Family Fun

We’ve got so much for families to do at The Bishop’s Palace – whatever the weather, you can always have a great day out with the kids in Wells, Somerset.

The Dragon’s Lair

Legend has it that in the 13th century, Somerset was terrorised by a frightful dragon who liked to eat milkmaids and other unsuspecting villagers.  Bishop Jocelyn – who built The Bishop’s Palace – bravely ventured out to kill the dragon. After a mighty battle, as the dragon breathed its dying breath, it cast an eternal curse on the villagers – that if they ever forgot about it, the creature would return every 50 years….

This year, let your imagination run wild at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells. Cross the Drawbridge to receive the ancient story map and use your wits to lead you through the Palace Gardens to experience The Dragon’s Lair!

This new, interactive discovery area is designed around the themes and stories of the Palace. Taking inspiration from Dragon’s Wings, Well Pools & Water, Trees and History, this outdoor natural activity space will exercise both minds and bodies with a pole jungle, tree pods, a waterwheel and sluice gates.

The only question is – Dare you enter The Dragon’s Lair?

We’ve got so much for families to do at The Bishop’s Palace – whatever the weather, you can always have a great day out with the kids in Wells, Somerset.

Other Family Activities

Little ones love to explore our 14 acres of gardens, trying to spot the swans and their cygnets – if you’re lucky, you might even see them ringing the bell for their food! We’ve got waterfalls and springs to see and a lovely pond for a spot of pond dipping in the Community Garden. There are trees to climb and places to hide for a fantastic game of hide and seek in our Arboretum and we’ve got children’s trails to take you through our gardens! Head inside the Palace for a spot dragon-spotting.

Fun Packed Summer Holiday for Families at The Bishop’s Palace

 This Summer Holiday, the site is jam-packed with fun family events and activities to keep locals and tourists entertained.

The fun starts on Saturday 24th July, when the summer family trails will begin – families can collect a trail, which will be different each week of the holidays, leading through the site, from the Ticket Office, or download from the website, and, when they’ve finished, be rewarded with a prize on the way out.

24th July is also the date of Wake Up Wells Community Day and activities will take place all day at the Palace, including special storytelling sessions throughout the day:

At 10.30am & 3.30pm storyteller Beth Webb and singer Neil Eaton will tell you the Tales of Robin Hood. Afterwards, you can have a go at writing or illustrating your own Robin Hood stories.

At 11.30am & 1.30pm the under 6’s can enjoy The Magic Garden storytelling; an enchanting, multi-sensory show with puppets and music, which is sure to delight children of all ages, as the garden beautifully reveals its mystery.

On the same day, there is the once-in-a-lifetime chance to take part in The Big Picnic on the Palace Croquet Lawn! Usually reserved for the beautiful game of croquet, from 11:45am-4pm, visitors will be invited to spread out their picnic blankets and join the local community in a mass picnic in front of the historic palace.

For something totally different, head along to the Palace buildings on 27th July for some Escape Room Family Fun, with the intriguingly entitled “Bishop’s Code”; It’s 1953 and Bishop Bradfield is getting ready to leave for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He has locked something very important in the Palace’s safe and he cannot remember the code!

Aimed at families with children aged 5-12, The Bishop’s Code is an escape room style activity session where families will solve clues and puzzles together.
Has your family got what it takes to crack the Bishop’s Code?
The sessions are on a drop-in basis from 10:30am-3:30pm.

If your little ones fancy themselves as gardeners, why not head over to the Palace Gardens on 3rd August where they can join in with the Trainee Gardener Family Sessions?

Collect a map from the ticket office to help identify plants and trees as they make their way through the gardens. Then join the Palace Gardeners in the community garden where they can have a go at designing their own garden, and plant something special to take home.

If you’re a dragon fan, have you heard the story of the Dinder Dragon and Bishop Jocelyn who once lived at The Bishop’s Palace?

On 17th August 2021 you can learn all about it at the Palace’s Dragon Day which will celebrate this historic local legend through arts and crafts!

 To finish the holidays, the Palace will be holding its Medieval Weekend from 28-30 August when medieval re-enactment troupe Bowlore Medieval will delight visitors with its daring displays of medieval weaponry including sword-fighting, archery, and axe and stick fighting!

 All of the above activities are included with any valid admission ticket to the Palace, including the annual People’s Ticket, which at a cost of only £15 for 12 months, represents incredible value for money.

For additional ticketed events, including the Family Fun Silent Disco, and Outdoor Theatre, see our What’s On section.

Looking for things to do with the kids in Somerset on a rainy weekend? Have a boots and brolly day in our gardens. Has it started raining again? Doesn’t matter! Put up your brolly & be like a duck!

Visit the Well pools – see them bubble with all the water passing underneath them. Walk through the medieval Palace, see portraits of past bishops, find the green dragons and visit the Bishop’s private chapel, look up, down, around, behind everything – there are lots of amazing details to spot.

Don’t forget to pop into The Bishop’s Table cafe which has a great children’s menu and plenty on offer for grown ups too!

If you think you’ll visit more than three times in 12 months then Family Membership may be just for you.

Kids under 5 years old also go FREE. Great news!