FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer any discounts?

We accept several discounts and vouchers. Please note that all vouchers and discount codes only work on day entry tickets and are not valid for the annual return option. We are unable to accept any of the below options on special events days, including The Rare Plant Fair and Christmas Artisan Market.

HHA Members – Free entry on any day of the week to The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens – please show your card at the Shop. This may not apply on certain event days.

RHS Members – Entry is free most Mondays (Mondays until 30th March) and Fridays to RHS members with starred cards (*). For further details please refer to your RHS handbook/magazine or check online. This may not apply on certain event days.

Caravan Club Members – buy one get one free on tickets and we also accept the Gardener’s World 241 voucher.

Members of Hestercombe Gardens, Kilver Court and Forde Abbey – Receive 50% off entry tickets.

 Gardener’s World 2-4-1Entry for two adults for the price of one. Or 20% single visitor day discount

We have partnered with many B&Bs and hotels in the local area to offer 20% off vouchers to those who are supporting local businesses by staying in Wells. Please speak to your Hotel or B&B to see if they have signed up to this scheme.

If you have a disability then your essential helper can receive a free ticket.

 

Is there parking at the venue?

Unfortunately, we do not have a car park. We can reserve Blue Badge parking spaces, although these are strictly limited due to the small size of our residents’ car park – please call the office on 01749 988111 ext 200 to enquire. For all other visitors, see HERE for parking maps of Wells.

Please click here for a step-by-step guide in parking in Wells.

Do you offer refunds for event bookings?

Events, Cancellations and Refund Policy

All online, over the phone and in person payments are final. We recommend that customers check dates and timings before completing any bookings.

Bookings can be transferred into a different name or given to others to enjoy. Please notify us via [email protected] or call 01749988111 if the name on a booking needs modifying.

On occasions where the same event is running on multiple dates and times, we may be able to move your booking into a different slot. Please contact us via [email protected] or call 01749988111 to see if this is possible. We cannot guarantee this as an option.

We reserve the right to postpone or cancel an event for reasons beyond our control. We will refund or transfer any deposits or balances paid for events cancelled by The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens. On occasions where a refund is given, refunds will only be made to the person who originally made the purchase through the method of payment they originally used.

Group bookings: All group bookings which include a tour and/or a food option must be paid in advance.

If any event or group booking includes dietary requirements, The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens must be informed of this at least 5 days before the date of visit or event.

We reserve the right to change course leaders for our events and workshops.

All prices include VAT where applicable. The Palace Trust VAT number: 7501 7962

I’ve booked a Blue Badge parking space. How do I access your car park?

You will need the Sat Nav code BA5 2RA in order to access the car park. This takes you to the Market Square. Drive through the archway with blue signs either side, at the top of the Market Square, from where the Palace drawbridge is ahead of you. The car park is past the drawbridge, on your left – you will need to take down the chain marked ‘private’ to access it.

Is my dog welcome at the Palace?

Yes! We welcome dogs in the grounds as long as they’re kept on a lead at all times. With the exception of guide, hearing and assistance dogs, dogs are not allowed inside the Palace Buildings or Chapel. There are water bowls provided at the Bishop’s Table Cafe where there is also outside seating. Please remember to pick up after your dog – the nearest public bins are situated on Moat Walk.

Can we picnic in the grounds?

Yes! You may picnic wherever you’d like to within the grounds. There are picnic tables in the Arboretum and you can also use the Undercroft terrace area.

Is there a smoking area?

No – smoking is not permitted anywhere on site. Staff and volunteers have been asked to notify visitors of this – so please do not be offended if you are approached about this within the grounds.

Can I bring my bike or scooter into the grounds?

Scooters and bikes are allowed in the free area of the Palace, but not in the Gardens or Palace Buildings. Bike racks are available at the main entrance for cyclists and you are welcome to leave your scooters at the Ticket Gate.

Is The Bishop’s Palace part of the National Trust or English Heritage?

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens is managed by The Palace Trust, an independent charitable organisation that is not affiliated to either the National Trust or English Heritage. We are therefore reliant upon our visitors and donations to ensure that the  Palace is conserved for future generations to experience and enjoy. You can support us by becoming a Member.

Where can I take photographs at the Palace?

We do ask visitors to refrain from taking flash photography inside the Palace Buildings because bright light can have a detrimental effect on the historic objects in the collection. You are very welcome to take photographs in the Gardens.

Is The Bishop’s Palace available as a location for filming and photography?

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens is available for hire for filming and photography and has been the setting for a number of very successful projects in recent years. Please contact the Office on 01749 988 111 for further information.

Can we visit The Bishop’s Table without paying an entrance fee?

Yes! The Bishop’s Table is located within our free area and therefore you are more than welcome to visit both our Shop and The Bishop’s Table without paying an entrance fee. However we would very much encourage you to visit the Palace & Gardens and discover the origins of the City of Wells.

