Take your pick from our tip six activities and attractions in Wells. Of course, we have to start with the world-famous Wells Cathedral, but with the Mendip Hills, Wookey Hole Caves and Glastonbury Tor nearby, there’s certainly no shortage of sublime Somerset days out nearby for you to tick off, too.
Activities in Wells
Without doubt, the number one attraction you need to tick off for any visit – doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your fiftieth – is a wander over to Wells Cathedral. This magnificent place of worship stands resplendent at the opoosite side of the city centre to our Wells hotel, but you can easily walk there in 15 minutes. Wells Cathedral dates back to the 12th century and has been described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals”. Its stunning West Front is a sublime feat of intricate gothic architecture and the stained glass windows are among the finest in the entire country.
You can explore the cathedral and discover its fascinating history by joining one of the free tours which take place every day bar Sunday. Or, book yourself onto a High Parts tour and explore the roof space and hidden areas of the cathedral for a memorable experience. And when you’re done, some of our favourite places to eat in Wells are nearby on Sadler Street, so grab something to eat if you’ve built up an appetite.
Wookey Hole Caves
The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens
Adjacent to Wells Cathedral, you’ll find the The Bishop’s Palace surrounded by a majestic moat, 14 acres of sublime gardens and the resident mute swans. The incredible medieval palace has been standing for 800 years and is open to the public. The RHS look after the gardens. As you’d expect, they are absolutely sublime and worthy of a visit all on their own.
Give yourself plenty of time if you’re planning on visiting The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens. You can trace the ruins of the Great Hall, walk along the ramparts overlooking the moat, explore the palace and its furnished rooms, soak up the gardens, and don’t forget to tick off the Jubilee Arboretum. For the reasonable price of entry, there really is plenty to see and do.
Wookey Hole Caves
For the centuries of history housed in Wells Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace, they still don’t come close to shining a light on the 45,000 years that humans have used the Wookey Hole Caves. This extensive network of limestone caves and caverns are less than a ten-minute drive away from our Wells hotel. Their incredible history of human-use was revealed when tools were discovered inside the caves, which date back to the Palaeolithic period.
As well as being a jaw-dropping natural structure, the caves are also an award-winning attraction with live circus shows, 4D cinema, robot dinosaurs, a mirror maze and much, much more. If you’re staying in Wells with a young family, there won’t be many better activities to try than the Wookey Hole Caves.
Ebbor Gorge is a National Nature Reserve in the Mendip Hills. It’s revered for its dramatic scenery and an extensive network of walking trails. The majority of walkers coming to Wells will opt for nearby Cheddar. But we love Ebbor Gorge because it goes under the radar. Spend an afternoon walking the hills with no one else in sight and you’ll see why. The views of the Somerset flats are quite something as you climb higher into the hills.
The views of Somerset don’t get that much better than from Glastonbury Tor. This famous hill rises high above the famous town and is topped by the majestic, monolithic St Michael’s Tower. The site is owned and managed by the National Trust, so if you’re a member you can easily tick it off during your visit to Wells. As you can probably guess, it’s not the easiest walk to the top of Glastonbury Tor, but you’ll be well rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of the Isle of Avalon, Glastonbury and the wider county.
Wells & Mendip Museum
If you want to learn about the history of Wells and the Mendip Hills, make your way to the Wells & Mendip Museum, which is excellently located on the Cathedral Green. It’s a fascinating local museum with a wide range of exhibitions, featuring archaeology, natural history and some fascinating artefacts, including lead ingots from Roman Times and the skeleton of the “Witch of Wookey Hole”.