Wells, a city stroll
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Walk Route Description
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Wells is England's smallest City. Dominated by a beautiful Cathedral, it provides the basis for an excellent short stroll. After parking make your way to St Cuthbert's (grid ref. ST546456), the largest Parish Church in Somerset, which is easily located as its tower dominates the skyline from most of the public car parks. From here head roughly north east along the High Street to reach the Market Place, which has a pleasant selection of period buildings.
Go through the Bishop's Eye an imposing gateway that leads directly to the moat surrounding the ruined Bishop's Palace. The walls and moat were built when serious tension between the Bishop and the City made fortification a necessity. Follow the path alongside the moat to reach its southern corner. From here there are good views across lowland Somerset to Glastonbury. This point is also the start of an 8 mile walk to the "Tor".
Retrace your steps to the Bishop's Eye and turn right into the Market Place and right again through Penniless Porch to exit onto the Cathedral Green. It is hard not to be impressed with the Cathedral and its beautiful west front. Begun in 1180, the Cathedral was consecrated in 1239 but had not been completed. The exquisite statuary on the west front dates from 1240-1260 but it was not until 1508 that the cathedral and cloisters were complete with Black Death of 1348 seriously interrupting construction. A visit to the Cathedral is very worthwhile with its interior as magnificent as its exterior.
Continue north across the Cathedral Green and turn right along the road. A little way under the archway over the road turn left into Vicar's Close. Built in 1363 the houses accommodated the men of the choir. Originally there were 42 bachelor dwellings but some were later rebuilt into larger dwellings. Vicar's Close is reputed to be Europe's most complete medieval street and the two rows of chimneys provide memorable visual impact. Retrace your route back to the Market Place taking time to study the Cathedral from the far side of the Green.
The stroll detailed above does not include every building or item of interest in this beautiful Cathedral City. For more information visit the Tourist Information Office, which is situated in the Town Hall on the south side of the Market Place.
Other walks nearby
|Walk 1275||North Wootton & Worminster from Wells||moderate||9.5 miles|
|Walk 1346||Priddy, Ebbor Gorge & Wookey Hole from Wells||moderate||13.5 miles|
|Walk 3499||West Compton & North Wootton from Pilton||easy/mod||7.5 miles|
|Walk 3399||Ham Woods, Croscombe & Knowle Hill from Shepton Mallet||easy/mod||7.5 miles|
|Walk 3666||West Mendip Way & Old Ditch from Rodney Stoke||moderate||7.0 miles|
Recommended Books & eBooks
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Walk Location Map
Walking in Somerset
Somerset is a rural county in south-west England. The high land of the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, contrast with the wide expanses of flat wetland including the Somerset Levels. Adding interest to the landscape are the extensive network of caves and the Cheddar Gorge. Exmoor National Park crosses the border into neighbouring Devon and provides excellent walking. The highest point in Somerset is Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor, with an altitude of 519 metres (1,703 feet). The coast also offers great walking especially the section of South West Coast Path west of Minehead.
Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.
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