Somerset Houses & Gardens


The Bishop's Palace

The Bishops Palace , Off Market Place, BA5 2PD


The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens in Wells, Somerset, has been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years and this stunning medieval palace is now open for all to enjoy. It’s a great family day out in Somerset with a full programme of year-round events, free guided walks, open-air music and theatre, garden workshops and more and a slice of cake with afternoon tea at the ever-popular Bishop’s Table café is always welcome!

Guided tours are also included with your Admission – check available times at the Ticket Office on arrival.

The Bishop's Palace

The Bishops Palace and Gardens in Wells, Somerset is surrounded by a breath-taking moat (with resident swans!).  The flagstone drawbridge draws visitors under the portcullis to experience a true hidden gem in the heart of the medieval city of Wells. As described by an American visitor 130 years ago, this is a ‘palace of enchantment’.
Once inside there are 14 acres of outstanding RHS Partner gardens to explore, including the beautiful well pools from which Wells takes its name, along with diverse and varied planting styles, an Arboretum, formal gardens and stunning ramparts.
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.
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 still home to the Bishop and other families, visitors can walk in their footsteps through a number of rooms within the Palace building.
There’s so much for families to do at The Bishop’s Palace, whatever the weather.  Little ones love to explore the gardens, trying to spot the swans and their cygnets; there are waterfalls and springs to see, trees to climb and places to hide.
Children also love to explore the magical discovery area that is the Dragon’s Lair in a far corner of the Gardens! And throughout the school holidays, there are always plenty of events to keep families busy including crafting, outdoor gardening, family trails, storytelling and more.
Public Events and Festivals are at the heart of what’s on offer at The Bishop’s Palace including outdoor music and theatre, garden workshops, family events, exhibitions or exercise classes - there's something for everybody whatever your age or interests. Check out the website for details of What’s On.

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Opening Hours

Summer opening 9.30am to 5.30pm and Winter opening 10am to 4pm


It’s free to visit the Bishop’s Table café and the Croquet Lawn area.  Admission tickets also give access to the medieval Palace and Undercroft, ruined Great Hall, 14 acres of RHS Partner Gardens, the Bishop’s Chapel and all events (unless specifically ticketed), plus a choice of daily guided tours.

The People’s Ticket includes 12 months of return visits from the date of first visiting and you are welcome to use it again on any normal sightseeing day. You can purchase your ticket via this page, via The Bishop’s Palace website or at the Ticket Office.






          KEY FEATURES


              PET INFORMATION


                  TOURS & DEMONSTRATIONS

                    TRAVEL & TRADE


                        • Demonstrations Given

                        • Disabled toilets

                        • 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

                        • No Smoking Attraction

                        • On-Site café/restaurant

                        • Outdoor Attraction

                        • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors

                        • Picnic Site

                        • Shop

                        • 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 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 Bishops Palace
                        Off Market Place
                        BA5 2PD
                        United Kingdom

                        T: 01749 988111 (200)



                        Facebook: @Bishopspalace

                        Twitter: @Bishops_Palace

                        Instagram: @bishopspalacewells/

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