Tickets and Opening

Admission Tickets and Opening

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens in Wells, Somerset is run by The Palace Trust, a registered charity which manages the site as a heritage visitor attraction.

The cost of maintaining the Palace is met entirely by grants, by Admission Tickets, special events and our café, and donations are also crucial to our work.  So your visit and support in this respect is vital to help “conserve The Bishop’s Palace and its story as a place of enjoyment and reflection for the benefit of all”

Opening Hours

The Palace, Gardens and Chapel  are OPEN:

  • 9.30am-5.30pm daily in the summer months (from Friday 29th March 2024 – Monday 28th October 2024)
  • 10am-4pm daily in the winter months (from Sunday 29th October 2023 – Thursday 28th March 2024)

Last admission is 30 minutes before closure.

During the Christmas Holidays, the Palace will maintain normal public opening hours, with the exception of the following closures:

  • Christmas Eve (closed from 2 pm onwards)
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s Day
  • 2nd January
  • 3rd January

We will reopen to the public at 10am on the 4th of January 2025.

Scroll down for additional special closures.

Value-Packed Admission: Buy Once and Visit All Year

The Bishop’s Palace Admission Ticket includes 12 months of return visits from the date of your first visit and you’re welcome to use it again on any normal sightseeing day.

This value-packed ticket gives access to the medieval Palace and Undercroft, ruined Great Hall, 14 acres of RHS Partner Gardens, The Bishop’s Chapel and to many year-round events (unless Member Only or ticketed) including family workshops, storytelling, themed events, Christmas Illuminations and daily guided tours.

It’s free to visit The Bishop’s Table café and the Croquet Lawn area.

Buy Admission Tickets onsite or online.

Admission Prices (non-event days) 

Tickets include 12 months access to the Palace and Gardens on normal sightseeing days.  They do not include entrance to The Rare Plant Fairs, Christmas Artisan Market or other ticketed events.

WHO STANDARD (2024)
Adult £17.50
Family (1 adult) £31
Family (2 adults) £48.50
Children (Under 5 years) FREE
Children (5-17 years) £8.75
Essential helpers assisting disabled visitors FREE
Student/Blue Light Cards (with valid in date student card or Blue Light membership) £12.50
Group Admission £9
Child Group Admission £4.50

Please note that no discount cards can be used on special event days.

Gift Aid
The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens runs the Gift Aid on Entry Scheme which lets us reclaim tax on the whole amount paid* – an extra 25 per cent at no cost to you – all of which goes straight back into the upkeep of this unique, Grade I listed, historic site.

2024 GIFT AID
Amount Paid by visitor £17.50
Tax Refund from the Government* £4.38
Total Received by the Bishop’s Palace £21.88

*Gift Aid donations must be supported by a valid Gift Aid declaration and a Gift Aid declaration can only cover donations made by an individual for him/herself or for him/herself and members of his/her family.

Membership

Support us by becoming a Member and not only will you be able to access the Palace and Gardens whenever you like during opening hours, but you’ll also receive a additional number of  benefits and discounts including Members’ Only events and tours; 50% off entry to partner gardens; 10% discount on plants and produce, 10& discount in the cafe and shop, Bring a Friend Fridays plus lots of additional benefits not available with the standard 12 month admission ticket.

Joint Admission to Wells Cathedral and The Bishop’s Palace

Buy one ticket which provides access to the two major Wells attractions on the day of the visit.  The combination ticket gives visitors a significant discount on the cost of separate admission.

RHS Membership

As an RHS partnered garden, RHS members are welcome to visit free on a Friday (year-round) and on a Monday (winter hours in 2024), excluding special events.  This does not include the option for return visits. Please show your RHS card at the ticket office to receive your ticket.

RHS membership visits can not be pre-booked in advance.

Historic Houses Membership

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens are part of the Historic Houses group. Visits to The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens are covered by a Historic Houses Membership (except on special event days). Please present your Historic Houses Membership at the ticket office to receive your ticket.

Historic Houses visits can not be pre-booked in advance and and do not include the option for return visits.

Partial/Full site closures 2024

On occasion, The Palace site may need to be closed at the last minute due to adverse weather conditions.

And on the rare occasion we need to fully or partly close The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens to visitors for private hire, we will list these dates on this page.

You’re welcome to call us on 01749 988111 ext. 200 to double check we are open before you visit.

  • 15th June – Palace Buildings Only From 12.30pm (café and gardens remain open as normal)
  • 20th July – Palace Buildings Only From 1pm (café and gardens remain open as normal)
  • 26th, 27th, 28th November – Palace Buildings Only (café and gardens remain open as normal)

Guided Tours

Our tours are delivered daily by volunteer tour guides, subject to availability. Please ask at the Ticket Office if you wish to attend one of our daily tours:

Summer Hours Tours

11am – Buildings Tour: Learn about the fascinating Palace and Chapel (Lasts approx. 30 mins)

12pm – Gardens Tour: Stroll through the gardens to the wellpools (Lasts approx. 45 mins)

2pm – Buildings Tour: Learn about the fascinating Palace and Chapel (Lasts approx. 30 mins)

3pm – Gardens Tour: Stroll through the gardens to the wellpools (Lasts approx. 45 mins)

Winter Hours Tours

12pm – Guided Tour of the Palace and Gardens (Gardens tour is weather dependent) (Lasts approx. 1 hour)

Dogs

Dogs are very welcome in the gardens of The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens – we do ask that they are kept on a short lead. The only area that dogs are not allowed in is our new Dragon’s Lair area in the Arboretum, as this is a safe space for children.

We have a dog-friendly cafe where your dog will be served water and you can purchase dog treats too!

Dogs may not enter the Palace buildings unless they are assistance dogs.

Tripadvisor

Don’t just take our word for it! Read our visitor reviews on Tripadvisor.

Our Location

Off Market Place (through The Bishop’s Eye entrance)
Wells
Somerset
BA5 2PD

(for Sat Nav use BA5 2RE – This will take you to Harris & Harris. Continue walking under the Bishop’s Eye and bare right along the path to reach the Gatehouse and Portcullis. Please note that the weight limit on the drawbridge is 2.7 tonnes.)

There is no parking on site. Please click here for travel and parking information.