Visiting St Cecilia's Abbey

Let all guests be received as Christ (Rule of St Benedict)

Visitors are encouraged to attend Mass and to share in the various services of the Divine Office. These services provide the structure of the Benedictine day, and at St Cecilia’s are sung in Latin in Gregorian Chant, the Church’s most ancient music. Office booklets, with English translations, are provided for those who would like them.

Visitors are also welcome to browse in our small gift shop.

Mass is at 9.30am during the week, and at 10.00am on Sundays and Solemnities.



The Garth, adjacent to the monastery, offers self-catering accommodation to those seeking prayer, silence and reflection with God. Retreatants attend daily Mass, and share in the hours of the Divine Office, for example Vespers or Compline. They can pray in the Church or at the Garth, where there is also a library offering a range of books for lectio divina. After a preliminary visit, young women who desire to seek God in Benedictine monastic life may apply to spend some time inside the enclosure.

Retreat enquiries and bookings by email or letter to the Guest Mistress please



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St Cecilia’s Abbey, Appley Rise, Ryde, Isle of Wight, England PO33 ILH

Registered charity 1088086


How to reach St Cecilia's Abbey

By rail:

Book your ticket to Ryde Pier Head or Ryde Esplanade. Train to Portsmouth Harbour; crossing by catamaran (15 mins) to Ryde Pier Head; train (three mins) along the pier to the Esplanade. Taxis are sometimes available at the Pier Head; taxis are available at the Esplanade.

Sometimes it is quicker to alight at Portsmouth & Southsea and take the Hoverbus to Southsea Hoverport, and then the hovercraft (10 minutes) to Ryde Hoverport.   There are usually taxis available outside the Hoverport, but it is only five minutes’ walk from the Hoverport to the Abbey.

If walking from the Esplanade (20 mins), turn left on leaving the station. Continue along the sea front until you reach a boating lake on your left and a roundabout on your right. Cross one road and turn up Appley Rise. The gate to the Abbey is a short distance up, on the left.

By coach:

To Portsmouth – then crossing by catamaran.
or To Southsea – crossing by hovercraft (10 mins).
Instructions for walking are the same as above.

By car-ferry:

Portsmouth to Fishbourne (35 mins); 20 min drive to Ryde.
Southampton to East Cowes (1 hour); 30 min drive to Ryde.
Southampton to West Cowes (high speed – 22 mins); 45 min drive to Ryde.
Lymington to Yarmouth (30 mins); 50 min drive to Ryde.
(Reservations for the car-ferries need to be made in advance.)

The car ferries also take passengers, but the bus journeys to Ryde take much longer than by car.