Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral
5
Historic SitesArchitectural BuildingsChurches & Cathedrals
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Wells Cathedral is set in the medieval heart of England’s smallest city and is the earliest English Cathedral to be built in the Gothic style. At the heart of Wells Cathedral is the daily pattern of prayer and worship, the rhythm of which forms the framework of all that we do. You are welcome to visit and enjoy Wells Cathedral at your own pace or take a guided tour. Tickets for tours are now available via www.eventbrite.co.uk The Loft Café boasts views of the magnificent West Front of Wells Cathedral and over the tranquil moat of the Bishop’s Palace. The Loft café is located on the first floor and is reached by a set of stairs or, for those in a wheelchair or with pushchairs, by lift. The Cathedral shop is situated on the ground floor by the Welcome desk. It’s the perfect place to browse Somerset produce and thoughtful gifts and books.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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  • GlasgowVegas
    Glasgow, United Kingdom44 contributions
    The best Cathedral I've ever seen. An amazing step back into history.
    The best Cathedral I've ever seen. An amazing step back into history. Most cathedrals are great but Wells is spectacular. It's so well looked after, inside, out, staff, everything. See to believe.
    Thank you so much.
    Written December 14, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 2, 2022
  • Carmenda
    Denver, Colorado489 contributions
    Truly spectacular!
    Truly spectacular! This is one of the most breathtaking cathedrals I’ve visited in the UK. I was truly impressed to see such grandeur, in the small quaint town of Wells. The mind boggles to think of the pure genius required to design and build such intricate architectural masterpiece. Take time to admire the cathedral on the outside, as much as you do the inside; there’s as much history, as there is beauty to take in. I highly recommend to read about the history of the cathedral, before you visit. There are Guides and Welcomers to assist with questions, and guided tours; which is the most time efficient way to get through all the highlights of this magnificent building. This is an enormous place, with enough to see and learn about from eager staff, that you can easily spend an entire day and may not see it all. In hindsight, I might have carefully reviewed their website, before my visit, to make the most of my time there, and to identify areas of personal interest; but sadly I didn’t. As usual, in buildings such as this, I recommend comfortable shoes to safely climb uneven and worn stairs, and walk on medieval stone floors. It’s also quite chilly inside, so warm clothes is a must. I found the map & guide pamphlet provided with my ticket, quite useful; it helped keep my walk around neatly organized, and I didn’t miss any must see spots. The cafe and gift shop were quite nice too. Photos allowed inside inmost areas of the cathedral. This is truly an extraordinary place, that requires leisurely time to fully appreciate. I stayed in town a couple of days to see everything, without rushing. I highly recommend a visit.
    Thank you Carmenda
    Written January 9, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled solo
    Written December 23, 2022
  • Madeleine A
    London, United Kingdom3 contributions
    One of the finest
    We'd been meaning to visit Wells Cathedral for many years and finally got the chance last Saturday. The cathedral itself is spectacular and has many wonderful features that any medievalist would love. We were extremely lucky to be taken on a tour of the building by volunteer Mark Saunders, an extremely knowledgable and lovely historian that highlighted hundreds of details we would have missed otherwise. We had the pleasure of meeting Basil the cat, too! <3 Thank you so much to Wells Cathedral and Mr Mark Saunders for an unforgettable visit.
    A wonderful review, thank you.
    Written February 21, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2023
    Written January 16, 2023
  • Jeremy S
    Exeter, United Kingdom101 contributions
    High Parts tour reaches the parts other tours don't reach
    This is a really excellent tour behind the scenes of the cathedral where you can really understand how the cathedral was built and now operates. the two guides John and Simon are outstanding in their knowledge and bringing everything to life. If you are just thinking about this, then DO IT
    A wonderful review, thank you.
    Written February 21, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2023
    Written January 26, 2023
  • Kris M
    Omaha, Nebraska132 contributions
    Gorgeous Cathedral
    I love a good cathedral and this one is gorgeous. To get here from London, we took the train to Bath and then an Uber to the cathedral in Wells. Amazing scenery on the way - at one point we could see Glastonbury Tor in the distance. The Cathedral has beautifully intricate carving all over outside. Technically it’s free to get in but they do ask for a donation to help with the upkeep. Please contribute….it’s worth it. They do offer free tours but we just wandered at our own pace. Everything is beautiful from the floor to the ceiling. Especially notable is the clock and some spectacular doors. And the cat!
    Thank you Kris
    Written February 21, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written February 10, 2023
  • Shaun L
    Clanfield, United Kingdom1,716 contributions
    Small city doesn’t mean small cathedral
    With this being the smallest city in England I hadn’t expected a large cathedral but indeed it was. Amazing from the outside and decoratively stunning inside this is a standout cathedral. Entrance is via a suggested donation but absolutely worth it. Check out the famous clock and the area where the clergy would need to carry out cathedral business which felt very Game of Thrones.
    Thank you Shaun
    Written February 21, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 12, 2023
  • Anna T
    Carmarthenshire, United Kingdom28 contributions
    Beautiful Cathedral
    Stunning cathedral, we had a whistle stop visit here while visiting locally. With more time, we’ll come back again for a really good look. Shame about the lady on reception directly asking our 5 year old child why he is in a wheelchair though. Completely unnecessary and upsetting for us all as he’s at a sensitive age with regards to his disability and there was no need to ask such a question. He doesn’t need to tell people that he’s in a wheelchair because he can’t stand up or walk, that really tarnished our visit and we couldn’t get out of there quick enough to be honest. Perhaps some further staff training on visitors with disabilities wouldn’t go amiss!
    Dear Anna, Firstly, let me apologise for this and secondly, please extend our apologies to your son and the rest of your family. Please would you contact me on 01749 671 663 or visits@wellscathedral.org.uk, as I would like to get a few more details from you in order to identify any training required? We look forward to welcoming you again to Wells Cathedral, if you let me know when you are coming we will get one of expert guides to show you around. Best wishes, Darren Brown Visitor Services Co-Ordinator
    Written February 24, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written February 23, 2023
  • Rachel South London
    6 contributions
    Brilliant guided tour
    Brilliant guided tour - Tues 28th noon- 1pm. So much knowledge, well delivered and really captivating. Brought the cathedral to life. Really appreciated the stories, anecdotes of people involved in the cathedral’s history.
    Thank you! We hope you enjoyed learning about the Cathedral from our volunteer guides
    Written April 17, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 29, 2023
  • Rebecca1H
    10 contributions
    Lots to see and learn
    A High tour experience led by guide Simon, with Geoff alongside, was a highlight along with two ground level tours led firstly by Clive and then by Di. Each member of the guiding team brought their own style and knowledge to enhance our understanding of this beautiful building and how it has been used and changed over the centuries. These well trained guides are to be commended for all they give to the visitor experience. Thank you team. A special shout out to Deborah on reception who managed to rearrange a booking for us when really her busy and difficult shift had already ended. So much to see and learn if you have the time...attending a concert and sung evensong as part of our weekend was a bonus.
    Thank you for such a lovely review!
    Written April 17, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 29, 2023
  • apnikismet
    Salisbury, United Kingdom17 contributions
    A stunning building
    A true gem of a building and well worth a visit. We did the daily tour, which was very interesting and informative. My only suggestion for improvement would be to make the gardens in and around the cathedral more conducive for wildlife, eg. letting the grass grow longer, create a wildflower meadow and plant more trees. The patch of green in front of the cathedral, especially would benefit from less mowing and more rewilding. Trees and wildflower meadows would greatly improve this area. Good to see that the cafe served vegan and vegetarian food and soft drinks in glass instead of plastic bottles.
    Thank you for your review. We'd love to be able to re-wild more areas of the Cathedral precincts, but as the Cathedral Green is such a commonly used public space and a medieval graveyard, it would be very tricky for us to maintain. Our fantastic team of volunteer gardeners do a wonderful job of planting native flowers and plants in the gardens, and a wildflower patch has been planted in the past couple of years at the rear of Vicars Close. If you have any further suggestions for us, please do let us know! We're always grateful for feedback.
    Written April 17, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 11, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
3,936 reviews
Excellent
3,190
Very good
616
Average
92
Poor
25
Terrible
13

