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“Good to re-visit”

The Bishop's Palace and Gardens
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$10.46*
and up
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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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.
Bridgwater
Level Contributor
67 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Good to re-visit”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Having not been here for about 25 years it was refreshing to re-visit the gardens. I visited during the really hot spell of weather & I have to say that the gardeners & volunteers have done a wonderful job of maintaining the gardens.
I had forgotten how beautiful the gardens are. A very tranquil place with places to sit & listen to the birds & bees.
The fresh, clear water of the springs bubble up & gently flow down to the moat with little fish swimming around in the pools.
The ruined part of the palace stands to remind everyone of it's history. A place that well worth a visit.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tammie007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SarahBPWells, Public Relations Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Thank you so much for your 5 star review, it means a lot to hear people compliment the gardens so much. We think our gardeners and volunteers are fabulous too!
Let's hope we have a great summer next year as well.
Sarah
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
172 reviews
128 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 292 helpful votes
“Beautiful gardens and serene atmosphere”
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Visited after purchasing a Groupon voucher, and very pleasantly surprised at the size (14 acres) and beauty of the well-kept gardens. There are a range of styles, from herbaceous to formal, traditional to modern in a glorious setting with beautiful views of the cathedral from the seats round the well-pool, and across the moat from the bishop's rampart walk, all set off by a gentle game of croquet taking place on the lawns (club meets Mondays and Fridays, and you can have a taster session, I believe)

The jury's out on the new Garden of Reflection: it certainly is a peaceful spot and the gardens surrounding it were well designed, but perhaps the seating area itself was too austere for me - perhaps it needed a reflective pool or a small bubbling fountain in the middle? There are guided tours every day at 11 and 2 (I think - we missed it!). If I lived nearby, I would definitely invest in annual membership to the gardens.

The palace was a bit disappointing after the cathedral and gardens (hence only 4 stars), but that may be a personal preference - I like guided tours: I think you get a lot more out of them than reading the clearly written and informative cards in each room. However, it was beautifully decorated and with an interesting exhibition of "Treasures" upstairs - and more views of the gardens from the windows. There was also an interesting video about the development of the castle in the long gallery.

There is also a picnic area in the grounds, a dragon trail for children, occasional events during school holidays, as well as evening performances. Check their website for details. The new cafe looked good too - locally sourced produce used where possible - and it is accessible even if you don't pay to visit the gardens and palace.

Tip 1: check website for opening times: usually 10am-6pm in summer, but palace can be closed for weddings - gardens half price.

Tip 2: We went on the excellent guided walk of Wells (WEd and Sats, see separate review) in the morning, and our guide offered £3 admission to the Bishop's Palace (usually £6.35/£7 for gift aid) - worth noting.

Tip 3: check for guided tour times - think they are 11am and 2pm.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Margaret151151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SarahBPWells, Public Relations Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Thanks very much for your review. Pleased to hear you visited through our very popular Groupon deal we ran in summer. Look out for more in the future!
Great you met Siobhan and enjoyed a Wells Walking Tour - we partnered up with her to offer you all a discount this year - lovely to hear you enjoyed it!
Sarah
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Trowbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Relaxing, interesting and enjoyable”
Reviewed August 9, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed a trip to The Bishop’s Palace and gardens recently. Despite being the summer holidays it did not feel crowded. The place has a lot to offer for a peaceful day out; the palace consists of a series of rooms and a chapel, which were varied, interesting and in some cases impressively old! The gardens are divided up into several distinct areas each with it’s own character. I especially liked the various water features which were pleasing and calming.

I used the café for buying a sandwich to top up the picnic lunch we took with us and was happy with it. All the staff we talked to were pleasant and helpful.

Usually I am not a fan of “attractions” but I would happily go back to The Bishop’s Palace for several more visits. Thoroughly recommended.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank MrSpatula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SarahBPWells, Public Relations Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Hello, thanks for the 5 stars. Nice to hear you enjoyed the medieval palace building and found the well pools relaxing - exactly what you need on a day trip! The cafe make cracking sandwiches, glad you enjoyed yours with your picnic. Hope you do come back several times!
Sarah
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Morfa Nefyn, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Lovely gardens, decent palace”
Reviewed August 6, 2013

The history was well presented, with a nice exhibition.
The gardens were really good, especially were they ran into the ruins of the old catherdrals.
Good half day out, but probably not for small children, though they may enjoy the swans.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank AllanGravity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SarahBPWells, Public Relations Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review. Very happy to report we have a lot of excited children visit who love running around in the gardens, spotting wildlife, going on one of our childrens trails or taking part in one of our many family orientated events. In fact children under 5 are free at the Palace and lots of families come because of it!
Hope you visit again one day so you can enjoy the gardens once more.
Sarah
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgwater, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
211 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Annual visit with my cousin”
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Every year when my cousin visits from Scotland she always asks me to take her to the Bishops Palace gardens and we sit on a bench alongside the wells, behind the cathedral and just enjoy the peace and beauty of the wonderful gardens. I recommend this to everyone, it is just one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Be careful with the cakes in the cafe though as they are not the best. I took my wife's scone back because it was stale and we received no refund or exchange

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lop65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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