BA5, Wells



What to do in Wells

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.

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Road Directions

How to get to Wells

By car: Approach from the M4 by exiting at Junction 18 towards Bath, then continuing on either the A39 or the A37 towards Wells.  

By train and bus: Main line trains terminate at Bristol Temple Meads station, where local bus services run directly to Wells. Alternatively, catch a train to Bath Spa or Castle Cary stations and connect to Wells via local bus services.

By air: Bristol Airport is around 18 miles from Wells. Buses run from Wells to Bristol Bus Station, from which you can catch an airport transfer bus.



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