What kind of food does the cafe serve?

The Bishop’s Table serves a range of hot and cold meals. The food is seasonal and so changes often but you can expect to find a selection of fresh sandwiches, light bites, chips and salad.  Children’s portions are also available. See here for our menus.

What are the benefits of Membership of The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens?

Please follow the link for full details on all the benefits of annual membership.

Is there a discount for carers or people with additional needs?

Essential Carers are free. Please ask at the Shop for further details. Please follow the link for information on accessibility.

Is there a discount for RHS Members?

Entry is free most Fridays to RHS members with starred cards (*). For further details please refer to your RHS handbook/magazine or check online. This may not apply on certain event days.

Is admission free to HHA members?

Yes – please show your card at the Shop. This may not apply on certain event days.

Are there any days on which my discount card cannot be used?

On certain (but not all) event days, discount cards are not valid. Please see THIS PAGE for details.  This does not apply to Palace Membership cards

Lost property procedure

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens aims to collect, store and return items of property that are lost by visitors and guests in the Palace & Gardens. Please email [email protected] or call us on 01749 988 111 if you have lost something at The Palace.

The Bishop's Palace and Gardens Terms & Conditions

General Terms & Conditions when visiting The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens

By visting The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens you accept the following its terms and conditions and agree to abide by the rules and instructions of the staff at all times:

  • We welcome well-behaved dogs in the Bishop’s Gardens when kept on a short lead (no more than 2m) and in the Bishop’s Table Café. However dogs are not allowed within The Bishop’s Palace building or Chapel.
  • Due to weather conditions some areas may have to close.
  • For safety or operational reasons, the management reserves the right to close or adjust areas of the Gardens and Building without prior notice.
  • The Management reserves the right to refuse entry for whatever reason. Being in possession of a pre-paid ticket or membership does not give exemption from this.
  • In order to facilitate the security, safety and comfort of all visitors, staff and volunteers, The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens reserves the right to remove, without refund, anyone it deems to have behaved in a manner which has, or is likely to, affect the safety and enjoyment of other visitors, staff or volunteers. This covers all areas of our site, including the Free Area.
  • The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens reserves the right to conduct security searches and to refuse admission to you should you refuse to comply with such security searches.
  • Wheeled footwear, skateboards, scooters and bikes are not allowed to be taken past the pay gate.
  • The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens will not be held liable for any losses, injuries or damages sustained at The Bishop’s Palace including damage, theft or loss to property and motor vehicles, if the cause is due to the negligence of the individual or the unforeseeable actions of other customers or third parties.
  • Strictly no trading or fundraising is allowed anywhere on site, without the prior written consent of The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens.
  • Whilst the Management does its best to update and maintain the accuracy of this website, it cannot guarantee its content at all times.
  • Any potential visitor is advised to ring to check any detail that may be of particular importance.
  • The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens runs a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy for aggressive or inappropriate behaviour towards our staff.
  • Parents/guardians are responsible for the children in their care at ALL times.

Events, Cancellations and Refund Policy

  • All online, over the phone and in person payments are final. We recommend that customers check dates and timings before completing any bookings.
  • Bookings can be transferred into a different name or given to others to enjoy. Please notify us via [email protected] or call 01749988111 if the name on a booking needs modifying.
  • On occasions where the same event is running on multiple dates and times, we may be able to move your booking into a different slot. Please contact us via [email protected] or call 01749988111 to see if this is possible. We cannot guarantee this as an option.
  • We reserve the right to postpone or cancel an event for reasons beyond our control. We will refund or transfer any deposits or balances paid for events cancelled by The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens. On occasions where a refund is given, refunds will only be made to the person who originally made the purchase through the method of payment they originally used.
  • Group bookings: All group bookings which include a tour and/or a food option must be paid in advance.
  • If any event or group booking includes dietary requirements, The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens must be informed of this at least 5 days before the date of visit or event.
  • We reserve the right to change course leaders for our events and workshops.
  • All prices include VAT where applicable. The Palace Trust VAT number: 7501 7962

Gift Aid

As a charity, The Palace Trust (charity no 1160830) may ask you to increase the value of your donations through gift aid. Gift aid increases the value of your donations and means charities can benefit at no extra cost to you. If you are a UK taxpayer add gift aid and The Palace Trust can reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift. This is 25p for every £1 you give. To qualify for Gift Aid you must pay enough tax in the UK to cover the amount that all charities and CASCs that you donate to reclaim for that tax year. Council Tax and VAT do not count.

 

If you wish to cancel your gift aid, you must get in touch with us within 30 days through writing to The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, BA5 2PD or e-mail [email protected]

 

More Information and Queries

Please call us on 01823 413923 or email [email protected] for any information you require on our events, facilities or products.

These Terms and Conditions do not and shall not affect your statutory rights as a consumer.