Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Wells

  • Published 2020/06/05

Often described as the smallest city of England, Wells is a ravishing cathedral city located in Somerset, England. The city is renowned for its exceptionally preserved ecclesiastical quarter. Wells has been a vital church city from as early as the 8th century. The city is named after three wells dedicated to Saint Andrew in the Market Place and Bishop’s Palace and cathedral. The picturesque town has phenomenal buildings of medieval architecture and cobblestoned streets. Wells is full of history and culture with many buildings and places showcasing the great English antiquity and tradition. The town also has truly dazzling Mendip Hills that offers a breathtakingly unbelievable view of the city. Wells has been a filming location for popular shows and movies like Doctor Who, The Canterbury Tales, Hellboy, and many more. The town is a popular tourist destination and offers several other attractions and activities to explore and do around the city. Here are the best things to do in Wells, England.

Visit The Magnificent Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral

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Located in the heart of the medieval city of Wells, Wells Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral devoted to St Andrew the Apostle and seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The cathedral has been called “most poetic” and “unquestionably one of the most beautiful” cathedrals of all time. Wells is known as a cathedral city because of Wells Cathedral. The magnificent cathedral was the first Gothic-style cathedral in all Europe without the Romanesque work. It is a Grade I building and has received many Tourism Excellence Awards. The amazing tranquil ambience of the cathedral is undoubtedly going to relax your mind and soul. It is also dog-friendly, so you bring your pooch here as well. The ravishing cathedral also offers free guided tours by passionate and informative volunteers that tell all the quirks and history of the place. The premises also has a cafe that serves delicious treats and amazing English cream teas. The cafe also serves treats and biscuits for the pooches that come to visit.

Take A Stroll To Appreciate The Beauty Of The Town

wells river

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Walking is one of the best ways to explore any city. Wells is the smallest city of England, and this makes it perfect for exploring it on foot. You can stroll around the town to take in the scenic glory and medieval architecture in the picturesque city and discover what the city has to offer. You can find the town’s little secrets that you wouldn’t have known if you were exploring the city in any other way like every other tourist. Long walks with clean air and beautiful streets of Wells will definitely refresh your mind and body.

Pay A Visit To Bishop’s Palace

Bishop's Palace

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The home of the Bishops of the Diocese of Bath and Wells for almost about 800 years, Bishop’s Palace is located adjacent to the Wells Cathedral. This stunning medieval palace is surrounded by a moat, fortified walls, and mute swans that add to the charm of the estate. The mute swans are world-famous, and they ring the bell whenever they want to be fed. This 14-acre palace is a Grade I listed building and has spectacular traditional gardens with contemporary sculptures in it. There are a medieval vaulted Undercroft and Long Gallery that displays the portraits of Bishops and different exhibitions inside the palace. This dog-friendly palace is perfect for you and your pooch to spend a day just walking and relaxing in the beautiful atmosphere of the ravishing palace. The estate also has a famous cafe named “The Bishop’s Table café”, and it serves delicious and wholesome English food and treats.

Discover the history and Culture at Wells and Mendip Museum

Wells and Mendip Museum

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Located next to Wells Cathedral and Victor’s Palace, Wells and Mendip Museum is a gateway to the history of Wells and Mendip. It was founded by Herbert Balch in 1893 and showcases local history artefacts and memorabilia dating back to the 15th century. Visit this place to get to know about the history of the ancient town of Wells.

Contemplate at St Cuthbert’s Church

St Cuthbert's Church

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Often mistaken for the Wells Cathedral, St Cuthbert’s Church is an Anglican parish church located in the city of Wells in England. It is a Grade I building dating back to the 13th century. The church has also appeared in the 2007 action comedy film, Hot Fuzz. It has a stunning tower made with Somerstone set along with a stately carved roof. The stained glass windows and the decorated ceiling in the church are fantastic. The amount of detailing in the church is gobsmacking. The magnificent architecture of the church will leave you stunned. The ambience of the church is very tranquil, and it will certainly relax you. If you are in Wells, you have to visit this bewitching yet understated church.

