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“Another previously unknown gem”

The Bishop's Palace and Gardens
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US$10.75*
and up
Entry Ticket to the Bishop's Palace and Gardens
Ranked #2 of 29 things to do in Wells
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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.
Reviewed 8 November 2013

Wells is full of places like this - historic, beautiful, interesting - and seemingly unknown to most.
The Bishops Palace is really two attractions - the house, and the gardens. We were fortunate enough to have a guide in the gardens, and I would recommend you arrange one, as there are lots in the gardens which are more interesting with explanation. And if you are interested in trees, there are some rare and interesting specimens in the 14-acre grounds, both inside and beyond the moat. The ruined Great Hall was largely demolished to open up the gardens for landscaping, and the gardens around the Palace are just beautiful. A bridge across the moat gives access to lots more of the garden, including the wells which give the town its name.
The moated palace was started in 1206, but the Bishop (of Bath and Wells) now lives in Bath. The chapel is well worth a visit, as is the Treasury.The Palace itself is really quite domestic in scale, and full of interest.
All in all, yet another of this extraordinary city's amazing places to see.

Thank BOOTling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SarahBPWells, Guest Relations Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2014

Thank you for your great review. Pleased you enjoyed our gardens and tour.

A small correction, the Bishop of Bath & Wells has lived at The Bishop's Palace in Wells for over 800 years, not in Bath.

We hope you come back again this year as we have changed a few things around in the Palace building, for example, all our portraits of former Bishops of Bath & Wells now hang in chronological order in the Long Gallery and we are planning a major exhibition with over 150 objects and artefacts (opens end of May), called Created in Somerset.

Wells awaits your visit again one day!
Sarah

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876 - 880 of 1,086 reviews

Reviewed 5 November 2013

I wasn't sure if I'd appreciate the Bishops Palace and gardens but I must say the guided tour made it most enjoyable. Our tour lasted 2 hours and was extremely interesting and our Guide (his name escapes me) was very informative.

Thank Skell_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SarahBPWells, Guest Relations Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2014

Thank you for taking time to review your visit. We're pleased to hear our guides offered you an informative tour.
We're going to be offering shorter tours this year should anyone worry two hours is too long!
Sarah

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Reviewed 31 October 2013

The Bishop’s residence for 800 years is now surrounded by a moat and gardens. Only the ruins remain of the Great Hall, but they offer the backdrop for a contemplative walk around the walls of the Palace (with views of the deer park) and through the gardens. The gardens include an orchard with picnic tables and vegetable garden. Swans glide through the waterways that run throughout the grounds. The Palace buildings are less impressive, particularly after just visiting the Cathedral next door. As we left, the Wells Croquet Club was setting up to play on the lawn in front of the Palace − all properly English.

Thank Woodroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SarahBPWells, Guest Relations Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 2 November 2013

Hello, lovely to hear you enjoyed some quality time in the gardens. You'll be pleased to know we are looking to develop our interior over the coming years. The magnificence of our neighbour Wells Cathedral certainly is impressive, but we know as one of the only working and residential Bishop's Palace's in the UK we have a lot to share.

Currently visitors can enter the 800 year old palace and enjoy; Annual exhibitions and a humorous animation featuring former bishop Peter Price; a Long Gallery displaying portraits of past bishops of Bath & Wells; the Coronation Cope worn at a monarchs coronation; dressing -up clothes (Bishop, Queen and Medieval characters); The stunning wooden Jacobean staircase; and a digital timeline of the site in the recently re-furbished vaulted medieval Undercroft. Attached to the palace building is the bishop's Private chapel that all are welcome to pass through, sit in or photograph.
The croquet players are a big hit and will be back next season!
Sarah

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Reviewed 31 October 2013

I must admit to being a bit 'so-so' about country houses, churches, ruins etc, but this surprised me. Fantastic to walk around the gardens, ramparts and along the moats and wells. Even in October it was interesting to explore the gardens, they must be fantastic in the summer. Plenty to photograph and explore. Far better value here than places like Cheddar.

Thank Andy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SarahBPWells, Guest Relations Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 2 November 2013

Hello,
Thanks for your review - very pleased we surprised you!
Yes, the gardens are indeed fantastic in Summer - hope you can make it next year!
We have been very pleased this year though to see so much colour last in the borders due to the lovely warm summer we have had. Fingers crossed for 2014.
We hope you can visit again soon from the Midlands,
Sarah

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Reviewed 26 October 2013

The Bishop's Palace and Chapel are well worth exploring. There are interesting displays, and well informed guides. The gardens are extensive, well laid out, and with good views from the ramparts.

Thank Adrian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SarahBPWells, Guest Relations Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 2 November 2013

Thanks you so much for your 5 star review and recommendation.

Our guides are particularly wonderful as they all volunteer their time to offer the tours and are very passionate about sharing our history and stories with all our visitors.

Hope you can visit again one day,
Sarah

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