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  • Writer's pictureAnne B 10milesfrom

Wells in Somerset... 10milesfrom

Wells is a charming, Mediaeval city, located at the foot of the Mendip Hills, and one of our favourite places to visit. It is the smallest Cathedral city in England, and it's name comes from natural springs in the Cathedral grounds. It is a great place to base yourself ready to explore Somerset's treasures!

The excellent Visitor Information Centre is on Cathedral Green and offers various informative guided walks.

Best known for....

Wells has a beautiful Cathedral, built from 1176. Inside are a pair of stunning Scissor arches, which look so modern, but were in fact erected in 1338 to stabilise the building.

Next door is the interesting, moated Bishop's Palace, and a few miles away is the tourist attractions of Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole.

Worth seeking out...

Often missed, and close to the Cathedral, is Vicars Close, a wonderful 14th century street, which is claimed to be the oldest purely residential street with original buildings surviving intact in Europe.

Also in the city are the tranquil Mendip hospital cemetery which has unusual grave markers, and is maintained by volunteers as a tranquil nature reserve.

Wells and Mendip museum has lots of information about the city and surrounding area.

Milton Lodge Gardens (HHA) are in the surrounding hills and offer a nice view back to Wells.

Further afield is Glastonbury town and it's famous Tor (NT), which is well worth the climb. Glastonbury is home to many wonderful people, attracted by it's strong spiritual associations which seem relevant to Christians, druids, and many other groups. So you may, as happened to us, find yourself having coffee with a Shaman and a few witches at the next table! The Abbey ruins are fascinating, and we recommend the guided tour. Was King Arthur buried here?

Also famous for it's music festival - here we are stewarding there in 2015, enjoying the peace before the gates were opened!.

Shepton Mallet is neighbouring town which is home to an infamous Prison, which offers rather chilling, but interesting tours, and Kilvercourt Gardens for relaxation.. and maybe some retail therapy!

Wraxhall vineyard, and Fenny Castle vineyard offer tours at times.

East Somerset heritage Railway offers steam train trips in the Mendips. Check opening days.

Walks and Nature Check maps and opening times first.

So many opportunities for walks and cycle rides abound in this area.

Ebbor Gorge (NT) is a lovely alternative to the walks around Cheddar Gorge.

Pen Hill walk offers great views, and Beacon Hill woods (Woodland Trust), has lovely walks, bluebells in Spring, and a great view at the end.

The Somerset levels and Avalon marshes are beloved by birdwatchers, especially between November and January when the starlings are murmurating! RSPB Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath are good spots, and in season there is even a starling hotline to find out where the birds might be! No guarantees. Oh, and Do wrap up warm!

Cheating a bit, because it is 20 miles away from Wells, I really recommend the Coates English Willow Visitor Centre for a fascinating hour or two find out about willow harvesting and it's many uses.. including to make sustainable coffins!


Every November, the main towns come alive with historic illuminated Carnivals which have to be seen to be believed. The timetable is advertised well in advance. Again, wrap up warm!

There are many fairs and festivals throughout the year in the region. Check with visitor information for dates.


Lots of parking options. Campervans and smaller motorhomes can park in the daytime on some car parks, but buy 2 tickets if you take up more than one space.

Places to eat £ under £10pp ££ £10-20pp £££ over £20pp

Lots of great places to eat, so these are just our favourites and recommendations of friends! As usual, please check opening times, prices and current reviews as things can change fast!

Coffee, cakes, Snacks,

Wells: Good Earth, Pickwick Country Kitchen, Wells Cathedral cafe; Cheese Yard Cafe

Glastonbury - Tin Pot Pasty company


££ Wells - Goodfellows - Meditteranean and Fish; The Greek taverna; Ensemble;

Townsend - Priddy Good Farm shop; Glastonbury - The Rainbow Cafe - local produce; Etci Kitchen Turkish and Mediterranean; Godney - The Sheppey Inn

£££ Wells - The Courtyard ; Accommodation

Plentiful accommodation of all types in the area. Campers are well served too. The Old Oaks adults only site is excellent just outside Glastonbury.

We are campervan owners ourselves, and we ask you, please, if you visit the area in a campervan or motorhome, please only dispose of your rubbish, grey waste and toilet waste in proper, designated facilities. Doing anything else gets all campers a bad name, and will only result in it becoming harder for all of us to access lovely places Leave only Footprints!

Have fun. Anne X

1 comment

1 Comment

Chris Bartlett
Chris Bartlett
Mar 14, 2021

A surprisingly interesting and varied area. Well worth a visit.

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