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Bishop's Palace & Gardens

Medieval palace with moat and formal gardens in Wells.

  • 4.6

  • from 2634 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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Google reviews

  • 4.6

  • from 2634 Google reviews

Lee Harrison-Wilkes

5 months ago


The Bishops Palace and Gardens is a wonderful piece of history. The Palace has been home to Bishops of Bath and wells for 800 years surrounded by a moat and mock medieval wall. The Gardens are 14 acres of lush greenery. The entrance is via a gatehouse with drawbridge and drop gate or portcullis. The entrance fee is good value as you wander around the paths. You can the water from the wells where well Wells derived it name. The Palace itself is majestic and sends you on a journey Back in time to give a glimpse of life over the last 800 years. The grounds also gave a nice cafe that has indoor and outdoor seating. The food on offer is nice and you can enjoy a nice afternoon tea. Guided tours are offered for those not familiar with the history of the area. The Bishops Palace and Gardens is one of the most important historical sites in area. You can see the evolving architecture as it changed over the centuries. A thoroughly enjoyable place to visit and definitely somewhere everyone should visit.

Jane Hiscock

5 months ago


Amazing, well kept gardens. A little expensive at £16 per adult but ticket is valid for return visits over a year. We visited on a very hot day but plenty of shade. Lovely peaceful areas. Lots of areas of interest at every turn. Very helpful, friendly staff. Excellent cafe. I thoroughly recommend a visit and will certainly return.

Sally B

9 months ago


A lovely relaxed stroll around pretty gardens. You pay once for a year membership and that means you can keep going back. Which is nice to do as you will see how the plants change across the seasons. Friendly staff. And a nice cafe (Or you could eat your own food in the gardens) I love spending an hour or two here.

Maggie Whitlock

5 months ago


One of my favourite places to visit both for the Palace buildings and the exquisite gardens. Allow yourself a good two or three hours as this experience is not to be rushed. They put on a lot of events so check online before you go to see what's happening. Lots of open spaces and a play area for the littlies., and the ducks and swans are always a favourite. There is a cafe on site, but also plenty of places to eat in the Market Square. Highly recommended

J McNeill

6 months ago


Great place to visit, there is Cafe and toilets before you get to the paid entry part (tickets were £16 adult at time). The house is interesting fo look around, amazing ceilings and fireplaces, wood and stone carvings, art, portraits of Bishops. The gardens were main reason to visit, they are quiet, well maintained, full of vivid colours in summer, plus there are some plants that are labelled so you can see what they are. Tempted to get annual membership just for the gardens..

Contact the garden

01749 988111

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