The Old Deanery

The Old Deanery

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Dating back to the 13th century, The Old Deanery is a castellated building in the Wells Cathedral. It is a Grade I listed building and is now an office for the Diocese of Bath and Wells. This historic estate offers an insight into the history of Wells and its ecclesiastical past.

Bishop’s Barn of great antiquity

Located in Silver Street, Bishop’s Barn was built in the 15th century and is a Grade I listed building. The quaint and charming Barn is made with local limestones. It was initially built as a tithe barn with 12 bays and arched wind braces and used to store the grain that was paid to the church as tax. The Barn used to be a music venue in the 1970s, it hosted a lot of bands back in the day. Now, the Barn can be booked for hosting private events.

Shop at Wells Market Place

Wells Market Place

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Wells Market Place has been the centre of attention of the city for more than 8 years now. It is located just a few yards away from the Wells Cathedral. The place also hosts a twice-weekly street market on Wednesday and Saturday. It offers an experience of a traditional English street market, and if you are lucky, you can find some bargains here. The artisan stalls offer local produce, food, antiques, clothes, and much more. Wells Market Place also hosts a funfair biannually with many events and activities to participate in. The Wells Market Place is a must-visit place if you are in Wells.

Catch a film at Wells Film Centre

Wells Film Centre is a local cinema that shows the latest movies. The local cinema has comfortable seats and excellent sound quality with great customer service. You can also get popcorns, coffee, and other treats to carry with you inside the theatre. The small film centre has 3 screening rooms inside the building. Be sure to watch a movie in the Wells Film Centre when you visit this quaint town.

The Alluring Mendip Hills

Mendip Hills

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Commonly known as ‘Mendips’, Mendip Hills is an Area of Outstanding Beauty. It is a range of limestone hills and has a wide variety of Flora and Fauna. The Mendip Hills offer a picturesque and aesthetic view of Wells and the rest of the Somerset. The range itself is exquisite and showcases the true beauty of the English countryside. You can walk, hike, cycle, and picnic here. Make sure to visit the gorgeous hills on a sunny day to appreciate the ravishing beauty of it.

Wookey Hole Caves

Wookey Hole Caves

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Located just a 10 minutes drive away from Wells, Wookey Hole Caves are a majestic series of limestone caverns and show cave. This tourist attraction is located in the village of Wookey Holes. The caves have cleverly placed lights inside of them and constant temperature of 11°C. You can also see cheddar cheese maturing down in the caves. Wookey Hole Caves offers several different activities for children like crazy gold and 4D films.

The Historical Vicar’s Close

Vicar's Close Wells

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Vicar’s Close is the only complete medieval street left in England with all the original buildings still there. It is the oldest utterly residential street in Europe with unscathed actual authentic buildings. Vicar’s Close contains several Grade I buildings with 27 residences. It was built to provide residence to the priests of Vicars Choral. This historic paved street is about 140 metres long and is located near the Wells Cathedral. The street showcases stunning medieval architecture and is a visual delight for your eyes. You cannot visit Wells without visiting this charming and ancient street with a wealth of history.

The gorgeous Ebbor Gorge

Located in the Mendip Hills, Ebbor Gorge is a limestone gorge. It covers an area of 63.5 hectares and has grasslands, caves, rocks, and mixed woodlands. You can spot different types of flora and fauna in the gorge. It provides a beautiful view is perfect for taking a relaxing walk.

The impressive Stoberry Park Garden

Stoberry Park Garden is a six-acre garden with a stunning landscape. It overlooks the stunning countryside and cathedral to provide a breathtaking view. You can also eat delicious English food here. The garden is perfect for walking and relaxing on sunny days.

Enjoy A Cream Tea At Milton Lodge Gardens

Milton Lodge Gardens is an 18th-century country house with a stunning botanical garden and 20th-century terraced garden overlooking Wells. You can see several beautiful plants and trees in the Grade II listed garden. You can also enjoy delicious cream teas and homemade cakes here on a beautiful day. The place offers an incredible view of the city of Wells, notably Wells Cathedral and Mendip Hills.

Where to Eat?

