What to do in Wells: a guide to the most popular locations

By Alina GoncharovaFeb 10, 2024 17:01 PMWells
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What to do in Wells: a guide to the most popular locations
Treasures of H.G. Wells. Source: Image Catherine/Pixabay

One of the smallest cities in the UK, located in Somerset, is an important cultural and historical center of the country. In addition to numerous travelers from all over the world, Wells also attracts the best producers. Therefore, the famous landscapes and sights appear in many films and TV series, such as "Dungeons and Dragons", 'Wolf Hall", "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and others.

Every tourist will find things to do in Wells, England: from walking in the footsteps of Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett and Emily Blunt to visiting atmospheric restaurants and exploring the history of the medieval city, which has remained virtually unchanged for more than 800 years of its existence. All you have to do is create an itinerary for the best weekend of your life. Find out what to do in Wells with the following selection.

Things to do in Wells: the most popular attractions

Exploring the city should start with the magnificent Wells Cathedral. The building of religious significance is filled with intricate Gothic carvings, and you can also see a unique vault connecting the main building with the chapter house. The best views of the cathedral can be found in the immediate vicinity of the central Market Square.

Another tourist attraction in Wells is the Bishop's Palace and Gardens, which have been home to diocesan leaders for more than 800 years. The grounds and the medieval building are open to the public. The picturesque 14-acre gardens with their numerous spring water pools and amazing swans deserve special attention.

What else to see in Wells if not the Market Square? This important cultural and social center is surrounded by two medieval gates, each with its own name - "The Bishop's Eye" and "Penniless Porch". The market square comes to life most of all on Saturdays and Wednesdays when the market is organized here. Those who are not satisfied with shopping can visit the historic High Street, where many independent shops and boutiques are concentrated.

Vicars' Close is an attraction in Wells, which attracts not only history buffs but also those who want to take great photos for social media. One of the oldest residential streets in Europe was built over 650 years ago. As the name implies, it was home to the Vicars Choir, which studied and practiced in the cathedral nearby. Travelers have the opportunity to see unchanged historic buildings that remain completely intact to this day. There is also a library, a chapel, and the Priests' Hall. The street is about 140 meters long and currently consists of 27 separate buildings.

The last place to visit in Wells on the list is the Wells & Mendip Museum. This small but well-stocked museum was founded in 1893, displaying exhibits of local history, geological artifacts, and more. Here you can learn more about the city and the life of the people in the Mendip Hills. The building itself, located in the former home of the Chancellors of Wells Cathedral, is also worthy of attention.

Wells: filming locations worth visiting

What to do in Wells: a guide to the most popular locations
Cozy rooms above the pub. Source: https://www.crownatwells.co.uk/

Following Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz is the second film in a trilogy starring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. H.G. Wells plays an important role in this comedy action movie, which depicts a fictional village. Movie fans can visit the places where the shootout in the square and the swan chase were filmed. In addition, things to see in Wells include such iconic places for director Edgar Wright as the City News store, The Crown pub, and the Swan Hotel.

In general, the city has been featured in many films, including:

  • "The Huntsman: A Winter's War" starring Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron;
  • "Wolf Hall;
  • "The Hollow Crown, etc.

Production companies choose Wells for blockbusters, historical dramas, or comedies because of its unspoiled landscapes, unique architecture, and streets.

Where to stay

If you are planning sightseeing in Wells, we recommend booking a room at the Swan Hotel, which is located in the heart of the city. In addition, it was here that the movie "Hot Fuzz" was filmed, so moviegoers will definitely be delighted. The hotel is right across from the famous Wells Cathedral. Other options for accommodation include the following:

  • The White Hart, known for its half-timbered facade and special atmosphere;
  • the charming historic Ancient Gatehouse Hotel on Wells Cathedral Green;
  • Wookey Hole Hotel;
  • Stoberry House.

For those who are looking for a place to stay and things to do near Wells, the best choice for accommodation is the elegant Beryl Country House.

Popular dining options

There are plenty of things to do in Wells besides sightseeing. Although it is the smallest city in England, it has a lot of restaurants that even gourmets will enjoy. Especially in Wells, you can find a large number of old pubs that serve not only fine ale but also delicious food. In particular, among the attractions near Wells is The Crown at Wells. The history of the establishment dates back to 1450, and the menu offers a wide range of dishes polished to perfection.

Another restaurant that deserves special attention is The Swan. It was this establishment that was featured in the first Michelin Guide in the UK in 1911.

Not only The Swan has been recognized with valuable awards. Root Wells, located on Sadler Street, was also honored with a Michelin star. It offers a magnificent view of the cathedral, so the views alone are enough to add the restaurant to the itinerary, not to mention the unique dishes and pleasant service.

Goodfellows@7B is not just a restaurant, it's a real art. The restaurant is located on St. Thomas Street and offers Mediterranean cuisine using selected British products. Other restaurants in Wells that are popular with locals include The Good Earth and The Greek Taverna at the Sun.

Getting there

The only drawback of Wells is the lack of its own train station. The nearest station is located 13 miles away in Castle Cary, on the London-Paddington-Penzance line. If you're traveling by car, it's helpful to know that Wells is a three-hour drive from London, just under two hours from Cardiff, and only 40 minutes from Bath. The nearest airport is Bristol Airport, located 27 miles north of the city.

When is the best time to visit Wells

What to do in Wells: a guide to the most popular locations
Wells, beautiful at any time of the year. Source: Image by Sara Price/Pixabay

As a rule, the summer months attract the most tourists, so if you want to avoid the crowds and find what to do near Wells without long lines and crowds, plan your trip in the fall or spring, if your schedule allows it.

It is also worth considering that visiting the city's most important attraction, the cathedral, may not be convenient on Sundays due to the busy schedule of services. In addition, some restaurants, cafes, and shops are closed on this day.

Various festivals are organized in the city every year, so when choosing a time to visit, you can check the schedule of bright and unforgettable events. A unique event is the large-scale Carnival that takes place in the summer. At this time, visitors will find a lot of entertainment for the whole family, activities on the seashore, such as screaming competitions or sand castles, etc. The carnival has been organized for more than a hundred years on the picturesque North Norfolk coast in early August.

In addition, in June, you can attend the English Country Garden Festival, which takes place on the grounds of the Bishop's Palace.

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