Dogs Allowed – Canterbury Cathedral

06th July 2023

Canterbury is the latest cathedral to announce it is welcoming dogs this summer.

Canterbury Cathedral has announced that visitors will be able to bring their well-behaved dogs into all parts of the Cathedral building this summer.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs are already welcome in the Cathedral for those visiting or attending services – and dogs have been allowed in the grounds for some time – but this new trial will enable any visitor to bring their canine companion on a lead into the Cathedral itself, in a move that the Dean and Chapter hope will make the world-famous site even more accessible and welcoming to visitors.

The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd David Monteith, said:

“I am delighted to be able to trial this new policy for dogs, and to enable more people to visit because of it.”

Dogs are no strangers to the inside of the Cathedral, though they are usually in the form of paintings or stone carvings at the foot of tombs. Often symbolising faithfulness and loyalty, striking examples of this are on the tomb of Joan of Navarre – wife of Henry IV, the only King to be entombed at Canterbury Cathedral – and on the tomb of Archbishop William Courtenay, who died in 1396.

Water bowls will be available at the Cathedral Visitor Centre and refreshments Kiosk and the Dean and Chapter ask that visitors bring well-behaved dogs, keep them on a lead at all times, and clean up in case of an accident.

Dogs are not allowed at services.

At the end of May, Chichester Cathedral announced it had opened its doors to dogs just in time for summer visitors and now Chichester and Canterbury join Ely, Durham, Lincoln, and Wells in welcoming well-behaved dogs. Wells Cathedral won silver for best dog-friendly café in awards last year and Durham’s volunteers are currently working with the British Guide Dog Trust to ensure a better visitor experience and welcome.

Chichester Cathedral‘s Interim Dean, the Revd Canon Simon Holland, and his Border Collies, Callie and Rae, are delighted with the news.

He said:

“We cannot wait to welcome our four-legged friends into the Cathedral. Dogs are such an important part of our daily lives, bringing so much love and joy to their families. We hope that by making the Cathedral a dog-friendly space, our visitors will be able to make more meaningful memories with their canine companions.”

Water stations and treats are available at different points across the cathedrals.

All our cathedrals welcome assistance dogs.