (entrance fee included in the attractions ticket price)
Can't get to the top, or just curious what's out there?
Get an excellent taste of the views on offer before you ascend to the top by watching the large TV screen at the entrance to the tower on the Ground Floor, or, if you cannot negotiate lifts or stairs then feel free to browse the views using our unique camera facility.
You can sweep around to view the River with its famous landmark waterfront of the 'Three Graces', including the Liver Building and a little further along the docklands, the Albert Dock as well as out across the city itself catching many of its amazing buildings and in particular our sister cathedral, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.
Twilight images courtesy of www.rondaviesphoto.com