Welcome to Wells, a charming city nestled in the heart of Somerset. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for an adventure, this picturesque town has something for everyone. From exploring ancient caves and admiring stunning architecture to indulging in local cheese and taking a hot air balloon ride over rolling hills, there’s no shortage of things to do in Wells. So pack your bags and get ready to experience all that this hidden gem has to offer!
Things to Do in Wells – Unforgettable Experiences to Have
1. Visit St. Cuthbert’s Church
St. Cuthbert’s Church is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in history and architecture. This 13th-century church boasts stunning stained glass windows that illuminate the interior with an ethereal glow. The intricate designs of the windows are simply breathtaking, and it’s no wonder they’ve been drawing visitors for centuries.
In addition to its beautiful windows, St. Cuthbert’s Church also features a striking carved oak screen that separates the nave from the chancel. The screen is adorned with intricate carvings and serves as a testament to the incredible craftsmanship of medieval artisans.
As you explore this historic church, take some time to appreciate its peaceful atmosphere and reflect on its rich history. You’ll be transported back in time as you soak up all of the details of this magnificent building.
Whether you’re religious or not, St. Cuthbert’s Church is definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Wells – don’t miss out on experiencing its beauty firsthand!
2. Take a Tour of the Wookey Hole Caves
Embark on a thrilling adventure and explore the mysterious underground caves at Wookey Hole. This unique attraction is located just outside of Wells, offering visitors the opportunity to discover an ancient world that has been hidden for centuries.
The impressive limestone caverns are home to a variety of rock formations, including stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over millions of years. As you wander through the winding passageways, you’ll be transported to another realm as you admire the stunning natural beauty around every corner.
One of the highlights of this experience is meeting the famous Witch of Wookey Hole. Legend has it that she was turned into stone by a monk who had grown tired of her wicked ways. You’ll have to see for yourself whether or not this story is true!
Kids will love exploring these magical caves, where they can learn about history, geology and even mythology in an interactive and fun way. The guided tours are informative but also entertaining – perfect for families looking for something different and exciting to do during their visit to Wells.
As an added bonus, there’s also a Victorian arcade museum on site where visitors can play retro games from yesteryear while enjoying some old-fashioned sweets!
3. Visit the Avalon Marshes Nature Reserve
If you’re a nature lover, then visiting the Avalon Marshes Nature Reserve should be on your list of things to do in Wells. The reserve covers over 1000 hectares and is home to a diverse range of birdlife and wildlife species.
One of the highlights of the reserve is seeing rare bitterns in their natural habitat. These elusive birds are notoriously difficult to spot, but with patience and some luck, visitors may catch a glimpse of them flying or hear their booming calls.
Aside from bitterns, other bird species such as marsh harriers, reed warblers, and kingfishers can also be seen at the reserve. Visitors may even spot otters swimming along the waterways that run through the reserve.
For those interested in conservation efforts, there’s an informative visitor centre where you can learn about ongoing projects to protect these precious habitats. Guided tours are also available for those who want to learn more about the flora and fauna found within this unique ecosystem.
Visiting Avalon Marshes Nature Reserve offers a refreshing break from city life and provides an opportunity to connect with nature while supporting important conservation efforts.
4. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Rising up in a hot air balloon is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have while visiting Wells. The Somerset countryside is absolutely stunning from above, and there’s no better way to take it all in than with a balloon ride.
As you float gently through the sky, you’ll be able to see for miles in every direction. You might spot local landmarks like Glastonbury Tor or Cheddar Gorge, and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some wildlife below.
Hot air balloons are surprisingly quiet when they’re up in the air – all you’ll hear is the occasional blast of heat as your pilot adjusts altitude. It’s incredibly peaceful up there; just you and your fellow passengers drifting silently over the rolling hills and green fields below.
If heights aren’t your thing, don’t worry – many people are surprised at how calm they feel once they’re actually airborne. And with an experienced pilot at the helm, safety is always a top priority.
For this unique encounter, don’t forget to pack your camera. The views from above are truly breathtaking, and you’ll want to capture every moment to remember forever.
5. Visit the Shepton Mallet Prison
If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating experience in Wells, the Shepton Mallet Prison should be at the top of your list. This historic prison dates back to the 17th century and has served as both a military prison and a category C men’s prison.
Nowadays, visitors can explore the museum that showcases what life was like for prisoners through various exhibits and displays. You’ll get an insight into their living conditions, daily routines, punishments, and more.
One highlight of the tour is definitely seeing the execution room where condemned prisoners were led to their deaths. There’s also an opportunity to enter some of the cells themselves which can feel eerie yet educational.
Visiting Shepton Mallet Prison offers a unique look into history that is not easily found elsewhere. It provides an eye-opening perspective on how punishment has evolved over time while delivering interesting facts about the British criminal justice system it.