Wells high street

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Wells has a fantastic food scene with numerous fabulous restaurants and cafes located throughout the town. The town offers a wide variety of cuisines, but it is known for its British and Mediterranean cuisine along with various vegetarian and vegan options. Some of the most famous eateries in the town are Pickwoods Country Kitchen, Andres Cafe, The Globe Inn, Cafe Piano, Goodfellows, and Tucker’s Fish and Chips. You will find delicious and flavoursome food at these places.

Where to Drink?

wells town

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After a long day of exploring the magnificent city of Wells, you can quench your thirst at the English pubs that the town is famous for. Some of the famous pubs of Wells are Just Ales, Britannia Inn, The Full Moon, and The Crown at Wells. You can have incredible drinks and typical comfort pub food at these pubs and bars.

Where to Stay?

The accommodation is not going to be the problem when you’re in the charming cathedral city of Wells. The city has a wide range of hotels, from budget abiding hotels to luxurious hotels. Some of the best and most comfortable hotels in the town are- The White Hart Inn, Ancient Gate House Hotel, Beryl Country House, Ashford House, and Best Western Plus Swan Hotel. These hotels are at convenient locations and provide many amenities to make your stay more comfortable.

The quaint and lovely cathedral city of Wells is full of culture and history. The city is full of things that you can do and explore. The historic town has it all, be it museums, theatre, hills, palaces, and obviously, the ravishing cathedral. The medieval architecture of the city is definitely worth swooning over. The traditional and beautiful town is definitely going to amaze you with its quintessential English life and the beguiling countryside. What are you waiting for? Visit this magnificent picturesque town to experience the classic English lifestyle.

Catch a Fantastic Comedic Performance at Wells Comedy Festival

The Wells Comedy Festival is one of the best things to do in Wells, Somerset, England.

If you come here in May each year, be prepared for some uproarious laughter at this hysterical festival.

A renowned celebration of British light-hearted comedy, the Festival’s packed program is full of acclaimed comedians from across the UK who will keep you howling all weekend long in venues scattered around Wells itself.

The Comedy Festival usually attracts big-name acts alongside talented up-and-coming comics ready to take their shot at making a name for themselves.

Whether you want to see gags that stop people in their tracks or one-liners that make you cry with laughter, then the Comedy Festival is for you!

Experience England’s Vibrant Arts Culture

A2 Gallery has been established for years and is now under new ownership; it can be found on the bottom end of High Street.

Over the years, this art space has showcased more than100 artists, makers, and craftspeople.

With artwork ranging from unique pieces for less than £10 to upwards of £7000.

A2 specializes in many different forms including fine art, textiles, ceramics, and glassware amongst others.

The gallery also carries a diverse range of contemporary artwork that caters to just about anyone’s tastes.

The vast majority of represented artists are from the South West England area.

But A2 also hosts representation from artists in Scotland, Wales, and all across England plus there are some international talents from the US and New Zealand too.

Celebrate the Highest Quality Local Artisan Produce

When it comes to Somerset food and drink, Wells doesn’t mess around!

The Wells Food Festival celebrates the finest local artisan treats and showcases them alongside street food stalls and to-die-for places for afternoon tea with a difference.

The best foods from all over Somerset will be there for visitors to sample and buy from more than 200 local traders showcasing their items such as cheeses, meats, pieces of bread, and many other local products.

This event takes over Market Place, Town Hall, the recreation ground, and lots of other places in town.

South West local artisan produces will have stalls here as well.

England’s own vineyards will also be showing off their finest vintages along with several exclusive wine tasting sessions.

There’s also a range of more mellow family activities for those after something a little less indulgent.

There are fun family activities to take part in like a discovery zone, children’s zone, an interactive children’s trail, and children’s cookery workshops.

The Wells Food Festival takes place every year on the first weekend in October.

Final Thoughts

With such charming features, Wells just couldn’t help but remain unspoilt for so long.

The cathedral is the center of this city’s historic architecture.

Wells happens to be England’s smallest city due to its Gothic cathedral, yet don’t let that deter you from visiting!

Although it’s tiny, the different architectural features and wonderful locations instantly put you in an amazingly relaxed mood and will make you want to come back for a second visit.

When thinking about what landmarks are worth exploring in this city, remember the names listed here and create your own unique itinerary!

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