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13 things to do in Wells

Timewarp streets, hilltop walks and cavernous caves

Written by
Katie Gregory
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Wells sits pretty on the edge of the Mendip Hills, about an hour south of city-break heavyweights Bristol and Bath. One of England’s smallest cities – second only to the City of London, fyi – it’s perfectly proportioned for a day trip, with each pristine medieval sight an easy walk from the next.

Start at the gorgeous Gothic cathedral, wander over to the moated Bishop’s Palace, then tread the cobbles of Vicars’ Close, the best-preserved of its kind in the country. Take it easy and embrace this pint-sized city’s go-slow feel.

RECOMMENDED: Dazzling day trips near London

A perfect day in Wells

First up

First up

The city might be on the small side, but Wells Cathedral is big business – it’s the earliest English cathedral to be built in the Gothic style, and it’s eye-wateringly gorgeous. Join a free guided tour of the stunning stained glass windows, or get goosebumps listening to choral evensong just after 5pm from Monday to Saturday.

Stop for lunch

Feast on Somerset’s finest finger food at the open-air Wells Farmers’ Market, which fills the Market Place with chutnies and cheddar every Wednesday and Saturday. Still peckish? If you’ve got a car, it’s worth the 20-minute drive up to The Litton – a cracking country pub and boutique hotel with a fantastic seasonal menu.

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Splash the cash

Splash the cash

You’ll find cute antiques and vintage shops on Priest Row and St Cuthbert Street. A ticket to The Bishop’s Palace is also money well spent.

Drink like a local

With views over the square, The Crown is the perfect spot for a pint – and a cheeky portion of  West Country mussels. If you’re walking the Mendips, The Fountain Inn gastropub makes a classy stop-off.

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Go on an adventure
Photography: Wookey Hole

Go on an adventure

Ten minutes from Wells, Wookey Hole has underground chambers and caverns galore. There’s also top climbing trails at Cheddar Gorge.

If you only do one thing

Go walking. Swot up on the city with Wells Walking Tours. The guided Heritage Walk has a good mix of big-name sights and secret gems, and runs every Wednesday morning from The Crown pub. For solo scenery, follow the Tor Hill circular walk instead – the views stretch across the Mendip Hills and Glastonbury Tor.

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Wake up here

Wake up here

With two lovely bedrooms, pastoral views and – amazingly – an outdoor heated swimming pool, The Stables at The Old Mill House is perfectly placed to explore nearby Wells. Chocolate-chip cookies greet guests on arrival, and homemade soap makes a thoughtful touch. Cooks will appreciate the fully equipped kitchen – especially after a mosey down to Wells Farmers Market, which is impossible to leave empty handed. Need to escape the city to recharge? With a dreamy garden bordered by the river Sheppey, this secluded cottage is the perfect place to do it. From £90 a night. www.oldmilldulcote.co.uk

Looking for more day trips from London?

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