The Cathedral is the backdrop for much of the city, as well as its iconic West Front, Wells Cathedral has unique features that separate it from other English cathedrals including the beautiful ‘scissor arches’ supporting the central tower. The Cathedral also houses one of the largest collections of historic stained glass in the country. The Cathedral also boasts the famous Wells Clock (which is considered to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Great Britain), the fascinating octagonal Chapter House and one of only four chained libraries in the UK.
Adjoining the Cathedral is Vicars’ Close, which is thought to be Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited street. Vicars’ Close was designed to provide accommodation for the Vicars Choral, who sing the daily services, and this is still the case today. Don’t miss it, as it is tucked away to the side of the Cathedral, just past the Music School on the left of the green.
The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens were built in medieval times and have been office and home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years. Visitors can enjoy 14 acres of stunning gardens including formal planting, picturesque style gardens, a moat and waterfall, well pools and springs, an arboretum, a Victorian romantic garden with ruins, and a new community garden and contemporary garden of reflection. RHS Members will be entitled to visit the Gardens for free at selected periods during the year. In 2016 they opened a new children’s adventure play area called The Dragon’s Lair.
Wells and The Palace is world famous for its resident mute swans that ring a bell alongside the Gatehouse when they want to be fed.
St Cuthbert’s Church is well worth a look around. It is actually the largest Parish Church in Somerset, and is often mistaken for Wells Cathedral! It is open every day of the week, with a coffee bar open every Monday to Saturday.
Take a stroll through the streets and you will be able to view The Almshouses, a beautiful collection of old buildings, and on Cathedral Green you will find Wells and Mendip Museum, which is also currently a point for Tourist Information in the City. Wells also has a small film centre, an independent cinema showing all the up to date releases and Tea Matinees!
Close by you will find many attractions including Wookey Hole, Glastonbury and the Tor, Street, The Rural Life Museum and Kilver Court Village and Gardens.
There are many activities to experience close to Wells, which include Golf, Horse Riding, Mendip Outdoor Pursuits and Kayaking on the Somerset Levels. Wells is also situated in an ideal position to explore the Somerset coast and countryside and enjoy walking, cycling and local nature reserves.
Whatever time of year, Wells offers something for all generations to enjoy.