Nestled in the rolling hills of Somerset, Wells is the epitome of a quaint English town. Often overlooked for its larger, more famous neighbours, this city packs a punch with its rich history, stunning architecture, and charming local life. If you’re looking for a unique and authentic travel experience, here’s why you should add Wells to your England itinerary.
The 800-year-old Wells Cathedral is not only one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture, but also one of the most well-preserved in England. With intricate carvings, soaring arches, and colourful stained glass, the cathedral is a must-visit for any architecture or history buff.
One of the most notable features of Wells Cathedral is its intricate sculptures and carvings, which adorn its façade and interior. The west front of the cathedral is particularly stunning, with its array of sculptures and intricate details. Visitors can also admire the stunning stained glass windows, which are among the best in England.
The cathedral is also known for its beautiful Chapter House, which is considered one of the finest examples of early English Gothic architecture. The room is lined with intricate carvings and has a beautiful stained glass window, making it one of the most photographed spots in the cathedral.
Meandering through the narrow, cobbled streets of Wells is like stepping back in time. With rows of picturesque cottages, medieval buildings, and local shops, you’ll find it hard to resist the charm of this quaint town.
A great example of this is Vicars Close. This medieval street is considered one of the finest examples of 14th century architecture in Europe and is one of the oldest purely residential streets in the world. The street is lined with 30 half-timbered houses, each with their own unique charm and character. As you walk down the narrow street, you will be transported back in time with its cobbled stones and high gabled roofs. It’s easy to see why this street was once home to the Vicars of the nearby Cathedral. Today, Vicars Close is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to admire its timeless beauty – if you’re lucky you’ll even meet the resident cat who is pictured below!
Wells has a rich and fascinating history, from its Roman roots to its medieval prosperity.
The Bishop’s Palace is a stunning example of medieval architecture and a peaceful haven in the heart of the city. The palace, which dates back to the 13th century, was once the residence of the bishops of Bath and Wells and has been beautifully preserved to this day. Visitors can explore the beautiful stonework, including arched windows, battlements, and towers, as well as the magnificent Great Hall, which is considered one of the finest examples of medieval secular architecture in England.
Wells is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in England, making it the perfect base for exploring the Somerset countryside. Take a walk through the stunning Cheddar Gorge, visit the idyllic villages of the Mendips, or explore the nearby Wookey Hole caves.
If you’re in the area for longer, I’d also recommend pairing your trip to Wells with a nearby visit to the city of Bath, shown below!
In conclusion, Wells is a hidden gem that should not be missed. With its rich history, stunning architecture, charming streets, fantastic food and drink, and scenic surroundings, this town is the perfect destination for a unique and authentic English experience. Plan your trip today and discover the charm of England’s smallest city!
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