The Bishop's Palace and Gardens

Type:Historic House/Palace

Off Market Place, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2PD
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About

About The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens

Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for 800 years, this stunning medieval palace, in the heart of the medieval city of Wells, is open for all to enjoy and only a short distance from Weston super Mare – so a great option to combine with a visit to Wells Cathedral. Cross the flagstone drawbridge over the breath-taking moat to experience a true hidden gem in the heart of the City of Wells, explore the ruined Great Hall and discover the Bishop’s private Chapel. The Bishop’s Palace is also world famous for its resident mute swans that ring a bell alongside the Gatehouse when they want to be fed.
Visitors can also enjoy 14 acres of stunning RHS partner gardens, including formal planting, picturesque style gardens, a moat and waterfall, well pools (that give the City its name) and springs, an arboretum, a Victorian romantic garden with ruins, community garden and contemporary garden of reflection. 

Activities and Events

The Palace always has a range of activities and events including outdoor theatre, children’s activities, musical performances and medieval-themed entertainment. Plus, Christmas is a special occasion with Artisan Markets and Christmas at the Palace light illuminations, Father Christmas visiting and festive music, theatre and refreshments.

Family Fun

We’ve got so much for families to do at The Bishop’s Palace - whatever the weather, you can always have a great day out, including “The Dragon’s Lair” – the interactive discovery area designed around the themes and stories of the Palace. Taking inspiration from Dragon’s Wings, Well Pools & Water, Trees and History, this outdoor natural activity space exercises both minds and bodies with a pole jungle, tree pods, a waterwheel and sluice gates.
Check out What’s On at The Bishop’s palace. 

The Bishop’s Table café

The Bishop’s Table was named after Bishop Ken’s tradition of inviting twelve poor men and women of Wells to share a meal at his table when in residence at the Palace. Bishop Ken was Bishop here from 1685-1691. The café is a popular destination in Wells with a view like no other. With free access to everyone, all you need to do is cross the drawbridge and you’ll see the award-winning building nestled under the trees overlooking the croquet lawn and Palace buildings.  Serving delicious, locally-sourced homemade food and some of the best coffee and cake you will find in Wells, it’s now the perfect place to meet friends for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. 
Find out more about the Bishop's Table café

Admission:

Adult Ticket: £16
Child Ticket: £8 (ages 5-17 years)
Student or Blue Lights Card Holders: £12.50 (valid student card and Blue Lights Card must be shown on arrival)
Admission tickets give access to the medieval Palace and Undercroft, ruined Great Hall, 14 acres of gardens, the Bishop’s Chapel and all events (unless specifically ticketed).  Daily guided tours of the Palace & Gardens are also included.
Entry is free most Fridays to RHS members with starred cards (*). Entry is free to HHA members, please show your card at the Ticket Office (this may not apply on certain event days).
Admission tickets can be purchased online.

Make a Day of it in Wells!

With its attractive shopping centre packed full of independent retailers and high street names, and the surrounding area can provide visitors with a full and varied itinerary. 
Our neighbour, Wells Cathedral “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals” and adjacent medieval Vicars’ Close – the oldest continually inhabited residential street in Europe. 
If you’re visiting on a Wednesday or Saturday, the Somerset Farmers Market is also a real treat; packed with local food producers and right in the heart of the city. 

Getting to Wells:

Bus
First Buses 29, 126, 161/162, 173, 375, 376, 377, X75  all stop or pass through Wells. Alight at Wells Bus Station or ask the bus driver if they stop at Wells Market Place which is very close to The Bishop’s Palace.
Car
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, BA5 2PJ (long stay £6 all day, cash only) which is located just off the A39 or Market Place (short stay, 1 hour maximum, £1.20) which is just outside the Palace (not available Wednesday or Saturday as these are market days).
 

Facilities

Other

  • Gift Shop

Accessibility

  • Accessible to Wheelchair Users
  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors

Attraction Facilities

  • Childrens Play Area
  • Shop

Catering

  • On-Site café/restaurant

Establishment Features

  • Available for wedding receptions
  • On-site Restaurant/Cafe
  • Open All Year
  • Shop
  • Wedding Venue

Key Features

  • Film or TV location
  • In town/city centre
  • Of historic, literary or architectural interest
  • Outdoor Attraction
  • Weddings

Venue Facilities

  • Groups Accepted

Directions

Opening Times

The Bishop's Palace and Gardens (27 Mar 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday09:30 - 17:30
The Bishop's Palace and Gardens (7 Jan 2023 - 27 Mar 2023)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 18:00*

* WINTER: 10am – 4pm
(from 30 October through to 26 March)

Last admission is 30 minutes before closing time.

Closure for Winter 2017 - 23rd December 2017 - 6th January 2018

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

Video

  • Bishops Palace

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