6. Take a Tour of the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company
One of the most popular attractions in Wells is the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, which offers visitors a unique experience to learn about the production of cheddar cheese. The tour takes you through the process from start to finish, including how milk is turned into curds and whey before being matured into delicious cheese.
During your visit, you’ll also have the chance to taste some samples of their award-winning cheeses. From classic cheddar to more adventurous flavours like chilli and lime or smoked applewood, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds.
After learning about the history and methods behind cheddar production, be sure to stop by their on-site shop where you can purchase some cheese to take home with you. They also offer other locally-sourced products such as cider and chutneys.
Taking a tour of the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is a must-do activity for foodies visiting Wells. It’s not every day that you get an inside look at how one of England’s most beloved foods is made!
7. Visit Glastonbury Tor
Visiting Glastonbury Tor is a must-do activity when in Wells. This iconic hill and tower have been a site of pilgrimage and myth for centuries, drawing visitors from all over the world.
The climb to the top can be steep, but it’s well worth it once you reach the summit. From up high, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside that are sure to take your breath away.
But Glastonbury Tor is more than just a pretty view. It has an important place in British history and mythology. According to legend, King Arthur was buried here with his Queen Guinevere, making it an important site for those interested in Arthurian lore.
Beyond its royal connections, Glastonbury Tor has also played a key role in Christian and Pagan traditions throughout history. The tower on top of the hill is said to have served as a beacon for pilgrims making their way through the area.
No matter what draws you to Glastonbury Tor – whether it’s its beauty or its rich cultural history – one thing is certain: this iconic landmark will leave you spellbound by its magic and mystery.
8. Walk Around the Market Place
One of the most charming places to visit in Wells is the Market Place. This historic square has been a hub of activity for centuries, and it’s still a bustling centre of commerce and community today.
As you walk around the Market Place, you’ll see an array of shops, cafes, and restaurants offering everything from homemade pastries to handmade crafts. Take your time exploring this vibrant area and soaking up the atmosphere – there’s always something new to discover.
One highlight of the Market Place is the historic market cross, which dates back to 1460. This elegant stone structure was once used as a gathering point for traders selling goods such as wool, leather, and corn. Today it serves as a symbol of Wells’ rich history and its enduring spirit of enterprise.
Another must-see attraction in the Market Place is the town hall. This impressive building was constructed in 1779 and houses both local government offices and a public meeting room known as The Assembly Rooms. It’s worth taking a look inside just to admire its grand architecture!
Walking around the Market Place is one of those simple pleasures that can make any visit to Wells feel truly special. Whether you’re window shopping or people watching, this lively square offers plenty to keep you entertained – so why not take some time out from sightseeing to soak up its unique charm?
9. Visit the Wells Film Centre
If you are a movie buff looking for a unique cinematic experience, head to the Wells Film Centre. This charming independent cinema is located in a historic building and offers an intimate setting for watching movies.
The Wells Film Centre screens a variety of films, from Hollywood blockbusters to indie flicks and even foreign language films. The theatre features comfortable seating, excellent sound quality, and state-of-the-art projection equipment that ensures an immersive viewing experience.
In addition to its regular film screenings, the Wells Film Centre also hosts special events such as themed movie nights and filmmaker Q&A sessions. So whether you’re looking for classic favourites or cutting-edge new releases, the Wells Film Centre has something for everyone.
One of the best things about visiting this independent cinema is its warm and welcoming atmosphere. From the friendly staff to the cosy interior decor, everything about the Wells Film Centre exudes charm and character.
So why not take a break from sightseeing and relax with some popcorn while enjoying your favourite movie? Whether you’re travelling solo or with friends or family members, seeing a film at the Wells Film Centre is sure to be an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss out on!
10. Walk Along the Ebbor Gorge Nature Reserve
If you’re looking for a peaceful and scenic walk in Wells, then the Ebbor Gorge Nature Reserve should be on your list of things to do. This beautiful reserve is located just a short distance from the city centre and offers visitors a chance to escape into nature.
As you enter the wooded gorge, you’ll be surrounded by towering trees and lush greenery. The sound of birds singing and leaves rustling underfoot will transport you away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including badgers, foxes, deer, and numerous bird species. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of one of these elusive creatures during your walk.
As well as being an important habitat for local wildlife, the Ebbor Gorge Nature Reserve also boasts some impressive geological features. You’ll see evidence of past glaciation in the form of boulders left behind by retreating ice sheets.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking for a relaxing stroll in nature, walking along the Ebbor Gorge Nature Reserve is an experience not to be missed while visiting Wells.
11. Visit the Wells & Mendip Museum
If you’re a history buff and interested in learning more about the local area, then a visit to the Wells & Mendip Museum is a must-do activity. The museum boasts an extensive collection of artefacts covering the rich history of both Wells and Mendip.
