Somerset Towns and Villages
Wells Visitor Information Service, Wells Museum, 8 Cathedral Green, BA5 2UE
The historic City of Wells is just a short 45 minute drive from the beautiful City of Bath (UNESCO World Heritage City).
Not many cities the size of Wells can boast so many beautiful landmarks - but that’s probably why it’s a key stop on any tour of Somerset. The smallest city in England, thanks to its incredible Gothic cathedral, Wells blends small-town charm with the confidence of international fame - many international film and TV series continue to be filmed here each year.
Approach from the east and you’ll pass through Old Wells, the streets descending from the soaring Mendip Hills towards Wells Cathedral. Peppered with modern twists, the largely-preserved houses date back hundreds of years and many offer stunning views of the city and Somerset Levels beyond. The cathedral itself stands proudly at the eastern end of the city centre: a unique two-tower design fronted with intricate carvings, it houses bespoke scissor arches in the breathtaking main nave and a 14th-century chain library to explore. Head up the sweeping stone staircase to the octagonal Chapter House, a triumph of ancient design. Stop outside to see the intricate astronomical clock with its whimsical automaton - known as Jack Blandifers - who strikes the bell with his hammers to tell the town of the new time.
Through the bustling marketplace you’ll find The Bishop’s Palace, heart of the city for over 800 years. Tour its carefully-preserved residential buildings, and revel in botanical bliss in the palace gardens. Walled as they always were, the gardens are home to natural springs that originally gave the city water, and the walled banks offer views across the glassy palace moat and cathedral fields. Discover more garden goodness at Milton Lodge Gardens on the outskirts of Wells, a stunning ornamental forest in a narrow valley.
Beside Wells Cathedral you’ll find the unique Vicar’s Close and inviting Wells Museum, where the whole family can learn all about Somerset history and culture through innovative and entertaining exhibits. When it’s time to stop for lunch, Wells is packed with independent options: highlights include Italian at Da Luciano, artisan baked treats at Loaf, and vegetarian delights at The Good Earth.
Minutes from the border of Wells is Wookey Hole, home to the famous Wookey Hole Caves. The whole family will love the prehistoric fun of the dinosaur valley, mystical cave tour and history of the fascinating Wookey Witch. The on-site hotel and resort means you can stay in the middle of the action, just minutes from Wells city centre.
The historic City of Wells is just a short 45 minute drive from the beautiful City of Bath (UNESCO World Heritage City). The 22 mile route heads over the Mendip Hills and opens up a gateway to the one of England's less explored gems - Somerset. Wells makes an ideal destination for a short break or long weekend and has much to see in it as well as providing an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area.
Wells is a medieval city nestling on the southern side of the Mendip Hills with the mystic Somerset Levels stretching away to the south and west. The history of Wells goes right back to Roman times when we know that there was a settlement, probably because of the springs that bubble up here. Wells gets its name from these springs which can today be found in the gardens of the Bishop's Palace.
Wells is the smallest city in England with about 12,000 inhabitants. It can call itself a city because of the famous 13th century Cathedral. It remains remarkably unspoilt and has many other historic buildings including the moated Bishop's Palace, Vicars' Close, St Cuthbert's Church and a good local museum. The Wells Market Place, with lively markets twice a week, the narrow streets and an eclectic mix of building styles all reflect on the continuing development of the town throughout the ages.
The Wells Information Visitor Service located in the Wells Museum can help you with any enquiries you may have. We look forward to seeing you sometime soon in our beautiful medieval City of Wells.
The car is probably the most favoured mode of transport for reaching Wells. The City's main roads are the A39 which connects us to the M5 motorway to the west and contines through to Bath and M4 in the north. The A39 joins the A37 for the road to Bristol and the M4. The A371 connects Wells to Weston-Super-Mare in the west to Wincanton and A303 in the south. Wells has three fuel stations and there are a number of others in the surrounding towns. Our Wells City Map shows the locations of Car Parks, fuel stations and one way streets to help you navigate around the town.
The Automobile Association's Route Planner may be of some help for planning your journey to Wells. It provides maps and detailed information for your routes. We have provided a direct link to the Route Planner page below.
Wells has a number of car parks. The Parkopedia webpage for Wells may have some useful information on parking times/restrictions and prices.
By Local Bus Service
Wells is quite well connected by local buses which regularly run between Wells and the towns of Bristol, Bath, Weston-Super-Mare, Shepton Mallet and Glastonbury.
The First Group Wells Bus Map takes you to a document that clarifies all the bus routes on one map. Schedules and routes may change throughout the year so please check their website for any changes that may have been made recently.
By National Coach Service
National Express is a long distance coach service and is ideal if coming from further afield as they are fast and do not stop at many places along a route. The NX403 service is a direct link between Central London (London Victoria Coach Station) via Heathrow Airport (Terminals 1,2 & 3) and a few other stops to Wells. This coach service terminates in Street.
There are no changes of coach on this route and the journey time from London Victoria Coach Station to Wells as shown on their website takes approx 3 hours and 40 minutes. Having done this journey the reality is sometimes more than 4 hours as there is often heavy traffic in London.
If you are catching this bus from London Heathrow expect a journey time of approx. 3 - 3 ½ hours. If you are arriving at Heathrow terminals 4 or 5 and you are travelling by coach to Wells you will need to make use of the free transfer to terminals 1,2 & 3 via the underground tube line.
There are no direct train services to Wells but there are several choices of station with connecting bus services to Wells.
1) From Bristol Temple Meads railway station catch the 376 bus service to Wells. The bus stops outside the train station. There are no changes of bus along the route and the journey is approx. 1 hour. Click here for the First Group route map of Bristol. The Wells route is shown by a grey line towards the bottom of the page.
2) From Bath Spa railway station catch the 173 bus service to Wells. The Bath bus station is located next to the railway station. There are no changes of bus along the route and the journey is approx. 1 hour 20 minutes. Click here for the First Group route map between Bath and Wells.
3) From Frome railway station catch the 161 bus service to Wells. The Frome railway station is not close to the 161 route and requires a few minutes walk. There are no changes of bus along the route and the journey is approx. 1 hour 10 minutes. Click here for the First Group route map for Frome.
4) Castle Cary railway station is the closest to Wells, approx. 15 miles. However, there are not as many train services compared to Bristol and Bath. There is no regular direct bus service to Wells from Castle Cary. You would need to get to Shepton Mallet and then catch the 161 bus to Wells. Click here for the First Group route map for Shepton Mallet.
Train and bus schedules may change throughout the year so please check their websites for any changes that may have been made recently.
Bristol Airport is our local international airport. On our Wells & Area Touring Map you can find it at the top of the map about 20 miles north of Wells. Bristol Airport has flights to many destinations within the UK and continental Europe and some limited options to the United States, Africa and Asia.
The easiest way to reach Wells from here is to catch an airport taxi unless someone can meet you there. For those who would like to hire their own transport the airport has a number of car hire companies, Avis, Europcar, Hertz and National Car.
There are no direct buses to Wells from the airport but there are two options: If you can get to Weston-Super-Mare you can catch No. 126 to Wells Click here for the First Group North Somerset route map or take the Airport Express coach into Bristol and then change onto a local bus No. 376.
Wells Visitor Information ServiceWells Museum8 Cathedral GreenWellsBA5 2UEUnited Kingdom
T: 01749 671770
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