It can cost a goodly number of pounds to enter a Cathedral on a tour, but whatever your reason for going you will find that it is worth every penny.
Visiting a Cathedral isn't like visiting some kind of tourist trap surrounded by neon lights advertising the wonders therein. A Cathedral visit won't be the 'Right this way, folks!' experience, and you will never see neon lights. They don't need any. Case in point: Salisbury Cathedral!
Isn't she a gem? Isn't she a beauty? I love this angle of her structure, so immense and imposing in the midst of the town - and anyone can go see her! Such a privilege. Masses of people ought really to be lining up to go inside. Instead, there is a respectable trickle of daily sightseers in and out.
If you want the real Cathedral experience, the thing to do is to attend a worship service. Choral Evensong is my favorite, featuring the magnificent Cathedral Choir singing right the way through the Psalms and the Gospel, the Confession, the Benediction. Going to a worship service costs nothing in monetary terms. But you will see a depth there, and quite possibly a Calling that might cost you your ego - if you listen well.
It isn't the structure that does this, of course, but the Word of God spoken/sung there, and wherever that happens - be it a tiny Baptist church or a magnificent British Cathedral - we risk the loss of our own selfishness. And that is the miracle.
One day, if I am given the chance, I will visit each Cathedral in the United Kingdom and watch for that miracle at Evensong. Each Cathedral will be abundant in riches and history, artifacts and antiquities. But the moment I'm looking forward to the most is that moment in which the Choir - the men and women, boys and girls - glide up through the Nave and into their candlelit seats to sing their hearts out to the One who made it all happen.
See you along the Way!