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“A beautiful refective place”

The Bishop's Palace and Gardens
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Entry Ticket to the Bishop's Palace and Gardens
Ranked #2 of 27 things to do in Wells
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for 800 years this stunning medieval palace is open for all to enjoy. Surrounded by a breathtaking moat with resident Mute swans, you can cross the Drawbridge to experience a true hidden gem in the heart of the City of Wells. The Palace sits within 14 acres of RHS partner gardens, including the beautiful well pools from which the city takes its name. In the Arboretum is the newly developed "Dragon's Lair" children's playground to tire out little legs. There are daily Guided Tours, a Cafe serving delicious lunches, cakes and hot and cold drinks. Dogs are welcome on leads.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A beautiful refective place”
Reviewed 20 August 2012

We had an impromptu visit to the beautiful city of Wells Sunday 19 August. After a damp morning the sun finally broke through and we headed over the Mendip Hills for leisurely stroll. Parking is an issue in Wells but we found a small back road above Wells Catherdral School buidlings and wandered down the small lanes toward the Cathedral and Close. The Bishops Palace is surrounded by a small moat fed by the wells of Wells - you can actually see the water bubbling up throught the mud in some of the larger pools. The imposing gatehouse and thick walls make is seem more like a castle than a Palace but in times gone by it proably was a place of sanctuary along with the Cathedral.

The Palace itself is a complete mix of styles from 11th century stonework, Jacobean Staircases, to Victorian wallpapers and moden aluminuium and steel artwork. You never know what to expect around the next corner, be it a stone carved monk or a steel wire bullrush hidden in a flower border. The "treasures" are remarkable including a ship's bell that was used as font with the childrens names engraved on the inside rim to the wooden cross made by an unknown carpenter in Africa. There is so much to see it was a pleasure to be able to just wander around and take in the atmosphere of this place. I even had a go at the dressing up box!

I can honestly say that there can't be that many more tranquil places in the West Country to spend a few hours - we didnt even get as far as the Catherdral - another day perhaps.

Visited August 2012
Thank zebedee4504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Horsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
92 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“My favourite place”
Reviewed 18 August 2012

Arrived early before the crowds. Loved the chapel ,especially the blend of old and new.- spent ages talking to the volunteer who was a mine of information. this was also true of the guide in the exhibition area where we could see and learn about many artefacts from the area. The jewel in the crown though has to be the gardens, especially round by the wells.Never before have I experienced such a spiritual sense of stillness and well being.The views of the cathedral are lovely,made perfect by the wells and old palace ruins. The new cafeteria and toilet facilities are first class.

Visited August 2012
Thank judyh84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Just paying for the name!”
Reviewed 6 August 2012

My friend had her wedding reception here at the weekend and i had to write a review to warn others not to ruin your big day!!The gardens yes were ok not amazing to be fair,the "bar" consisted of a few wooden tables selling over priced warm drinks that were stored mainly on a table with a few bottled beers on a cooling rack which i dont even think was plugged in!The venue itself was far too small and the layout is terrible unless you have a very small gathering.The food that was served was in my opinion un-edible it was like someone had thrown together an iceland BBQ pack and couldnt cook properly,raw burgers,under cooked sausage and some prawn skewers swimming in rancid filth.I dont think i can blame the staff at the palace for the choice in music but the way its layed out means its impossible to hold a conversation even with just background volume.To sum it up as a wedding reception venue you are just paying for the name the quality,service and layout is a day dampener!

Visited August 2012
3 Thank rambler448
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“It's what Wells is all about”
Reviewed 21 July 2012

There's been a lot of work done at the Bishop's Palace since I was last there. There's a brand new visitor centre, more gardens, an arboretum and more. That's much more to interest.you.

The main attraction has to be the wells (hence the name of the City). They well up (sorry!) from the deep and you gaze into limpid depths. On a calm day, a wonderful view of the Cathedral is mirrored in the water of the pools.

If you like trees, there are some magnificent specimens, particularly the tulip trees and American walnuts.

And then there's the Palace. Though you can only visit a part of it, the best is the view of it from the outside. It is wonderful architecture. Almost worth becoming a bishop!

The cafe is fine for coffee or a drink but visit one of the restaurants in town if you want lunch. All give better value and quality.

Visited July 2012
Thank RIchard_of_Binegar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Amazing, gorgeous setting”
Reviewed 16 July 2012

My friend had her wedding reception here. It was an amazing venue, gorgeous both inside and outside. I probably wouldn't have gone in had it not been for the reception.. I now realise I would have missed out.

Visited July 2012
Thank Kate G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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