From the (77) Bus Stop Walks – Walk 2 Wells
The Cathedral, Bishops Palace and a quarry
Excellent views but difficult terrain beyond Dulcote quarry
Distance 10.9 Km/ 6.8 miles
Total ascent/descent 194m
1 From the bus-stop at Wells (1) bus station (GR546456) bear R along road beside taxi rank then L through railings and turn R (SP Cathedral). At the end of Market Street, go R for 50m (55yds) then sharp L into Broad St and bear R along High St (SP Cathedral). After 50m (55yds) at pedestrian crossing, go R along Guardhouse Lane and at the end go L and then beyond car-park R along a tarmac path by football pitch to reach Silver Street by Bishop’s Barn (2). Go L and then join a moat on the L going ahead to reach gate and road.
2 (GR554458)Go straight across and after 50m (55yds) go R up steps into Tor Hill Woods. Continue along well-defined path to reach a gate and open area. Go along broad grassy track to wooded area and follow 100m(110yds) L to gate. Go ahead with hedge on R as it bears R to reach a field. Go ahead to gate in far R corner to reach a lane.
3 (GR562455) Go L along lane for 350m(400yds), pass to L of gate (SP Bridleway) and continue between woods and golf course. After 800m (½ mile) go through gate and bear L to field. Go R and follow broad track across field, through wooded area to another field and continue ahead.
4 (GR581455) At gate turn clockwise 180o and follow track with hedge/wall on L descending for 1Km(⅔ mile) past Sharcombe Park to reach Dinder. At the church go L, bear R by phone box and ahead at junction to reach A371.
5 (GR575443) Go straight across to steps and stile and ascend keeping hedge to R to reach a stile. Climb very steeply through wood with wall to R. At the top bear R with wall descending gradually. Continue along ridge to a crossing fence with a view down to Dulcote (3) quarry. Retrace steps for 50m (55yds) watching carefully for post with waymark. Here go 90oL and descend steeply passing a pile of stones into the wood. Go down the faint path as it bears generally L with occasional marker. Follow marks carefully along the undulating track for 400m (¼ mile) and take L fork ascending. Go ahead, following markers and fork L at next waymark until the path descends to reach a broad grassy track. Go R for 150m (170yds) to the A371. Cross and go over stile then sharp R along fence and follow to tarmac road. Go ahead and at church go R then bear L at fountain at grass triangle then turn L and follow for 800m (½ mile) to end of pavement and fork L (SP Public Footpath).
6 (GR562452) Follow tarmac path across fields for 1Km(⅔ mile) and pass through double gate to reach moat. Go ahead for 250m (275yds) passing the Bishop’s Palace (4) (entrance to R). Go L through the large archway into the Market Place. After viewing the buildings, go through Penniless Porch (L of London House) to pass the west front of the Cathedral (5). At road beyond, go R then under arch and L into Vicar’s Close. At the end, go ahead along narrow path to emerge in The Liberty opposite Wells Cathedral School (6). Go L and after 150m(170yds) go L at mini-roundabout then bear L into Sadler Street. At the Market Place, go R along High Street and after 200m (220yds) go R at fork then L by City Arms into Queen Street and R into Market Street to reach the bus station.
FOR A SHORTER WALK
Distance 5.0 Km/ 3.1 miles
Follow to the end of point 2 and go across lane to cross stile bearing slightly R to a gate. Descend steeply keeping hedge to R to reach a hedge gap at a road. Cross and follow from point 6.
1 Wells was settled in Roman times but became more important when King Ine founded a church in 704.
2 The Bishop’s Barn was built as a tithe barn in the 15th century of local stone with a Westmorland slate roof.
3 Quarrying at Dulcote started in 1890 and finished in 2012. It is now a Bighams food production site
4 The Bishop’s Palace has been the home of the Bishops of the Diocese of Bath and Wells for 800 years.
5 Wells Cathedral (built 1175-1490) is noted for its west facade, scissor arches, capitals and original glass.
6 Wells Cathedral School, founded in 909, is one of five established music schools for children in the UK. Its buildings include Vicars Close a street of 14th century houses, mostly Grade I listed, claimed to be the oldest of its type in Europe
For car travellers, park in Union St or Tucker St car parks. Selected on-street parking is free on Sundays.
Refreshments: Cafés/pubs in Wells