The City of Wells lies sheltered beneath the southern slopes of the Mendip Hills and is regarded as the smallest city in England with a population of 11,000. The name Wells comes from three wells where a small Roman settlement was established, and later in 704, under the Saxons, a minster church was built. Remains of this earlier church can still be seen in the grounds of the present 12th century Norman cathedral which stands on the same site.
As the city is largely level, and the vast majority of housing is within one mile of the city centre, Sustrans and the Strawberry Line group produced a City of Wells Cycle Network report designed as a work in progress document to recommend inclusion of suitable cycle path links into future industrial and residential developments. The objective of the report was to create routes which linked to schools, health centres, shops and work places using quiet residential roads and traffic free paths. See City of Wells Network.
The need for better traffic free links from nearby villages to the City centre has recently been highlighted as a priority in the emerging Neighbourhood Plans currently being developed by community groups. These include links to Wookey Hole, Horrington, Dinder and Coxley, and a new forum is being created to steer these projects through.