Set in the medieval heart of England’s smallest city and an easy journey from Bristol by car or public transport (Mendip Explorer Bus 376 from Bristol to Wells) Wells Cathedral was built between 1175 and 1490 and has been described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals”.
Wells is the earliest English Cathedral to be built in the Gothic style. The current building is a significant landmark in the South West of England, has an international reputation and is top rated on TripAdvisor for things to do in Wells and in Somerset.
Wells Cathedral welcomes thousands of visitors each year who join in with regular daily services and events or who come simply to enjoy the calm and hospitality of this wonderful and holy place.
Wells Cathedral is open daily and they invite all of their visitors to join any of their services and events (which include a regular series of free lunchtime concerts and organ recitals). Donations are very welcome on entry; English Cathedrals receive no regular funding from the Government or the Church of England towards maintenance and development work and, here at Wells they have to raise £4.5k each day.
Wells Cathedral has unique features that separate it from other English cathedrals including its iconic West Front and the beautiful ‘scissor arches’ supporting the central tower, as well as one of the largest collections of historic stained glass in the country. The Cathedral also boasts the famous Wells Clock (which is considered to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Great Britain), the fascinating octagonal Chapter House and one of only four chained libraries in the UK.
Free daily tours of the Cathedral are available all year except Sundays. Or discover hidden spaces and chambers, explore the south transept roof space and marvel at the nave from a very different perspective via the Cathedral's popular and longer High Parts tours which can be pre-booked via the website at www.wellscathedral.org.uk/visit/tours. The Cathedral also runs 20 minute weekly window, stone carvings and embroidery ‘walks’ (Saturday and Wednesday mornings, April-October). Guided tours for group visits can also be pre-booked via the Visits team at email@example.com.
When term breaks up the Cathedral offers creative workshops for children accompanied by their parents or guardians. They also provide free family trail leaflets which are available free of charge on arrival and which help children to learn about the main highlights and history of the Cathedral. See their website for details of all activities for families and children.
Adjoining the Cathedral is Vicars’ Close, believed to be the only complete medieval street left in England. Vicars’ Close was designed to provide accommodation for the Vicars Choral, who sing the daily services, and this is still the case today. This centuries-old tradition is unique and a much valued part of the continuing life of Wells Cathedral.
Make a Day of It
A warm welcome awaits you at the Cathedral's shop which stocks a wide range of unique mementoes and gifts. Their café is also open daily for coffee, delicious home-made lunches and afternoon teas.
- On-Site café/restaurant
Tours and Demonstrations
- Educational Visits Accepted
- Guided Tours Available for Groups
Map & Directions
- Certificate of Excellence 2018
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Very Good499
- Jon STrip Type:CouplesA wonderful cathedral.Monday, 24th September 2018Of course this is what Wells City is mostly about - the Cathedral. But don't miss nearby Vicars Close and Bishops Palace. Within the Cathedral it is well worth the effort to visit the Library... Read full review
- alec sNew York City, New YorkTrip Type:Friends getawayOne of the finest cathedrals in EnglandTuesday, 25th September 2018With a magnificent west front and interior, this church is one of the smaller cathedrals in England, but by far, one of the best. The Chapter House is delicately carved and the nave/transept meeting... Read full review
- Philip36South CambridgshireTrip Type:CouplesA SUPERB CATHEDRAL IN A LOVELY CITYTuesday, 25th September 2018I think this is England's smallest city. It may be small but it is a lovely city to visit. Most visitors would head for the cathedral when first arriving and why not? It is quite simply breathtaking... Read full review
Tel: +44 (0)1749 674483
|Open (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)|
* 7am - 7pm (Apr – Sept)
7am - 6pm (Oct – Mar)