The medieval City of Wells ~ the smallest city in England
The historic City of Wells is just a short 45 minute drive from the beautiful City of Bath (UNESCO World Heritage City). The 22 mile route heads over the Mendip Hills and opens up a gateway to the one of England's less explored gems - Somerset. Wells makes an ideal destination for a short break or long weekend and has much to see in it as well as providing an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area.
Wells is a medieval city nestling on the southern side of the Mendip Hills with the mystic Somerset Levels stretching away to the south and west. The history of Wells goes right back to Roman times when we know that there was a settlement, probably because of the springs that bubble up here. Wells gets its name from these springs which can today be found in the gardens of the Bishop's Palace.
Wells is the smallest city in England with about 12,000 inhabitants. It can call itself a city because of the famous 13th century Cathedral. It remains remarkably unspoilt and has many other historic buildings including the moated Bishop's Palace, Vicars' Close, St Cuthbert's Church and a good local museum. The Wells Market Place, with lively markets twice a week, the narrow streets and an eclectic mix of building styles all reflect on the continuing development of the town throughout the ages.
Within 25 miles you can visit many attractions which include the famous caves at Wookey Hole, Cheddar Gorge & Caves, Glastonbury Abbey and Glastonbury Tor, Stourhead, Muchelney Abbey and the Fleet Air Arm Museum. The beautiful variety of landscapes ranging from coastal scenery, the Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels provide a wonderful playground for all sorts of activities including, caving, abseiling, horse riding, walking, cycling and nature watching.
We have created a number of maps for this website to help locate accommodation, restaurants and attractions. These include a really useful Wells Accommodation & Restaurant Map (pdf 368kb) and a Wells & Area Touring Map (pdf 1175kb) which you can download and print. To help you explore Wells we have compiled a fascinating circular Wells Moat Walk (pdf 1798kb) around the cathedral and Bishop's Palace moat, which takes about half an hour.
The Wells Information Visitor Service located in the Wells Museum can help you with any enquiries you may have. We look forward to seeing you sometime soon in our beautiful medieval City of Wells.