Guide To Wells
Not only is Wells steeped in history, it is within easy reach of a number of famous attractions and is an ideal centre for exploring some of the most breathtaking scenery that the county of Somerset has to offer.
It can also lay claim to being the smallest city in England (population 12,000) because of the extremely well preserved 13th century Cathedral, around which are other notable historic buildings including the Bishop’s Palace, complete with moat, Vicars’ Close, St Cuthbert’s Church and a museum.
Incidentally, there is a popular circular walk around the Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace moat, which takes about half-an-hour and provides the visitor with a captivating insight into the city’s proud history.
The Market Place also offers echoes of the city’s medieval past with narrow streets and a variety of building styles which tell the story of the development through the years. It is particularly vibrant when the twice-weekly markets are open for business.
The city derives its name from the springs that are to be found in the area – there are still some today in the gardens of the Bishop’s Palace – and this is probably why there was a settlement here in Roman times.
While there is much, therefore, of spellbinding interest in Wells itself, there is also a great deal to savour in the surrounding countryside, the city nestling, as it does, on the southern side of the Mendip Hills, which, coupled with the Somerset Levels, provide a feast of spectacular scenery stretching right to the coast. For the more actively-inclined there are any number of popular pursuits, including cycling, horse riding, caving and abseiling.
Within a radius of just 25 miles there are also to hand other must-visit attractions, the most famous of which are the caves at Wookey Hole and Cheddar Gorge, not to mention Glastonbury Abbey and Glastonbury Tor, Muchelney Abbey, Stourhead and the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
In addition to all this, the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath is only a 45 minute drive away.