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Visit in May2014

Arlington, TX
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Visit in May2014

We have a day trip planned to Wells. We will drive over from Bath that morning.

Definitely planning Cathedral visit and tour.

Wondering if anyone can tell me a little more about the Walking Tours? I read reviews and it seems worth the time for sure. Just the regular historic tour or the extended?

Also looking for a close restaurant recommendation. I can't find a menu or a review of the restaurant at the Cathedral. I can't tell if it's just snacks and cakes, tea and coffee or more.

14 replies to this topic
Greenville, South...
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1. Re: Visit in May2014

Hey, britlitteacher!

I don't know the answer to your question yet, but we'll be in Wells next week, and I can find out about the Cathedral restaurant for you. We probably won't do the walking tour, since we're visiting Glastonbury in the morning and Wells in the afternoon, but we'll definitely be going to Wells Cathedral. Hopefully someone else can tell you about the tours.

Greenville, South...
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2. Re: Visit in May2014

I just checked the Wells Cathedral website, and they have everything you need to know. You can have tea and cake, or soup, sandwiches, salads, etc. there. Check the website for opening hours, etc. I can still get back to you on how the food (or at least the coffee) is.

Somerset
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3. Re: Visit in May2014

There are a little tea rooms around that do lunches and teas. I found one down a lane off the road with the shops that was quieter and cheerful service. Living only 30miles away restaurants I wouldn't know but I often grab a bite for lunch from Greggs the bakers. It's not know for its health food but does hot and tasty savoury snacks, cakes and drinks to take away at budget prices.

I see Queenies Tea Room has excellent recommendations for reall Englishness if you find the Cathedral one a bit busy and noisy. That looks like where I went

tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186374-…

If you click on Restaurants at the top of the page you'll find a whole variety of way to eat with maps and reviews

The walking tours have good reviews. If you have the time it would seem like a good idea. I've always found so much to see I haven't done one. Perhaps I should.

Arlington, TX
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4. Re: Visit in May2014

Thanks all! SunriseE I would love to hear anything at all you find out or what you would recommend--please PM me when you return!

I saw Queenie's when I was perusing the restaurant list on TA and it looked fun. The problem I had was I didn't see hours and if they have a website I missed it; I did find their Facebook page but that's all.

I'm not sure how I missed the cathedral cafe menu--thanks!!

I am really looking forward to visiting Wells. The Vicar's Close is so very unique and I never tire of cathedrals :-)

Can anyone tell me what to expect from Market Days? We will be there on a Wednesday. I am also determined to purchase a wool blanket if anyone has a recommendation for a locally grown and woven one!

This trip is going to be so fun--we are not spending any time in London this visit and combining returns to tried and true places such as Bath and Dover for my husband and my friend's husband who haven't been PLUS adding some new places a bit less common for my friend and I who have traveled together to the UK several times. Hoping to include Midsomer Norton when we leave to satisfy a tiny bit of my love for all things Midsomer Murders!

Thanks all--TA people are the best!

Budapest, Hungary
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5. Re: Visit in May2014

Wells is England's - not Britain's - smallest city, with about 10k people (cf Bath, which has about 85k). Until about 1900 the rule used to be that a city had to have a cathedral and be the seat of a bishop - Bath used to be the home of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, hence the reason it is also an ancient city. The history as to why Bath and Wells is a joint see is a story in itself, with plenty of intrigue and underhand practise, the sort of thing which would never happen in the modern church.

I am a militant atheist, but even I can appreciate that Wells Cathedral is a magnificent building, and because the church used to absorb wealth from the surrounding area, Wells is a picturesque wee town, well worth a tour on its own even if you don't go into the cathedral. Allow a couple of hours for the cathedral itself.

As for eateries, you cannot park very close to the cathedral, the walk from most of the car parks takes you through the town and you will pass plenty of them - there are several in the Market Square area. Incidentally, when in the Market Sq, look out for 22feet and 2 inches (you will see what I mean).

To get to Wells from Bath there are 2 main routes, I suggest you take the Wells road, the A367, to Radstock: the other side of Radstock is a pub called the White Post, take the third exit at the nearby roundabout and head towards Chilcompton on the B3139, and continue on to Wells. Cross the A37 at the Odd Down* crossroads and continue over the Mendips, there are tumuli (ancient burial mounds) in the fields to the right. As you descend into Wells the view across the Somerset Levels is magnificent - providing it is clear ! with Glastonbury Tor in the middle distance. Glastonbury is only another 20 minutes drive beyond Wells should you wish to make a day of it.

*The Odd Down Inn is an ancient coaching inn, mentioned frequently in Woodforde's Diary of a Parson, worth a stop for a coffee if they are open when you pass.

Edited: 14 March 2014, 07:37
Somerset
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6. Re: Visit in May2014

britlitteacher, you will be hard put to find a hand made or local woollen blanket unless you can find a weaver in a craft market. But woollen rugs aplenty, usually with a tartan effect..

The local products (though not sure if they are still made locally) are sheepskin rugs and slippers. Not fashion statements but they can't be beaten for comfort and fresh feet. Not sure what customs would make of animal products.

It's worth having a look around. The Cathedral shop would be the most likely. Glastonbury tends to have more craft shops and suchlike.

Somerset UK
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7. Re: Visit in May2014

I personally wouldn't bother with Midsomer Norton but spend more time in Wells.

If you're there on a Tuesday the Fountain Inn has a good value over 60's lunch - from the top of Vicar's Close turn right and follow the road around to the pub on the left (it's less than a 5 minute walk).

As for Midsomer Murders whilst it is loosely based on Somerset most of the filming locations are in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and to the best of my knowledge there haven't been any in Somerset.

Manchester, United...
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8. Re: Visit in May2014

There are lists of locations used for Midsomer Murders around - I don't know how accurate they are, but those I've seen back up WaltR by not including Somerset eg:

http://midsomermurders.org/locationsindex.htm

and

http://www.visitmidsomer.com/

Wells is a favourite of mine that I try to re-visit when anywhere near - the last time IIRC I took the guided cathedral tour which, as most of these are, was interesting and worthwhile. It was a lovely sunny day then which does help too for the outside bits!

Budapest, Hungary
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9. Re: Visit in May2014

I am very familiar with Midsomer Norton, it is a rather ugly former mining village - Somerset had a coalfield until 1973 - and has nothing to do with Midsomer Murders......

If you feel you must, you could drive through it on the way to Wells, it is right next door to Radstock.

Edited: 14 March 2014, 14:58
Greenville, South...
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10. Re: Visit in May2014

Britlitteacher, the café menu isn't on the website, but there's a list of various foods available. The name of the café is Chapter Two, and you can find some reviews here on TripAdvisor. I'll be happy to PM you after our return!

I'm interested in the reviews for a place called Strangers with Coffee. Has anyone here tried it?

Thanks to all the posters giving advice; it helps me too, since I'll be there next week. I can't wait-- it's my first time to both Wells and Glastonbury (and a return to Bath after 21 years).

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