History and Heritage


The Bishop's Palace

The Bishop's Palace , Off Market Place, BA5 2RA


The Bishop's Palace & Gardens, Wells, a great family day out in Somerset.

The Bishop's Palace

The Bishop’s Palace & Gardens has been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years and this stunning medieval palace is open for all to enjoy.
Surrounded by a breath-taking moat (with resident swans!), visitors can cross a flagstone drawbridge, walk under the portcullis and experience a true hidden gem in the heart of the City of Wells. As described by an American visitor 130 years ago, this is a ‘palace of enchantment’.
There are 14 acres of outstanding, RHS Partner gardens to explore, including the beautiful well pools from which the city takes its name, along with diverse and varied planting styles, an Arboretum, formal gardens and stunning ramparts.
The Bishop’s Palace dates from the early-thirteenth century when Bishop Jocelin Trotman, the first Bishop to hold the title Bishop of Bath and Wells, received a crown licence to build a residence and deer park on land to the south of the Cathedral of St Andrew. Although home to the Bishop and other families, visitors can walk in the footsteps of past bishops through a number of rooms within the Palace.
Visitors can also enjoy the Bishop’s private Chapel, explore the ruined Great Hall and meet the famous mute swans who live alongside the moat and ring a bell when they want food.
For younger visitors, there is a brand new children's play area, "The Dragon's Lair" hidden away in the Arboretum; use the story map to discover the dragon's secret's and find your way there!
From family and community garden activity days, historic re-enactment, concerts, talks, workshops and demonstrations to family theatre - there's something for everybody whatever your age or interests.

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Opening Hours

January to December

(2019 Opening)






          KEY FEATURES


              PET INFORMATION


                  TOURS & DEMONSTRATIONS

                    TRAVEL & TRADE


                        • Demonstrations Given

                        • Dogs on Lead Only

                        • Educational Visits Accepted

                        • Family Fun

                        • Groups accepted

                        • Guide dogs permitted

                        • Guided Tours Available for Groups

                        • Guided Tours Available for Individuals

                        • In town/city centre

                        • Indoor Attraction

                        • Marketed towards children

                        • Marketed towards families

                        • Marketed towards senior citizens

                        • Min group size

                        • On-Site café/restaurant

                        • Outdoor Attraction

                        • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors

                        • Picnic Site

                        • Shop

                        • Smoking Some Areas

                        • Special group rates

                        • Toilets for disabled visitors

                        • Wedding Venue

                        • Wi-fi available

                        Road Directions

                        The main routes to Wells are the A371 and the A39. The Bishop’s Palace is a short walk from all central car parks, use Whiting Way car park (long stay) which is located just off the A39 or Market Place (short stay, 1 hour maximum) is just outside the palace (not available Wednesday or Saturday as these are market days).

                        Public Transport Directions

                        The Bishop's Palace & Gardens is situated in the heart of Wells, Somerset and can be easily reached from Bath, 21 miles, Bristol, 21 miles and Glastonbury, 8 miles.

                        Bus: 29, 126, 161/162, 173, 375, 376, 377 all stop or pass through Wells. Alight at Wells Market Place.

                        Bike: The Bishop’s Palace is situated on Sustrans cycle route 3. Visit www.sustrans.org.uk for further information and maps. Cycle racks are available across the drawbridge and also in Market Place (just outside the Palace grounds).

                        Train: The nearest railway stations are Castle Cary (9 miles from Wells) and also Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa (both 21 miles), where you will find bus links to Wells.


                        The Bishop's Palace
                        The Bishop's Palace
                        Off Market Place
                        BA5 2RA
                        United Kingdom

                        T: 01749 988111 (200)

                        E: info@bishopspalace.org.uk

                        W: bishopspalace.org.uk/

                        Facebook: @Bishopspalace

                        Twitter: @Bishops_Palace

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