Tell me about Wells (Somerset)

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  • Tell me about Wells (Somerset)
  • sharki

    Awesome cathedral, and that’s about it.

    Right next to the mendips (i think oldfart lives there).

    Quantocks is 45mins ish.
    M5 is 30 mins away then access too wales and the south west hot spots are 90mins either way.

    I’m sure others will say more.


    Might well be moving down that way in the next 12 months. So what’s it like? Passed through a few times and it seems nice enough. Decent riding? Good connections to other places for work? House prices? Full of neds?


    I’ve lived here since 1992 when I moved post uni (Portsmouth and I’m originally from Essex. I worked for EMI/Racal/Thales until 2000 and now work in South Bristol. being an incomer is OK as there’s plenty of us. A few ooh and arrs and you’ll be right in, esp. if you like good cider!

    It’s a town-sized city with nice medieval bits. As mentioned, the cathedral and palace are big. It’s quite well-off, conservative, plenty of well-heeled olds, low crime etc. It has reasonable shops and facilities for the size, and OK access to nearby towns for what it doesn’t have. Tesco is the main supermarket but there’s a Somerfield and Lidl. It does have a couple of rougher areas, but nothing really bad. In fact, go watch Hot Fuzz as it’s filmed here and is the directors homage to his home-town and there’s a grain of truth in the portrayal.

    Riding stuff: Bike City is a decent LBS run by decent proper cyclists. There’s unlimited quiet country lanes to explore with lots of country pubs. Limited offroad routes on the doorstep but 20 mins to Burrington&Cheddar where there is plenty of trails. 15 minutes to Priddy woods, 20 minutes to the quarry near Frome for freeriding. To get the most out of the area, you need to add-in a few footpaths, but there is no real problem with this if done carefully; local knowledge helps a lot and theres plenty here who will help e.g. me, scienceofficer, oldfart, agentdagnamit et al. There’s a regular club based from the Miners Arms in Shipham. Look at this: Mendip Route

    When dry, it’s great but it gets very sticky and slippery in winter or wet spells due to the underlying limestone with sandstone muds – imagine Derbyshire+Essex.

    It’s about 50 mins to the Qs, 90 mins to CwmCarn, 90 mins to Exmoor, 120 mins to Dartmmor, 140 mins to AfanArgoed.


    Grew up there – beautiful place.

    FACT: The Hunters Lodge at Priddy (just up the road) is the best pub in the known universe. 😀

    noteeth: Hunter’s is my local (ish). It’s so unchanged. Love it.


    It’s so unchanged.

    Long may it (and Roger) remain so!

    Whoops: Hunters’


    buzz-lightyear: what are Priddy (do you mean Stockhill?) woods like? trails easy to find?

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Oil or water?
    All right coat’s on!

    It’s pretty if a bit dreary.

    I live near-ish there. S’ok.

    RE; Priddy, any of you guys going to the music (folk) festival later in the year? Looks interesting, even if just for the pleasant beverage consumption! 😉


    Another Wells local here. Buzz summed it up pretty well.

    Quite a bit more well-heeled than the other nearby towns (Shepton, Glasto, Street, Radstock) which is reflected in the house prices. Housing stock goes all the way from 15th century terraced cottages to modern estates. 150k-ish for a two-bed place at the moment. Good schools (if that’s an issue).

    Not a place for wild nightlife but there’s some good pubs, an independent cinema, bits of live music /comedy / am dram. (Reginald D. Hunter did a live standup show last year!) Lots of choral music at the cathedral if you’re into that kind of thing. Glasto is a few miles away once a year. Bristol’s in reach for proper nights out.

    No shortage of local riders – I ride mostly with the Shipham Miners Arms lot and the Bike City boys are out all the time as well.


    No-one’s mentioned the caving possibilities. Used to be a member of the BEC but they were too much into smashing their own hut up and being wild for my liking. The Wessex seemed more civilised.

    St Cuthbert’s Swallet is the best cave I have been into on Mendip (but it’s not a beginner’s trip) and GB has the largest void under Mendip in it as well as some good decorations, but there’s Swildon’s Hole and the stuff in Burrington Coombe for beginners.

    Can’t stand the Hunters or Roger Dawes but the New Inn in Priddy was nice and did good food a few years ago.

    Always enjoyed the Miners in Shipham, but that was mostly because we’d just got out of Singing River Mine, which was great fun!

    The Feathers at Rickford Rising used to be nice too…

    Going to be a lot harder to get hold of caving kit on Mendip now that Bat Products has closed though (and what a nice guy Tony Jarrett was).

    Premier Icon molgrips

    It’s a lovely place tbh – beautiful small town and not bad for biking. A bit more upmarket than a lot of other Somerset tpwns I think. It’s also where they filmed Hot Fuzz 🙂


    I used to sing in the Cathedral choir there 😳

    what are Priddy (do you mean Stockhill?) woods like? trails easy to find?

    1. wait for a dry spell when you have 1-2 hours free
    2. Park in the obvious car park (mind the low barrier)
    3. Follow you nose – the big tracks just get you around. The real stuff disappears into the trees – generally low speed, rooty stuff and quite flat. You sometimes get into dead-ends. Worth doing a loop on the other side too.
    4. Avoid Sunday lunch walkers and the poo their dogs leave

    Roger/The Hunters’ is unique and not everyone’s cup of chai, that is true. It took me 6 months to get past the scowling stage 🙂 The advantage is that you can go in there wet, whiffy and covered and mud and you’ll fit right in. That and the beer is kept very well.


    Thank you all for the info 🙂 Kind of what i expected. Got 2 kids so school is a consideration and have around £250k to spend on a house so maybe looking good.

    what are the train/bus/cycle connections like to other towns/brizzle etc?


    Buses hourly or better to Bristol, also regularly to Frome, Bridgewater, Taunton etc.

    Trains non-existent, the nearest mainline station is Castle Cary (and Temple Meads).

    Commuting locally by bike would be manageable (eg Shepton, Street) but I wouldn’t fancy going up the A39/A37 to Bristol every day – narrow, hilly, lots of heavy goods traffic.


    (and what a nice guy Tony Jarrett was)

    Aye, RIP Tony. Smashing bloke and a great loss.

    but there’s Swildon’s Hole

    Barnes’ Loop is named after my Great-Grandfather. 😀

    “£250k to spend on a house”

    That should get you something quite decent.


    Worked in Wells for 16 years. Good community , schools, nice easy living

    Premier Icon edd

    Just don’t take your phone into the Hunters or Roger will nail it to the bar…

    What do you mean (elliptic) that there’s not a wild night life? Is there a better night out then The Crown followed by Special K? 😉

    Which brings me nicely onto the fact that despite being tiny Wells has it’s own club…

    …which is rubbish but seems to have some kind of a magnetic attraction at about 11pm


    Ah yes, Kudos on a Saturday night…

    …the only nightclub in the known world with floral hanging baskets outside 😯

    I have lived in Wells for the past 12 years.
    People are generally friendly but the night life isn’t great.
    The local MTBing is OK, some descent stuff within riding distance.
    The schools are OK as well I think.

    Traffic into Bristol can be busy, if you are working there then Wells may not be the best place to live.
    I commute from Wells to Nailsea on the bike and don’t have any real issues, the roads are not that busy but most are pretty dark in the winter, you will need good lights!

    “Roger will nail it to the bar…”

    I’ve seen the bit of wood with the phones nailed to it. What about the human femur in the cabinet?

    basil: bike commuting from Wells to nailsea -respect!

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