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Welcome to The Bishop's Palace

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens in Wells 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!

Visit Highlights: 

There are 14 acres of outstanding, RHS Partner gardens to explore, including the beautiful well pools from which the city takes its name, the medieval Palace building, and a full programme of family events, garden workshops, open air theatre, guided tours (included with admission) and a café with the best views in Wells! 
The Bishop’s Palace dates from the early-thirteenth century when Bishop Jocelin Trotman 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 are also welcome to look around the Bishop’s private Chapel and explore the ruined Great Hall. The moat has been home to mute swans since the 1800s. The tradition of swans on the moat at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells is thought to go back to the 1850’s when it is likely that a Bishop’s daughter first taught the swans to ring a bell at the Gatehouse for food. We now have two swan bells – one just beneath the window on the left of the Gatehouse, the other to the right – both with a rope hanging down for the swans to pull. 
The Palace Gardens are open daily from 10am until 4pm in winter and 9.30am - 5.30pm in summer although there may be restricted access due to events and activities taking place (check the website for details). There are toilets on site.  

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

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. 


The Bishop’s Table café is open daily serving delicious, locally-sourced homemade food and some of the best coffee and cake you'll find in Wells.  It’s the perfect place to meet friends for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. 


From the main entrance of the Palace to the Palace building, around the gardens and to the café's dining area, there is level access. We have one lift to all floors of the Palace building. The outer gardens are accessible via a bridge which is 810mm wide. There are fully accessible toilets with level access within the Stableyard area and the Palace building. 

There are three spaces available on site for accessible parking, however, it is necessary to book these at least 48 hours before arrival via or call 01749 988111. 


Admission Prices (non-event days) 

Tickets include 12 months access to the Palace and Gardens on standard sightseeing days.  They do not include entrance to The Rare Plant Fairs, Christmas Artisan Market or other ticketed events.


  • Adult - £17.50
  • Family (1 adult) - £31
  • Family (2 adults) - £48.50
  • Children (under 5 years) - Free
  • Children (5-17 years) - £8.75
  • Essential helpers assisting disabled visitors - Free
  • Student/Blue Light Cards (with valid in date student card or Blue Light Membership) - £12.50
  • Group Admission (groups of 10 or more, pre-booking required) - £9
  • Child Group Admission - £4.50
  • Adult Online 20% Discount (Day Visit Only) - £14
  • Child Online 20% Discount (Day Visit Only) - £7


You can find out more about Admission here:


Bishop's Palace Membership

Membership allows you to visit The Bishop’s Palace and gardens as many times as you like during normal opening times for 12 months. Plus, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Admission to event days such as the Artisan Market and Rare Plant Fairs
  • Members’ only events, talks and tours
  • 50% off entry to partner gardens
  • 10% discount on plants and produce
  • 10% discount on workshops
  • 10% café and shop discount
  • Regular e-news bulletin plus Members updates/news throughout the year
  • Regular programme of external speakers and entertainment.
  • Half-price entry for guests (day ticket only)
  • Bring-A-Friend Fridays (selected dates)
  • Members’ Only lates (selected dates during the Summer season)
  • Preview Evenings for special events (such as Christmas Illuminations)
  • New partner gardens Dartington College and Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens


Membership Prices

  • Individual Membership - standard £45 / Direct Debit £33.75
  • Joint Membership (two named adults) - Standard £72 / Direct Debit £54
  • Family Membership (two adults and children) - Standard £79 / Direct Debit £59.25
  • Family Membership (one adult and children) - Standard £53 / Direct Debit £39.75
  • Guest Membership (purchased with any of the annual Memberships) - Standard £33 / Direct Debit £24.75
  • Day Guest Membership (for additional guests) - £14
  • Individual Life Membership - £450
  • Joint Life Membership - £720
  • Family Life Membership (two adults and children up to 17 years) - £790
  • Guest Life Membership (purchased with one of the above Life Memberships - £330

You can find out more about Membership and signing up via Direct Debit here:




The Bishop's Palace,
Somerset BA5 2PD

Tel : 01749 988111
Email :