CATHEDRAL staff have welcomed news the historic building is among the country's top ten tourist attractions.

Worcester Cathedral was named the ninth favourite free-to-visit attraction in a survey of 1,000 people by National Express coaches.

The centuries-old building, home to the tombs of King John and Prince Arthur, also came top of the country's favourite cathedrals list.

Last year, the cathedral welcomed a whopping 318,000 visitors – in addition to those attending services.

Les West, cathedral steward, said: "We are very pleased to be voted number nine of the best free attractions to visit in the country by National Express coaches.

"For centuries worshippers, pilgrims and visitors have made their journey to Worcester Cathedral to gain inspiration and to experience this special place, and we are pleased that people are still experiencing this.

"It is very important to us, as we strive to give our visitors as good an experience as we can – both on their first visit and on any return visit.

"We provide many different things: the building's outstanding beauty, historical experience and importance, but we also put on a lot of activities for all ages as part of our visitor experience.

"It is nice to be recognised that we are doing a good job."

Visitors to the cathedral can explore the ancient structure alone or take a guided tour, while those with a head for heights can scramble the 235 steps up the tower.

Interactive information boards are placed in the main building and crypt, while tech-savvy guests can download a trail app on their mobile phones to learn about the cathedral's history.

Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express, said: "It can be expensive keeping kids entertained over half term do so we’ve pulled together a list showing people how they can make the most of the holidays for free.

"There’s no end of incredible sights to soak up in Worcestershire for free but we hope our list inspires people to visit somewhere new."