Hotels with memorable views are hardly lacking in Britain, but few can match the sight that greets you from The Swan Hotel in Wells. In England’s smallest cathedral city, the glorious 13th century west front of Wells Cathedral – almost as wide as it is high and encrusted with nearly 300 statues – directly faces the hotel, and if you stay in one of the front bedrooms, or best of all the huge and amazing Cathedral Suite, then the sight that greets you in the morning will stay long in your memory. In front of The Swan’s elegant Georgian façade, is the divine Swan Terrace, also with that view, open during summer for drinks and snacks. Another al fresco café, the Walled Garden, is tucked away at the back. Inside, named after the extraordinary story (yours to discover) of the historic coaching inn is Restaurant 15c A.D, noted for its excellent seasonal menus, and 50 romantic, individually designed, luxurious bedrooms. A gem. Doubles from £148.
Name to Know: General manager, Mark Tobin, who has been at the hotel for over 20 years. What he doesn’t know about The Swan isn’t worth knowing.
See: Stroll around the beautiful city of Wells. Be sure to visit the cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace and Vicar’s Close.
Eat: Enjoy award-winning food in the hotel’s restaurant. Alternatively, soak up the view of Wells Cathedral on the front terrace with a lighter bite.
Buy: Choose a gin or two from the extensive menu (you’ll find over 100!) but don’t overindulge as you’ll want to experience the bi-weekly market and the range of independent shops.