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Wells Cathedral

Add Wells Cathedral to your Itinerary

Wells Cathedral


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.

Regular free scheduled tours take place each day (Monday-Saturday) with an experienced and enthusiastic guide. No need to book.

Free weekly ‘Window Walks’ and ‘Exploring the Embroideries’ walks also take place on most Saturday and Wednesday mornings (April-October) from 11.10am and 11.40am respectively. No need to book, they offer a different theme each month.

They also offer regular fixed date special interest tours which are pre-bookable, run on specific dates during the year. More details of all tours offered are available on the Cathedral’s website.

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.

Vicars' Close
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.


Attraction Facilities

  • Shop


  • On-Site café/restaurant

Establishment Features

  • Toilets

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Find out about the latest on the roads and get travel directions from

Public Transport Directions

For comprehensive information about getting here by public transport, please visit


  • Certificate of Excellence 2017

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

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Recent Reviews:

  • Anastasia901
    Trip Type:
    So beautiful
    5 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 18th March 2018
    A glorious cathedral with a wonderful history. The mediaeval clock, the chapter house, the museum in the treasury, the scissor arches, the choir, the Jesse window are all superb, beyond description... Read full review
  • Alex450212
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    A "perfect" cathedral in an impressive setting.
    5 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 18th March 2018
    One's first impression - how light it is! All to do with its originally being painted and then de-painted and then covered in lime, I think, etc. Lots of stuff on line so I won't go into detail but... Read full review
  • SKKBmouth
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    5 of 5 stars
    Saturday, 17th March 2018
    Lovely cathedral. Suggested entrance fee but you could just make a donation. Architecture is fantastic and it looks so light inside as there are a fair few plain windows. Worth a visit. Shop cafe and... Read full review
Cathedral Green

Tel: +44 (0)1749 674483

Instagram feed

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)

* 7am - 7pm (Apr – Sept)
7am - 6pm (Oct – Mar)

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Previous Next


Thursday, 15th November 2018 - Thursday, 15th November 2018

Vicars Choral Commemoration Concert at Wells Cathedral
more info

Sunday, 25th March 2018 - Sunday, 25th March 2018

Philip Moore: St Luke Passion at Wells Cathedral
more info

Thursday, 12th July 2018 - Thursday, 12th July 2018

WOWFest Opening Ceremony and Concert at Wells Cathedral
more info

Friday, 14th September 2018 - Friday, 14th September 2018

Early Music Wells: The French Baroque Harpsichord
more info

Sunday, 11th November 2018 - Sunday, 11th November 2018

Remembrance Sunday: Rutter Requiem at Wells Cathedral
more info

Friday, 14th December 2018 - Friday, 14th December 2018

G4 Christmas at Wells Cathedral
more info

Tuesday, 17th April 2018 - Tuesday, 17th April 2018

Saturday, 5th May 2018 - Saturday, 5th May 2018

Saturday, 2nd June 2018 - Saturday, 2nd June 2018

Tuesday, 17th July 2018 - Tuesday, 17th July 2018

Saturday, 4th August 2018 - Saturday, 4th August 2018

Tuesday, 18th September 2018 - Tuesday, 18th September 2018

Saturday, 6th October 2018 - Saturday, 6th October 2018

Tuesday, 20th November 2018 - Tuesday, 20th November 2018

Saturday, 1st December 2018 - Saturday, 1st December 2018

A Doorway into Gothic Architecture at Wells Cathedral
more info

Tuesday, 20th March 2018 - Tuesday, 20th March 2018

Saturday, 7th April 2018 - Saturday, 7th April 2018

Tuesday, 19th June 2018 - Tuesday, 19th June 2018

Saturday, 4th August 2018 - Saturday, 4th August 2018

Tuesday, 21st August 2018 - Tuesday, 21st August 2018

Saturday, 3rd November 2018 - Saturday, 3rd November 2018

Chained Library Tours at Wells Cathedral
more info

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