Our guide to holiday cottages in Wells, Somerset
Ranked number 7 in the Telegraph’s Travel’s Top 20 Cities in Britain for 2017, we reckon you’re going to fall in love with Wells. Medieval architecture looms high above cobbled streets, and the lovely thing about the city’s compact size is that it makes it easy to take your time and explore the sights.
You’ve got to love Wells…with its historic centre and a character that sets it apart from anywhere else in the UK, it’s beautiful. Quaint and friendly, with plenty to see and do, holidays in Wells are pretty much perfect for families, couples and everyone in between.
One day you can be peering up at the architecture of Wells Cathedral, and the next stomping your way across the landscape of the nearby Mendip Hills. To be honest, there’s a different day out to suit every kind of mood and every kind of weather, and for those meals, you should get ready to experience a little corner of foodie Heaven.
The historic streets of this gorgeously teeny city are lined with independent restaurants that’ll have you planning your next visit before you’ve even left, and we’ve even picked out some of the reviewers’ faves to help get you started.
Things to do in Wells
There’s only one place to start when it comes to things to do in Wells, and that’s with a visit to the ever so beautiful cathedral. Right in the heart of the medieval city, the cathedral was the first in England to be built in that distinctive Gothic style, and it’s home to one of the country’s largest collections of stained glass.
Thanks to its modest size, Wells manages to feel a little bit like a village in that it has a strong community spirit and a year-round programme of events. There’s the Wells Farmers’ Market which takes place every Saturday and every Wednesday throughout the year – and what better place to start if you’re keen to sample the tastes of the region?
The cathedral itself hosts all kinds of family events during the year too, including crafts and workshops, and of course the annual carol services. Over at the Bishop’s Palace, you’ll be welcome to pop along to the summer garden festival and the Artisan Winter Market.
Those of you who like to make sure you don’t miss a thing can pick up one of the official Wells Walking Tours. Remember the film Hot Fuzz? There’s a walk that’ll take you to the locations from the film., and all walking tours leave from The Crown in the Market Place.
Places to visit in Wells
You’ll find Vicar’s Close beside the cathedral, and it’s another of the best-loved places to visit in Wells, and the oldest street in Europe. Thought to be the last complete medieval street left in the country, there’s something magical about wandering up and down the close, and it’s easy to imagine the vicars who once called it home hurrying back and forth as they went about their business.
Head to the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, just outside the city, and you’ll find Wookey Hole Caves. There’s nothing like a network of underground caves and tunnels to get the kids intrigued, and there’s a brand-new chamber to discover too. The caves are famous for their Winter Wonderland at Christmastime, so if you time your Wells holiday during the winter make sure you go along and join the fun.
Wells is a short drive from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that’s the Mendip Hills, so we say make sure you put one day aside to gather the family for a long old walk. The hilltops are dotted with ancient monuments, and there are so many paths and trails that you’ll be able to pick a route that suits you and take in the scenery at your own pace.
Restaurants in Wells
Let’s be honest, one of the best things about a walking holiday is plotting where you’re going to fill your boots in between those adventures, and Wells holidays are all about friendly local restaurants that serve great food. With a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence to its name, we should start with one of the finest Wells restaurants – The Sheppey. There’s a quirky feel to this pub, and the reviewers love the fact that it serves a wide selection of beers and spirits, and (and we quote) “mind-blowing food”.
If you’re after that perfect pit stop for when you’re doing that holiday shopping, you’ll find the Courtyard Restaurant just moments from the cathedral. Just imagine sitting on the decking with a glass of fizz over lunch, before heading back to the cobbled streets to pick up those gifts for those back home.