Upon entering the museum, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff who will guide you through your journey back in time. You can expect to see fascinating exhibits that showcase everything from prehistoric fossils to Roman times.
One highlight of the museum is its display of Roman artefacts, including pottery fragments and tools used by everyday citizens during this era. It’s truly incredible to see how our ancestors lived their lives so many centuries ago!
Another interesting exhibit at the Wells & Mendip Museum showcases fossils from various periods throughout history. From ammonites to trilobites, there are plenty of exciting specimens on display for visitors to marvel at.
If you’re looking for an educational yet engaging experience in Wells, then make sure to add a visit to the Wells & Mendip Museum onto your itinerary!
12. See the Wells Clock Tower
Wells Clock Tower, built in the 15th century, stands tall at the heart of Wells city. The tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in Somerset and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a must-visit spot for anyone who wants to experience Wells from a different perspective.
Climbing up to the top of Wells Clock Tower can be quite an adventure. The spiral staircase leading up to the top is narrow and steep, but it’s worth every step once you reach your destination. As you climb higher and higher, you’ll get glimpses of what awaits you at the top.
Once you reach the summit, take a moment to catch your breath and absorb your surroundings. You’ll be rewarded with unobstructed views that stretch out as far as Glastonbury Tor on a clear day. You can see all over Wells City too, including its medieval architecture such as Vicars’ Close and Bishop’s Palace.
The clock faces are also visible from atop – another impressive feature that adds character to this historic building. The intricate details on its face symbolize its importance since its construction hundreds of years ago.
Visiting Wells Clock Tower is an experience like no other – it’s ideal for photographers or travellers looking for unique sights in Somerset County – perfect if accompanied by our previous suggestions!
13. Visit the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens
If you’re looking for a slice of history during your visit to Wells, then the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens should be on your list. This historic palace dates back to the 13th century and has been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells ever since.
The palace is surrounded by a moat, which adds an extra layer of charm and intrigue to this already fascinating building. You can take a walk around the perimeter of the moat or even hire a rowing boat if you want to get up close and personal with its waters.
The gardens are equally impressive, with plenty of lush greenery and colourful flowers throughout. You’ll also find some quirky features scattered around, such as wells that have been turned into fountains.
Inside the palace itself, there are plenty of rooms to explore, each one filled with historic artefacts and stunning architecture. Don’t miss out on seeing the chapel or climbing up onto the ramparts for some great views over Wells.
Visiting The Bishop’s Palace is a must-do activity when in Wells. It offers visitors an insight into medieval life whilst providing them with beautiful surroundings that they won’t forget anytime soon!
14. Walk around Vicars’ Close
One of the most charming and historic attractions in Wells is Vicars’ Close. This narrow street, lined with picturesque medieval houses, has been home to the choir of Wells Cathedral since the 14th century.
As you walk along Vicars’ Close, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The houses are all made from local stone and feature intricate carvings and decorative details. Many of them have been beautifully restored over the years, giving visitors a glimpse into what life was like for the cathedral clergy centuries ago.
The street is also incredibly peaceful – there’s no traffic here, so you can take your time exploring at your own pace. It’s a great place to snap some photos or just soak up the history and atmosphere.
One interesting fact about Vicars’ Close is that it’s actually one of the oldest residential streets in Europe! So if you’re interested in architecture or history, this is definitely a must-see attraction when visiting Wells.
Walking around Vicars’ Close is an enchanting experience that gives visitors a taste of what life might have been like for medieval clerics hundreds of years ago.
15. Visit Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral is one of the most impressive cathedrals in England, with a history dating back to the 12th century. The stunning architecture of the cathedral is an awe-inspiring sight for any visitor.
The West Front of Wells Cathedral is perhaps its most famous feature, with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting scenes from the Bible. It’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer size and detail of this magnificent entrance
Inside the cathedral, visitors can admire many other beautiful features such as medieval stained glass windows, ornate tombs and effigies, and detailed stone carvings. One highlight that shouldn’t be missed is the scissor arches – an engineering marvel designed to prevent collapse during construction which now serves as a unique decorative feature.
Wells Cathedral also hosts regular services and events throughout the year which visitors are welcome to attend. From choral evensongs to organ recitals, there’s always something happening at this vibrant place of worship.
Visiting Wells Cathedral offers a glimpse into centuries-old architectural mastery while also providing spiritual solace amidst breathtaking beauty – it’s truly an experience like no other!
Wells is a fascinating city with plenty to see and do. From exploring underground caves and nature reserves to admiring historic architecture and strolling along charming medieval streets, there truly is something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover or simply looking for a unique adventure, Wells is the perfect destination. So why not plan your visit today and discover all that this enchanting city has to offer?