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Wells

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Somerset : Wells
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Understand[edit]

Wells is the smallest city in England, with a population of around 10,000. It is in Somerset in the South West of the country. The city is dominated by the magnificent Gothic cathedral and is famous for its remarkably intact ecclesiastical quarter. This area contains the Bishop's Palace - the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells - and the Vicar's Close, a mediaeval street purported to be the oldest continuously-inhabited street in Europe. The city takes its name from the water wells that are in the Cathedral grounds.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is Bristol International Airport, around 20 miles away. You can hire a car at the airport or catch the bus into Bristol itself in order to catch a bus to Wells. In common with many rural towns, Wells has no train station.

By car[edit]

If you are driving from Bristol, take the A37 south until you reach the A371, then head west into Wells. If you happen to be coming from Bath, take the A39 west into the A37, and then on to the A371 west into Wells.

By bus[edit]

There is an hourly bus service, number 376, from Bristol. Get on at Bristol bus station or at Bristol Temple Meads rail station. This service is run by FirstGroup. Always check the up-to-date timetables which can be found here[1]

Get around[edit]

The city is so small that unless you have a medical condition you should have no trouble walking everywhere. If you would like there are taxis but these would only be useful making forays into the countryside (beautiful, by the way) or to nearby Cheddar, but these are accessible by bus, as well.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Bishop's Palace, (More or less in the middle of the city, close to the Cathedral). The Bishop's Palace is surrounded by a moat and has swans that have learned how to ring a bell for food. The gardens are pleasing and even include small banana trees. The older buildings are now ruins but there remains the more recent structure that contains various artworks, furnishings and such-like. Lovely. £7 (2014).  edit
  • Wells Cathedral and its Grounds. Wells Cathedral is the only cathedral in England that still has a Vicars Close and Bishop's Palace intact (so they claim). This makes it a must-see and a will-see, as it rises above the town and is visible for miles! The most distinctive thing about this cathedral is the scissor arches in the transept. These modern-looking arches were built in the 1300s to stabilise the structure after a heightened tower was added, and they face north, south, and west. donations welcome.  edit
  • Wells Museum, (Opposite the cathedral). It portrays the history of the city.  edit
  • St Cuthbert's church. Wells is home to St Cuthbert's Church, the largest parish church in Somerset which dates back to the 12th century. Perhaps the most striking feature of the church is the sixteenth century painted roof/ceiling.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Well's carnival. Takes place every November and it's full of illuminated floats. Don't miss it.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Every Wednesday and Saturday there is a market in the Market Place with all kinds of local art, jewellery and other goods.
  • High Street and the Market Place are probably the best places to shop in Wells.You'll find W H Smith, and many other shops. Several shops open on Sundays.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There is a bunch of restaurants in the centre of Wells and around it. No matter what you like, if Italian, Chinese, Indian or traditional English, you'll find somewhere. To figure out what's best, go to the tourist office within the town hall to get a leaflet about all the restaurants in the city.

  • Goodfellows, 5 Sadler Street (Opposite the market cross), 01749 673866, [2]. Excellent seafood restaurant and cafe during the day. Service and menu top notch.  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

There are a nice pubs in Wells. The Rose & Crown has some nice ales and a great beer garden, but it can get quite busy on weekends. The City Arms has some great food, but it's quite quiet in there and lacks the pub atmosphere. The Crown has a great atmosphere and it's a great pub. The King's Head is not very good; overpriced, overcrowded and full of people you probably don't want to see on your holiday...

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Best Western Swan Hotel (BA5 2RX), Sadler Street, Wells, Somerset, 01749 836300, [3]. checkin: 1400; checkout: 1100. 15th century coaching inn with 50 bedrooms located opposite Wells Cathedral £134.  edit


Get out[edit]

Other local attractions near Wells are:

These attractions are all accessible by bus (busses usually leave from the bus station near Tesco)

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