Ann C
Grange-over-Sands, UK34 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
I have visited Well Cathedral several times in the past, it is one of my favourites but I have to write this review as I feel that the method of getting donations is wrong.

The Cathedral was always free to get in with a donation box at the entrance/ exit. I have always put a donation in the box and am happy to contribute to the upkeep which I’m sure is substantial.

This has all changed & you are now accosted by a lady asking if you want the cafe or the Cathedral. In the background is a sign giving the suggested amount of £6.00 for adults £5.00 concessions. If you chose the Cathedral Route you are directed to a lady on a till where you feel pressurised to pay to go in.

We ( 2 couples) decided not to go as this is definitely the wrong way to go about getting people to give a donation.

Either charge an entrance fee or leave it as it was don’t basically force people to give a donation.
Four donations were lost that day & I’m sure many more were to.

I certainly won’t return whilst the system is in place which is a shame as this is such a beautiful building.

If I was giving a review of the actual Cathedral it would be 5*
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lady Traveller P
Wellington, UK203 contributions
Feb 2020 • Friends
There is no getting away from it Wells is a beautiful cathedral. It should be open to anyone. I get that they need money but don't say it's a donation and then tell everyone to pay £6. I know the woman on the till states you can pay what you want. But this is embarrassing for people who cannot afford £6. Whatever happened to Churches being open to all. I visited with a friend who felt so pressured that she gave £8 that I knew she could not afford. When I asked her why she paid it she said she felt embarrassed to pay less. For God sake since when did the church start embarrassing people to get money out of them.
You should be ashamed of yourself. Charge for guided tours, but let people visit as it was intended, for a place to contemplate and pray.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AprilForbes
Salisbury, UK813 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
Arrived at 11:00 and went in, it is free but you have the option of giving a donation - recommend £6 or £5 depending on age.

