Short Breaks, UK

Exploring Wells, Somerset

Wells is a city in the county of Somerset in England.   It has the honour of being the smallest city in England, thanks to the magnificent Wells Cathedral which is situated there.

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Wells Cathedral in the evening sun

The city itself is thought to have been around since Roman times, growing up around the springs that are there and gaining its name in honour of them.

I had the pleasure of visiting with my mum recently for just a few days, but oh what a glorious few days it was!  And the weather definitely helped make it perfect. We are still in the midst of a heatwave in the UK (long may it continue!) and the skies were clear and blue and sun shone down on us for the entire time we were there.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from the city, all I really knew about it was that it had a cathedral and it’s where one of the Simon Pegg Cornetto trilogy films, Hot Fuzz, was filmed!

So, off my mum and I went, road directions in hand, intent on a nice leisurely few days exploring.

I can confirm that I was most definitely pleasantly surprised!  It’s a sleepy, friendly, relaxed destination and whilst our hotel seemed to be fairly full, the place was not overrun in the slightest.

In fact, rather the opposite.  What a treat to visit somewhere that doesn’t have hoards of people at each of its landmarks!  I even managed to get pictures of the cathedral without anyone in front of it!  I was shocked!

But talking of our hotel, what a gem!  The Swan Hotel sits slap, bang in front of the cathedral and it was lovely.  I must admit that it was a bit hot in our room – but then it is an old coaching inn and parts of the hotel date back to 1422, so they can’t install aircon!

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The view of our hotel from the Cathedral Green

Apart from the heat (and lets face it, it doesn’t come around very often here in the UK so I’m definitely not moaning about it!), the room was gorgeous, lovely decor, clean and spacious.  It was the perfect place to retire to after our exploring.

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We arrived mid afternoon, to a very friendly welcome and after dropping our bags off we thought we’d go out for a little look to see what the city had to offer.

The answer is, not heaps!  But what is there, is beautiful!  We knew we wanted to tackle the cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace on our one full day there, so we opted for a gentle stroll through the market place to begin with.

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The townhall in the market place

There was a garden festival on at the Bishop’s Palace so we thought we’d go and investigate and see what it had to offer.

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The Bishop’s Palace

However, we decided against going in as we were getting hungry and thought that our time would be better spent looking for a nice teashop.  We didn’t have to look far!  Teashops are dotted around the market place and we chose one that served plenty of gluten free options (for me).

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The market place

My eyes fell on a gorgeous looking chocolate cake that had my name written all over it!  And wow, was it delicious!!

After filling up with tea and cake it was onward, down the High Street until we found St Cuthbert’s Church.

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St Cuthbert’s Church

St Cuthbert’s Church is the largest parish church in Somerset and dates back to the 12th Century.  It was quite surprising to see such a large building, it could rival the cathedral!!  

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St Cuthbert’s Church

We ventured inside where we were greeting by some stunning architecture and stained glass windows.  The roof in particular was very striking, it is sixteenth century but was restored in 1963 and is very colourful.  The photos below don’t really do it justice, but it gives you the idea!

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The interior of St Cuthbert’s Church
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The 16th Century roof 

After spending some time inside, we took ourselves off to walk through the churchyard.

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The exterior of St Cuthbert’s Church

We discovered that scattered around the vicinity of the church were 3 almshouses.  They are buildings that were founded to provide care and accommodation to those in need.  They are still standing in Wells and are used as such today…. and they are beautiful!

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Bubwiths Almshouses
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Llewellyns Almshouses

We ended the day with a gin and tonic on the terrace of the hotel overlooking the cathedral, before heading off for dinner.

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The hotel terrace over looking Wells Cathedral

We were both very tired, but it was a good start to our mini break!

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Exploring Wells, Somerset”

    1. Aaah, thank you, that’s so kind! Haha, yes the hotel was fantastic. To get to the car park you have to drive through the coaching archway, which was made originally for stagecoaches! I love imagining what it would have been like all those years ago!

      Liked by 1 person

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