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Bishop's Palace & Gardens

Medieval palace with moat and formal gardens in Wells.

  • 4.6

  • from 2388 Google reviews

A house with bushes in front of a brick building
A house with bushes in front of a brick building

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About the garden

At the heart of England’s smallest city is the home of the Bishops of Bath and Wells - a grand moated palace nestled in the rolling Somerset countryside. With over 14 acres of landscaped gardens to explore here, it’s not just the stunning architecture that draws in the tourists to the sleepy city of Wells. The Palace itself is a spectacular example of medieval architecture with ornate stonework in the Chapel, impressive views of Glastonbury Tor and the Mendips from the ramparts and the ruins of the Great Hall to explore.

There are a variety of beautiful sights in the grounds here, from a family of kingfishers living in the moat to the natural springs - the wells after which the city was named - and an Arboretum with swathes of bluebells and primroses underfoot. Plant enthusiasts will want to visit the Garden of Reflection, where a pond with wild margins and herbaceous borders provides a mirror image of the palace spires beyond. The East Garden is more formal, with low box hedging and roses in summer, while the Quiet Garden is a festival of red and white tulips in spring.

The Bishop’s Table is a popular cafe located on-site, which provides delicious locally-sourced food alongside traditional tea and cakes. Visitors traveling by car are recommended to use the Whiting Way car park, which is a ten-minute walk from the site, through the charming centre of Wells.

How long is a typical visit?

The average visitor spends 2 - 4 hours (Half Day) at The Bishop's Palace & Gardens.

Opening times

7 days per week Summer opening times 27th of March - 30th October 9:30am to 5:30pm Winter opening times 31st of October - 26th March 10am to 4pm

Useful details

Garden area

14 Acres

Dog walking

Yes - Dogs on leads.

Cafe or restaurant

Food and drink facilities include a cafe/restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.


Yes - Children of all ages.

Bicycle storage

Yes - Yes - You can lock up your bike.

Wheelchair access

Very accessible (all paths flat and paved).


Yes - There is a plant shop.

Wheelchair hire

Wheelchairs are available for hire. Wheelchairs are available but need to be booked in advance.

Somerset, BA5 2PD

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

Weather forecast


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Bishop's Palace & Gardens
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Bus routes all listed on the website.
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Things to see

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Google reviews

  • 4.6

  • from 2388 Google reviews

Walsanda Lewis

a month ago


Immaculate Gardens in the stunning surroundings of the Bishop's Palace. We walked onto the fortified walls, with great views of the cathedral and surrounding countryside. Water runs around the walls, a moat in part, with clear water and a little waterfall. The Palace itself was also open and we visited a few rooms, one with an excellent exhibition of a modern artist and another with paintings of the Bishops of Bath and Wells through the ages, up to the current Bishop. The Chapel is lovely too, with its stalls, decorated ceiling and stained glass windows. The ticket is for a year and we will be going back.


2 weeks ago


Astounding building that looks very like a castle complete with moat. Beautiful gardens and an interesting history. There are lovely views from the ramparts. This is a well kept historic site and worth the £16 ticket especially if there is an event on, especially if you are able to return within a year as it is the same price for a 12 month ticket. If you prefer not to pay you can still visit the lovely cafe and view the Palace from the outside.

tony cowles

2 months ago


The weather was appalling but that did not dampen our enjoyment of this superb Palace. Every room had information sheets which added to our enjoyment. Helpful volunteers. The gardens though wet were immaculate and will be a riot of colour later. Hot chocolate and cake in the tea room what more could you ask. Visiting highly recommended. 11 March 2022.

Elizabeth Benson

in the last week


Bishops Palace gardens are beautiful. Definitely worth a visit. It was a warm day when we went so a tea/ice cream stall would not have gone amiss! These are wonderfully tended gardens.

Natalie Cavaciuti

a week ago


A delightful way to spend some time in Wells, absorbing the history of the Bishop's Palace & Gardens, which has a certain air of majesty. The gardens are well presented, with different areas to interest the experienced or novice gardener alike, or to just simply enjoy as a non-gardener. The entry ticket is valid for a year & we plan to return as often as we can before next May! I lived near & worked in Wells for 4 years but have only in last year visited inside the walls of the Palace gardens. If only I'd realised sooner how lovely it is.

Contact the garden

01749 988111

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