Places to Visit

Seek Inspiration Within Wells Cathedral

A captivating mix of architecture, history, and spiritual wonder awaits visitors to Wells Cathedral. Just minutes from Gosswood Park Campsite, this architectural gem is one of England’s most beautiful cathedrals – a perfect destination for lovers of history, culture, or those simply seeking a place for calm reflection.

Architectural Mastery: Gothic Splendor

Step outside the campsite and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Wells Cathedral. Its iconic West Front, a masterpiece of early English Gothic design, boasts over 300 statues and detailed carvings that stand as a testament to medieval craftsmanship. Once inside, the vast nave leads your gaze toward the exquisite scissor arches – unique to Wells and an engineering marvel of their time, adding both beauty and structural support.

Stories Stained in Glass

As your eyes adjust to the dim light, admire the magnificent stained glass windows flooding the interior with a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors. Depicting stories from the Bible and the lives of saints, they’ve captivated people for centuries. Marvel at the intricate detail within the Jesse window, one of the finest examples of its kind in Europe. Be sure to admire the exquisite medieval clock faces in the north transept – one of the oldest working clocks in the world!

Faith and Music

Throughout the year, the cathedral resonates with the melodies of sacred music. Be moved by the acclaimed Wells Cathedral Choir performing hauntingly beautiful hymns within the sacred space. Or, during special events, immerse yourself in the powerful melodies of a full orchestra performing amidst ancient stonework. Time your visit to coincide with a guided tour and peel back layers of history as you uncover the cathedral’s rich and sometimes troubled past.

Step into the Peaceful Chapter House

The cathedral’s Chapter House, an octagonal marvel where important gatherings took place, exudes tranquility. Ascend the winding stone staircase and admire intricate

Journey to the Depths and Discover Cheddar Gorge & Caves

Gosswood Park - Places to Visit - Cheddar Gorge

Somerset is more than rolling hills and quaint villages – within a short drive of Gosswood Park Campsite, the dramatic landscape of Cheddar Gorge and Caves awaits adventurous campers and glampers. Buckle up for a thrilling journey of geological marvels and underground explorations.

A Landscape Carved by Time

Begin your adventure on the winding road that cuts through Cheddar Gorge, carved out by meltwater during the Ice Ages. Gaze in awe upon the towering limestone cliffs reaching 450 feet high, a haven for climbers and a dramatic backdrop to your explorations. Keep your eyes peeled for the hardy goats scrambling across the cliff faces! The drive itself is an experience, weaving through a landscape rich in myths and legends.

Descend into a Subterranean World

Step out of the sunlight and into a world of stalactites and stalagmites, ancient rock formations, and eerie darkness. Gough’s Cave, the largest of the Cheddar caves, will dazzle you with its immense chambers and cathedral-like spaces. Imagine a time when ice-age hunters walked these same halls, their footsteps echoing through the vast passageways.

Next, discover the eerie beauty of Cox’s Cave, where shimmering light effects transform the stalactites and stalagmites into fantastical sculptures. Learn about stalactites and stalagmites, and the thousands of years it takes for these wondrous formations to take shape. For the most adventurous, a trip to Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, the 9,000-year-old ‘Cheddar Man,’ is a must-see in the onsite Museum of Prehistory.

Above Ground Adventures

Back in the open air, Cheddar Gorge offers more than subterranean wonders. Climb Jacob’s Ladder, a challenging network of 274 steps, for breathtaking panoramic views of the gorge and countryside. Embark on the thrilling cliff-top Gorge Walk, keeping an eye out for playful Peregrine Falcons circling above. Enjoy a picnic perched overlooking the stunning scenery or venture onto a longer hike exploring the trails crisscrossing the Mendip Hills AONB surrounding the gorge.

Discover Charming Cheddar Village

After your subterranean exploration, be sure to wander through the picturesque village of Cheddar. Home to the world-famous Cheddar cheese, savor the local flavor at one of the charming cheese shops. Indulge in the rich and creamy texture, a treat not to be missed. Peruse quaint shops lining the gorge, where you’ll find local crafts and delicious delights. Take a refreshing dip in the Gorge’s open-air swimming pool, located a short distance from the village and a perfect way to cool off after an active day.

Escape to the Tranquility of the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens

Gosswood Park Campsite - Places to Visit - Bishops Palace in Wells, Somerset.

Nestled in the smallest city in England, Wells, the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens is a true Somerset gem that beckons visitors to step back in time. For over 800 years, this stunning site has been home to the bishops of Bath and Wells, offering a tranquil oasis of historic charm and captivating natural beauty, perfect for campers and glampers looking to step away from the bustle of Gosswood Park Campsite.

Step Back in Time: From Moat to Magnificent Palace

Your journey begins as you pass the resident swans gliding over the picturesque moat, before crossing the flagstone drawbridge and passing beneath the portcullis. You’ll feel transported to a bygone era as you imagine a time when the Palace hummed with activity. Inside, you’ll find yourself gazing at the ruins of the magnificent Great Hall. Built in the 1280s, this was one of England’s most impressive medieval halls, reflecting the vast power held by bishops during that time. You can easily envision grand banquets and important gatherings amidst the soaring windows and grand architecture.

