HomeTravel‘Beautiful’ market town is crowned UK’s ‘best’ place and is 'never crowded'

‘Beautiful’ market town is crowned UK’s ‘best’ place and is ‘never crowded’


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A charming medieval destination has been crowned the UK’s “best” town, despite the fact it is not a town at all.

Wells in Somerset has been nicknamed “England’s smallest city” as despite only having a population of 12,000 it has been given city status since the medieval times because of its breathtaking gothic cathedral.

This beautiful location has been voted the best inland town in Britain by Which?, the UK’s largest consumer body which surveyed members and shared that the town has scored a full five stars on attractiveness and things to do for tourists.

Many people are likely to recognise Wells as it is the filming location of the fictional village of Sandford in the cult movie Hot Fuzz, starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost as well as many other famous British actors.

Lots of the film’s most iconic locations such as the Swan Hotel, the corner shop where the characters buy cornettos and the marketplace where the big gunfight takes place are real places you can visit.

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However, Wells has since become a popular filming location in Hollywood as it also features in the television series Doctor Who, Wolf Hall and the latest Dungeons and Dragons movie.

Do not let the size of this tiny city fool you, as Wells offers many fun things to do whether you are visiting on holiday, for a weekend getaway or as a day out.

The most obvious place to visit is the Wells Cathedral located in the heart of the city and is a massive building known for being England’s first Gothic cathedral.

It took 300 years to build this magnificent cathedral which is worth visiting for its architecture alone it also holds more than 300 sculptures, the oldest working mechanical clock in Britain built in the 14th century as well as daily tours so you can learn more about the city’s rich history.

Not too far from the cathedral is the Wells Market Place, a historic trading spot which opens on Wednesdays and Saturdays where you can buy fresh produce, treats and homemade crafts.

Anyone looking to take some photographs should also explore Vicar’s Close, the oldest residential street in Europe which has beautiful stone brick homes, a cobblestone street and an incredible view of the cathedral making it an unforgettable stop on your visit.

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Once you have seen the sights it is worth taking a look at the Wells & Mendip Museum, which was founded by the famous Victorian geologist Herbert Balch in 1893 and features an impressive collection of artefacts from the nearby Mendip Hills and exhibitions to learn more about the city’s history.

Anyone wishing to get out on a hike should visit Glastonbury Tor, a ruined tower located near Wells which is mentioned in Celtic mythology and the King Arthur legends which is worth the walk for anyone who wants a relaxing countryside walk with beautiful views.

After a long day of sightseeing, visitors can visit the Swan Hotel, seen in Hot Fuzz and is also a restaurant where you can eat traditional British cooking or enjoy some afternoon tea.

There is also the City Arms, a cosy pub which sits in what used to be the city jail and is said to be the most haunted pub in the city but is known for its ale, ciders and plenty of pub grub to enjoy.

There is plenty more to explore in Wells but many visitors have highly rated the city on Trip Advisor, with one reviewer saying it is “well worth the visit.”

They wrote: “The cathedral is an amazing and beautiful building. The centre of Wells is also interesting and well worth exploring. As an added bonus, there’s a great market in the square each Saturday.-artisan foods and crafts.”

Another person commented: “This is a lovely place to spend the day, especially on market day. There are lots of independent shops including coffee shops and the Crown hotel offers lovely lunches that are reasonably priced.”

While someone else wrote: “A beautiful market town with plenty to see and do. Cathedral is located right in the centre and definitely worth a visit.”

One other user said: “I went at right time before summer as there [were] hardly any other visitors and the tourist attractions were never crowded..there was lots to see and was beautiful to walk around.”

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