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“Wonderful Wells”

The Bishop's Palace and Gardens
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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 July 2, 2013

Nothing to dislike - lots to enjoy. Its very peaceful walking round the moat, and the grounds, dog friendly also, there's a nice restaurant/cafe in the grounds where excellent coffee is served (I didn't eat).

Thank Jenni J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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908 - 912 of 1,064 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2013

This attraction is a must to see the "wells" at the rear of the Palace Gardens. The Lady Chapel is also beautifully positioned and it's nice to actually walk around the gardens. Unfortunately the palace itself was closed on the day of our visit - so the tickets are half price.

It was still worth the price and we spent at least 2 hours there enjoying the outside space. There's also a decent cafe nearby and a shop - although we found the Cathedral shop to be better value.

Thank HeatherMegaMauriFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2013

this is a must do for medieval enthusiasts. enjoyed exploring the wall defenses, gardens, moat, etc.

Thank Diana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2013

such a shame that the rope the swans are supposed to pull to get food is never down so despite the blurb that suggests that the gatekeeper will respond to demand it would not be possible for the swans to pull it anyway and after receiving lottery funding to construct feeding areas outside the palace there is a sign asking the public not to feed the swans, cygnets and ducks bread as it can make them "poorly." This has been done for generations.

Thank poppydaisy
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 November 5, 2013

Hi, the rope the swans pull alongside the Gatehouse is more often than not, down.

Thousands of visitors this year have enjoyed watching the swans pull the rope when they want food - a tradition that began in the 1700's when Bishop Hervey's daughter trained a swan to ring a bell.

Visitors have even been fortunate this summer to watch the parents teach their brood of seven cygnets how to do this.

I am sorry you visited on a day when the rope was up, it could have been for many reasons - the Gatekeepers are sometimes on the other side of the site (14 acres) and so to avoid causing any stress to the swans, who would keep ringing the bell, they pull up the rope as they are not in the immediate vicinity to hear it.

The sign you refer to about asking visitors to not throw bread to the swans was a temporary one. The cygnets were just weeks old at the time and needed to feed off the environment, at that stage their small stomachs were not strong enough to digest bread and we were trying to protect them from unnecessary health problems.

They are now 6 months old and are enjoying being fed by families on the new swan feeding platforms.

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Reviewed June 17, 2013

Me and my wife regularly visit the Bishops Palace and find ourselves in awe of the place. It is very old, very well looked after by caring Staff, has some superb displays and there is always someone around to answer any questions you may have. I recommend any and everyone to visit the Palace, it is wonderful.

Thank Artytheking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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