An Enchanting Garden Paradise

Beyond the history, the 14 acres of RHS-partnered gardens provide a feast for the senses. Wander through vibrant borders boasting colorful blooms, and lose yourself in the sweet scents of the parterre’s roses. Ascend the ramparts for magnificent views stretching out across the grounds and encompassing Wells Cathedral. Amble through the tranquil Arboretum, its diverse collection of trees providing dappled shade and a glimpse at the changing seasons.

A visit to the well pools is a must! These natural springs give the city of Wells its name and hold an air of enchantment with their clear, bubbling depths. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself mesmerized by the reflections of the Cathedral dancing on the still water.

More Than Just a Garden

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens boasts a year-round calendar of events. Catch a thrilling open-air theater performance on a summer evening or revel in the festive spirit of a Christmas market. Throughout the year, educational tours and activities offer deeper insights into the Palace’s fascinating history and the captivating grounds. Children will have their sense of adventure kindled as they explore the Dragon’s Lair play area, where their imaginations can roam free.

Unwind and Refresh

A trip to the Bishop’s Palace wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the Bishop’s Table café, renowned for its locally sourced homemade food and breathtaking views. Unwind amidst the vibrant and welcoming space as you tuck into a delightful lunch, a tempting sweet treat, or a perfectly brewed cup of coffee.

Explore Historic Wells

After escaping into this realm of history and gardens, a short walk leads you to the heart of Wells itself. Its streets beckon you to explore, lined with independent shops and historic buildings. Be sure to admire the architecture of Vicars’ Close, Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited residential street. Marvel at the grandeur of Wells Cathedral, a towering masterpiece of Gothic design.

Discover the Wild Beauty of the Mendip Hills

Gosswood Park - Places to go - Mendip Hills

Nestled in the heart of Somerset and within easy reach of Gosswood Park Campsite, the Mendip Hills hold the allure of adventure. This magnificent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) stretches in an elegant east-west curve, rising as an island of ancient landscapes above the lush Somerset Levels. Ruggedly captivating and overflowing with diverse scenery, the hills are a true playground for hikers, nature lovers, and those seeking escape.

Uncover Landscapes Steeped in Time

As you gaze out across the Mendip Hills, know that their story began as far back as prehistoric times. Explore mysterious Neolithic burial mounds or traverse the grassy banks of Iron Age hill forts, standing testament to the land’s rich history. Imagine a vibrant Roman civilization that flourished here, evidenced by villa remains and abandoned mining settlements. More recent chapters involve tales of highwaymen, whose hideaways were rumored to be tucked among the hills’ hidden caves and rocky ravines.

Lace Up and Journey to Scenic Heights

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a happy wanderer in search of fresh air and views, the Mendip Hills offer trails for every ambition. Hike along the Mendip Way, a national long-distance path slicing through iconic sites. Scramble to the peak of Crook Peak, reveling in the exhilaration and rewarding yourself with expansive vistas stretching to the Welsh coast on a clear day. Challenge yourself with the dramatic steepness of Cheddar Gorge or descend into Ebbor Gorge’s serene wooded valley with its tumbling waterfalls.

Seek Adventure in a Subterranean Wonderland

Beneath the surface lies a different kind of magic. Venture into the world-renowned Wookey Hole Caves, their chambers filled with myths and impressive stalactite formations. Or explore the atmospheric depths of Gough’s or Cox’s caves near Cheddar, with their underground riverways and otherworldly rock formations – it’s a reminder of the powerful forces that shaped these landscapes.

Unwind Amidst a Vibrant Natural Tapestry

The Mendip Hills are a true treasure trove for nature lovers. In spring, ancient woodlands erupt in vibrant bluebell carpets, and wildflower meadows buzz with insects. Spot birds of prey circling high above exposed hilltops, while deer and a wealth of smaller mammals inhabit the forests. Rare wild orchids add a touch of the delicate to rocky paths. Be sure to explore the area’s stunning nature reserves, such as Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Stockhill Woods, home to a rich variety of fauna and flora.

From Peaceful Hamlets to Bustling Markets

While the hills offer the allure of wilderness, you’ll never be far from civilization. Picturesque villages nestled in valleys provide a touch of rural charm, offering welcoming cafés and inviting country inns. Venture out to discover vibrant local markets bustling with fresh produce in bustling towns like Wells and Shepton Mallet, a perfect way to taste the flavors of Somerset.

More Than Just Walking

While hiking is a primary draw to the Mendip Hills, adventure comes in many forms. Discover excellent rock-climbing sites and exhilarating mountain biking trails for adrenaline-seekers. Horse riders will find picturesque routes weaving through meadows and woodland paths. Stargazers will be wowed by low levels of light pollution, resulting in spectacular views of the night sky. There are hidden reservoirs nestled amidst the hills, where a spot of kayaking or wild swimming becomes an energizing summer excursion.