Explore & discover


Take a virtual tour

There are lots of online tours of churches and cathedrals across the UK.

Some are incredibly detailed, like this one of Westminster Cathedral in London. The tour shows you the grand public areas, as well as giving you a glimpse behind the scenes

Westminster Cathedral is a supreme achievement of art with many distinguished works of artistic merit. This Catholic cathedral was built between 1895 and 1903 and has the highest (34 metres) and widest (18 metres) nave in the country. Over a 100 different kinds of marble, from more than 24 different countries, decorate the building.

Try and explore all the nooks and crannies, don't forget to zoom into the detail.

Take the tour with eyerevolution

Virtual visits

Many cathedrals and churches have created virtual visits and 360 tours.

We have created a page on our website to try and list them all.

Click here to enjoy other virtual visits

Outgoing outsides

If you are able to venture out, why not walk to your local church and look at the churchyard and outside of the building.

What is it made of? Can you tell what shape it is from outside, does it have a tower or spire? Look carefully at any carvings. You might be able to spot faces, or animals, or maybe even something funny or rude!

Why not take a pad and pencil and make some sketches.

See what you might find on our OUTGOING OUTSIDES page

Find a yew tree

As ancient as they are beautiful, yew trees have been planted and cared for in churchyards over many hundreds of years.

Some are thought to be thousands of years old.

Watch actress Judi Dench discover an ancient yew tree in Surrey, and then go off in search of your own.

Read about the oldest yew trees found in churchyards

Discover different buildings

Church buildings come in all shapes and sizes.
Take a guided tour around a few church buildings belonging to different Christian denominations in England and Wales.

What makes them different? What do they have in common?
What art is in each building? What are the windows like?

Visit different churches and chapels, from RE:quest

Identify trees in a churchyard

Churchyards are often full of trees, of all different kinds. Most famous are probably the Yew tree and the Oak tree.

Why not use this unbe-leaf-ably clear guide from Scouts UK to identify leaves and trees that you find.

You could collect some fallen leaves, make a drawing or painting or take photographs. You could also learn more about each tree online when you get home.

Let us know your favourite churchyard tree on social media using #explorechurcheskids

Leaf guesser to download, from Scouts UK

Find a geocache

Geocaching is a hobby that’s taken the whole world by storm. It’s a modern, global treasure hunt. People hide boxes, tubes or something more secretive, often full of treasure, and you go out and find them using an app on your smartphone. Follow the co-ordinates on a map to find the box, you can also see clues if you need help.

In the UK there is a special series of geocaches called Church Micros. Hidden in, around or near churches, there are over 12,000 to find.

Unleash your hidden treasure hunting adventurer!

See what's near you, visit the geocaching website

Seek out the church puss

Churches, chapels and meeting houses are not just loved by hoomans, but by our four legged friends too. Many churches, cathedrals, chapels and meetings houses have a 'church cat'. They might be in permanent residence or just passing through.

Head down to your local church and churchyard and see if you can find the church cat!


Meet your ancestors

Churchyards are a ‘who's who' of your area. If you live when your family has lived for generations, they are also a record of your family history.

Gravestones can tell you someones name, what they did, if they had children and more. Why not go in search of your family name in a churchyard. You might find your grandparents, and their parents and maybe even further back.

You might be standing on the exact spot where your ancestors stood!


Go stargazing

It's as simple as looking up. Churchyards are often places away from light pollution, so you should get a better view of the stars. At remote churches the skies above are amazingly dark. Views of the Milky Way are fabulous as are views through binoculars and telescopes on moonless nights.

Many stand on high ground, because their towers were designed to soar heavenwards.

Be sure to look up!


Become a Friend of the National Churches Trust, for people who love church buildings!