See Somerset: Mendip Hills, Wells, and Glastonbury Highlights
- Countryside views: Enjoy a scenic drive through the Mendip Hills. Highlights include historic Axbridge Square and the 400-foot-deep, nearly 3-mile-long Cheddar Gorge.
- Wells Cathedral: "The most poetic of the English cathedrals" is yours to explore. An expert guide will show you all the highlights and tell you the stories behind each one.
- Bishop's Palace: You'll have the chance to stroll along the moat of this 13th-century landmark, admiring the Bishop of Wells and Bath's impressive home and grounds.
- Glastonbury sights: An iconic place of both religious pilgrimage and mystical lore, you'll catch all the must-sees on a sightseeing drive through the "cradle of British Christianity."
About this Bristol tour
In a land known for its gorgeous countryside, England's Mendip Hills still take the cake. Officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its sheer slopes and pastoral landscapes are something to admire. Probably the most mind-blowing is Cheddar Gorge. A ravine carved out about a million years ago during the last Ice Age, it is the country's largest gorge. Contrasting all these wilds is Axbridge, a town square you'll also glimpse on this scenic drive to Wells.
England's smallest city, Wells is known for its history, gothic cathedral, and palace (complete with a moat, of course!). And you'll see it all. But first you'll want to snap your selfie with a celebrity. The cathedral's famed West Front still boasts over 300 original, larger-than-life statues of saints, angels, bishops, and kings. After that, an in-the-know guide will lead you through the interior of the cathedral, with its intricate Scissor Arches and massive Jesse Window.
Another can't-miss historic site in Wells is Bishop's Palace. You'll have time to stroll the grounds around this 13th-century structure's moat. But don't expect to see snapping crocodiles lurking in the waters below. Instead, clever swans grace the moat. What makes them so clever, you ask? Since the 1870s, these feathered flocks have been trained to ring a bell when they want to be fed by palace caretakers who come running with food. Talk about first-class service!
After touring the city, you'll take a short drive to Glastonbury with its enigmatic tor (or hill) for a peek into its secrets, both sacred and magical. It is a spot believed to mark both the entrance to the Celtic Underworld and the birthplace of English Christianity. Glastonbury also swirls with Arthurian legends relating to the mythical king's sword Excalibur. It's also one of the locations rumored to be his place of burial, where he lies in wait until the day of his triumphant return.
Who is the painted lady?
In 2003, a painting of a woman (possibly of ill-repute) in a low-cut gown was found under the floorboards in Bishop's Palace. Although some believed the subject in question could be Mary Magdalene, an investigating archeologist had a different theory. Based on compelling evidence, he dated the painting to around 1460, but was unable to identify the woman. And no one knows why her portrait was hidden away. Maybe it was the act of a naughty medieval bishop?
Please make your way to Main Entrance of the Bristol Temple Meads Railway to meet our tour representative.
There are some great views seen along your drive. If taking pictures from the bus, turn your flash off, set your camera on manual focus, use the fastest shutter speed possible, and zoom as far as you can.
This tour is suitable for travelers with limited mobility, able to get in and out of the van without assistance. Most venues are wheelchair accessible but you may encounter steps. Folding wheelchairs only, please.
Cultural, Family Friendly, Scenic
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Travelers must be 5 years of age or older and accompanied by an adult to participate in this tour.
Special Medical Restriction
Folding wheelchairs can be accommodated. Please bring a companion to offer any assistance.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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