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The City of Wells now hosts festivals throughout the year.

- In May the Comedy Festival brings the most exciting names to the pubs and concert halls of the city.
- The popular English Country Garden Festival takes place in the gardens of the Bishop's Palace in June.
- Wells Theatre Festival takes place in July at a range of venues across the City from the Recreation Ground bandstand to Wells Cathedral School’s Cedar Hall.

During October the city of Wells usually plays host to two extraordinary weeks of festivals, attracting thousands of visitors to the city – as well as hundreds of residents, many of whom get involved as participants:
- The Festival of Literature was established in 1992 and has gone from strength to strength and will be offering a full programme of speaker events. 
- Wells Food Festival celebrates Somerset’s finest artisan food and drink with a mix of stalls, tastings and demonstrations, plus a range of family activities.
- The year ends with the unique Somerset spectacle that is Carnival threading through the streets of the City. 

Wells Comedy Festival

The Wells Comedy Festival – founded in 2015 – brings the finest comedians in the country to the heart of Somerset for one jam-packed weekend. Previous line-ups have included Stewart Lee, Rhod Gilbert, Alexei Sayle, Sara Pascoe, James Acaster, Nish Kumar, Joe Lycett, Omid Djalili, Limmy, Milton Jones, Tommy Tiernan, Lost Voice Guy, Josie Long and Bridget Christie.


Wells Theatre Festival

Wells Theatre Festival aims to attract a theatre-going public of all ages, whilst also encouraging young people to participate in theatre practice. Oscar winning actress, Dame Judi Dench and renowned director, Sir Richard Eyre are patrons for the festival.


Wells Food Festival

Wells Food Festival will return to celebrate once again Somerset’s rich and diverse food and drink. 

Nearly 200 local traders will be showcasing and selling artisan food and drinks, street food and homewares in the Market Place, the Town Hall, along the moat and in the recreation ground.
Also included will be a selection of South West artisan food and drink producers from beyond Somerset.
Plus, there will be children’s cookery workshops and an interactive children’s trail.

The festival is free to enter and family friendly.

Wells Festival of Literature

The weeklong Festival is to promote the enjoyment and excitement of books and to encourage a love of the written word. We do this by bringing to Wells a wide range of international, national and local writers to entertain, challenge, inspire and inform audiences of all ages and tastes.

To see the full programme of events please visit the website:

Wells City Carnival

The Somerset Carnivals are highly regarded as the largest illuminated procession in the world, and Wells is part of the most famous ‘Magnificent Seven’ Somerset County Guy Fawkes Association circuit which takes place every November. The ritual dates back to at least the 1600s, when many parts of the county commemorated the failed Gunpowder Plot with bonfires and street celebrations.

Today, they are the highlight of the year for locals and the spectacle can draw in thousands of visitors from all over.  Many Somerset carnival carts are over 50 feet long and come covered in intricate themed designs featuring moving parts and thousands of light bulbs – not to mention the characters, all played by members of the local Carnival Clubs who work throughout the year on their entries.

Combining the street processions with grand fireworks displays, fairgrounds and street food the Somerset County carnivals are one of the most spectacular events in Somerset today, and regularly attract large crowds, please bear this in mind when you travel to the carnival. It is good to aim to arrive at least an hour before carnival is due to start.