Attractions at The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens

Set in the heart of the smallest city in England, The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens is a must-see UK heritage site.

Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years, the site and buildings are owned by the Church Commissioners and operated by The Palace Trust, a registered charity which manages the site as a heritage visitor attraction.

The Palace Trust gets no statutory funding. The cost of maintaining the Palace is met entirely by grants from organisations like the National Lottery and Charitable Trusts, Admission tickets, special events and our café. But this does not cover the entire cost of everyday maintenance, so donations to this aspect of our work are always welcome.


Highlights of the historic grounds are the wellsprings that give the City its name located next to the Arboretum and the famous swans that ring a bell for food!

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens dates from the early-thirteenth century when Bishop Jocelin Trotman, the first Bishop to hold the title Bishop of Bath and Wells, received a crown licence to build a residence and deer park on land to the south of the Cathedral of St Andrew.

Just 20 miles from Bristol and Bath, this stunning site is now the perfect place to get away from it all.  Our 14 acres of RHS Partner gardens, medieval moat and Palace, thirteenth-century chapel, Dragon’s Lair play area, and award-winning Bishop’s Table café make the Palace an unmissable place to visit – just take a look at what our visitors think here.

View all the fascinating attractions with your FREE downloadable map of The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens below!

The Gardens 

The 14 acres of gardens at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells, Somerset are a haven of tranquility and peace. In January 2016, the Gardens were awarded RHS Partner Garden status.


The Bishop’s Palace

Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years, this stunning medieval palace is open for all to enjoy.


The Bishop’s Table

Delicious locally-sourced homemade food and some of the best coffee and cake you'll find in Wells, Somerset at the award-winning Bishop's Table café.


Family Fun

We’ve got so much for families to do at The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens - whatever the weather, you can always have a great day out.


Historic Wells

Explore England’s smallest city - Wells, Somerset - with its fantastic medieval centre and wide variety of unique shops and watering holes.


The Chapel

At the heart of the Palace is The Bishop’s Chapel. Visitors of all faiths and none are welcome to pause and be refreshed by the ancient peace of this sacred place.


The Dragon’s Lair

Dare you enter The Dragon’s Lair? An interactive play and discovery area for children


Opera Brava

Events & Festivals

Public Events and Festivals are at the heart of what we offer here. So whether you’re a theatre fan, garden enthusiast, family, art-lover, or exercise fanatic, you’ll find the perfect event to suit you below!



The tradition of the Swans on the Moat at The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens goes back to the 1870’s when one of Bishop Hervey’s daughters first taught the swans to ring a bell at the Gatehouse for food.