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Ljyoung Feb 23rd, 2004 11:30 AM

Wells, Somerset
 
We will be visiting Wells this July for a couple of nights. A few questions:
1) Can anyone recommend a nice hotel? I am considering The Crown @ Wells.
2) Names of good restaurants? The Crown advertises its' Anton's Bistrot as being very good.
3) Are the Wooky Caves nearby worth a visit? Any opinions re: "must sees"?
Thanks for any feedback.....

Underhill Feb 23rd, 2004 12:03 PM

The Wooky Caves--and the Cheddar Gorge too--are fun to visit. And you can get a great Somerset cream tea!

In Wells you won't be far from Glastonbury, so by all means visit the ruins of the massive cathedral there. Besides visiting the magnificent Wells Cathedral (don't miss the chapter house and the "heavenly stairs") walk around the Bishop's Palace grounds next door. Another Somerset gem is Forde Abbey.

Dorothy01 Feb 23rd, 2004 12:06 PM

It was 15 years ago that we visited Wells. We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast on the outskirts of town. We had driven to the Tourist Office in Wells to seek help in finding accomodations and it was closed. We were approaced by a gentleman who asked us if we needed a room. He was extremely well-dressed and drove an expensive car but still we hesitated. He convinced us he was safe so we followed him in our rental car to Beryl House. It was absolutley stunning. Holly met us and showed us to a gorgeous room. We only spent one night but it was one of the best places we ever stayed. The full English breakfast was included. We were there in March before the gardens were in bloom. It should be gorgeous in July. I think there is a swimming pool on the grounds also.

The website is www.beryl-wells.co.uk/homepage.htm

We also visited Wooky Hole and enjoyed our tour of the caves. They were not nearly as magnificent as caverns we have seen in the US or New Zealand but we were glad that we stopped in.

Ivy Feb 23rd, 2004 12:31 PM

Oh My! Dorothy I totally agree! We stayed at Beryl this past fall and it is just lovely, truly a gem of a B&B. Sadly, the gentleman has passed away, but Holly remains as does the parrot in the front entryway. It's a lovely place to stay and I highly recommend it.

jsmith Feb 23rd, 2004 12:41 PM

Wells Cathedral contains the unique scissor arches which were added in the 1300s to prevent the towers from collapsing and the west front has an amazing display of statuary.

Glastonbury Abbey is connected with all sorts of King Arthur stories for the history buff and you will find tiedyed inhabitants selling mood rings, etc. today. A fun place to visit.

Slightly further afield but a must for anyone appreciative of what landscapers can do is Stourhead, one of England's finest gardens.

These three are must sees. Enjoy.

travelbunny Feb 23rd, 2004 12:58 PM

...Had a chance to spend a week in Wells a few years ago. The Cathedral is a jewel. Would suggest you attend an evensong if you have the inclination..a very moving almost transendental experience (note..there is a said evensong once a week and that is not as spectacular..in addition, the local choir is away for the summer starting mid- July..the visiting choirs are usually good but some much better than others)..the bishops palace is lovely as is the Vicar's close..had great time sitting and watching the swans with children..re Wookey Hole..a great place for kids (5-12)..a penny arcade and the caves..so my recommendation would depend on the age group. it is less than a mile from town so not a big trip..Glastonbury is close as other writers have pointed out..in fact i took a free bus from wells to glastonbury which was a shuttle for a big grocery store..(yes i actually made a purchase..just mentioned this to point out how close everything is)..a great pub near the public school (ie private high school)..i cant remember the name but as you leave the main entrance it was opposite direction from the way you would walk to the cathedral..less than a five minute walk..great dinner.

Ljyoung Feb 24th, 2004 12:03 PM

Thank you all for input thus far. We really appreciate it. The Cathedral w/ the evensong & the Abbey sound interesting to me. And sounds like our 8 & 13 year olds will enjoy the caves. Great story by Dorothy and Underhill,what is a cream tea?
Anyone have any restaurant suggestions? THX again......

Underhill Feb 24th, 2004 02:15 PM

A cream tea is afternoon tea with scones and that fabulous clotted cream, not to be confused with Devonshire cream. Clotted cream has a texture closer to butter; you spread it on a scone and then top with jam. It's hevenly!

And Stourhead: YES. The gardens are justly famous as examples of 18th-century landscape design, and they would be a great spot for kids to work off some energy by running around the lake.


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