My ma had the option of a service at 11:30 which we didn't do, just wanted to look around.

Parts of the cathedral are ornate but some parts are very plain.

I was disappointed that there is scaffolding outside, so of course don't quite get the whole effect.

My ma liked the grounds, admittedly I just sat on a bench whilst she walked the gardens.

If you enjoy cathedrals, it is worth a visit.
Written July 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andy B
Harlow, UK504 contributions
Sep 2020
We attended a concert in the cathedral, booking tickets online using a seating plan. We selected seats in the nave, however on the night we were shown to seats in the aisle with our view obstructed by the building's columns which are over a metre wide.

According to the online pricing plan the seats we were shown to were 25% cheaper than those we had paid for. On the night the event was largely being run by volunteers and the ticket money is towards charity so we didn't protest at what we saw as something of a rip-off in other circumstances.

The actual concert and musicianship was superb. We would have been delighted if we had had the view we paid for.
Written September 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
I'm very sorry to hear that you had a bad experience. I would like to check your ticket purchase and seat allocation so that we can ensure this issue does not occur in future, and would be grateful if you were able to email me at emily.risdon@wellscathedral.uk.net
Written October 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kayleigh M
Southampton, UK155 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Wow!

This building is beautiful, we walked around the grounds of it for a while admiring the detailed work on the building before going in and looking inside.
We went in and although you don't have to pay they ask for a contribution, which is absolutely fine we would have paid to get in if there was a charge any way however the staff kept saying you don't have to but we recommend it, and we didn't have alot of cash with us due to always paying via card etc so gave them what we had, had we have known that as walking around the cathedral there is boxes for contributions in various places we would have preferred to put the money in there when it was a bit more private.

The building inside is breath taking, looking at the features and the detail of everything was amazing.

The building is full of history and I would really recommend going inside if you are passing by.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hols4me22
Cornwall, UK98 contributions
Jun 2021
Advertised as free to visit outside but once in the foyer there is a sign of a 'suggested' donation of 6.00 per person. Then the lady behind the desk told us to scan track & trace followed by ' I expect everyone in the party to leave a donation'. Now, my husband had already gotten out 10.00 to donate for the 4 of us which we thought was generous for a quick walk around the cathedral, but seen as she was standing there expectantly awaiting more money we chose instead to leave. Very embarrassing! Either charge for entrance or leave it to people to donate what they can afford not be told what to pay. The cathedral should be for everyone! Will avoid in future.
Written June 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linsley M
London, UK111 contributions
Jul 2020
Wells cathedral is not difficult to miss. And its worth popping in. Unusually there is note try fee but a modest donation of just £5 is requested. That is incredible value.

Because of the lockdown there are restrictions and not all of the cathedral is open. However the grandeur of the building is self-evident, helped by keeping the nave free of pews and chairs.

Don't miss the clock!

There is plenty of space for social distancing as well.
Written July 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trepesciolini
United Kingdom60 contributions
Aug 2020
Due to current restrictions, tours and visits are suspended. Therefore, we were only able to view the Cathedral itself.
There is no entry fee for this, though donations are invited (but not compulsory, and £6 per adult is a modest ask compared to the compulsory entry fee of other similar buildings).
The building is beautiful and very peaceful, with quiet corners for private prayers available.
Make sure to stop by the clock as it strikes the quarter to see the mechanism in action.
We loved the stained glass and the carvings.
There are no chairs or pews in the nave, but stone seats are located along the walls and offer a welcome chance to sit and admire and take in the surroundings or just to rest.
Written August 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Great to hear you enjoyed your visit, thank you for your review and donation!
Written August 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gemma L
275 contributions
Aug 2021
I have only given 4 stars due to the forcefulness and rudeness of the lady on the donations desk. The sign says free entry, donations appreciated, but no obligation to pay- however there is very much an obligation to pay! We walked in and were shouted back very loudly to the desk to provide a donation- embarrassing us in front of other visitors. It's a suggested donation of £6- but you can do other amounts, via card, all under the watchful eye of the rude lady! Had it been a donation bucket we would have popped in some coins, but being told what to donate or being made to feel like we weren't doing enough riled us so we opted to pay nothing! Just in case you didn't want to pay on the door however, there are numerous other donation buckets around the Cathedral.........

The Cathedral itself was beautiful, informative and well kept. There was a great one way system in place, and we were lucky enough to see the clock strike the hour. I really enjoyed reading the dates dotted about the church, and there was a wonderful art display on show at the time. We also pottered up Vicars Close, which was truly stunning!
Written August 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fergumagoo
Leeds, UK91 contributions
Jul 2020 • Couples
My husband and I went to Wells on a day trip and we decided to pay a donation and go into the cathedral. We are so glad that we did because it really is beautiful and lovely to stroll around. I felt like they dealt with covid and social distancing very well and I was really impressed to see that well behaved dogs were welcome! The inside is so beautiful and the history is wonderful, it was a lovely sunny day and well worth a visit!
Written July 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Wells Cathedral

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