The Bishop's Palace and Gardens

Type:Historic Site / Building

Wells, Somerset, BA5 2PD

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Bishop's Palace, Wells

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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 Palace and Gardens are 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.



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 The Bishop’s Palace website or at the Ticket Office.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Children under 5Free
People's Ticket Adult£16.00 per ticket
People's Ticket Child (5-17)£8.00 per ticket
Prebooked Child Group Admission£4.00 per ticket
Prebooked Group Admission£8.50 per ticket
Student/Blue Light Cards (with valid in date stude£12.50 per ticket

The People’s Ticket includes 12 months access to the Palace and Gardens from the date of purchase on standard sightseeing days.



  • Wheelchairs available


  • On-Site cafe/restaurant/catering
  • Picnic area

Establishment Features

  • Accept coach parties
  • Dogs on Lead Only
  • Education/study area
  • Public toilets
  • Wireless internet (WiFi) connection available

Payment Methods

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Guided Tours Available for Groups


Opening Times

Season (27 Mar 2022 - 31 Oct 2022)
Monday - Sunday09:30 - 17:30
Season (1 Nov 2022 - 26 Mar 2023)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 16:00

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