Wells is the smallest city in England, featuring a splendid 12th-century cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, the 14th-century Vicars’ Close, and the 18th-century Town Hall. The city has a traditional open-air market that takes place every Wednesday and Saturday at the old Market Place, and it boasts a wide range of shops, pubs, and restaurants. Located on the edge of the Mendips, an area of outstanding natural beauty, Wells is perfect for a walk before visiting the tiny city full of character.
Built between 1175 and 1490, Wells Cathedral is a fascinating place to visit and has been described as ‘the most poetic of the British cathedrals.’ A place of worship has existed in this location since around 750 A.D. Wells Cathedral was the first cathedral in the UK to be built in a Gothic style, although much of its Gothic nature is now hidden. The building’s history can be seen in the size and shape of the building and in the West front. Right next to the cathedral, you will find Vicars Close, easily recognisable from Instagram, as it’s the oldest surviving complete residential street in Europe. Take a walk here to feel transported back to the medieval period.
After visiting the cathedral, head to Bishop’s Palace, a splendid medieval palace that has been home to the Bishop of Bath & Wells for over 800 years. The palace has 14 acres of landscaped gardens with 5 separate areas, including an arboretum. With a longstanding tradition of swans on the moat, you will find a pair of mute swans and their bells, which they use to ring for food.
Wells is a great place for foodies, with a range of options to choose from. Visit Root Wells for vegetable-led sharing plates, Goodfellows for Mediterranean dishes with a British influence, The Greek Taverna for a taste of Greece, or The Good Earth for wholesome food! You might also recognise The Crown pub’s exterior from the film Hot Fuzz! Strangers with Coffee is perfect for a coffee stop after exploring, or Santé Wines for wine and coffee. Located on the historic market square, you will find Bishop’s Eye, a contemporary eatery and wine bar.