Tickets and Opening

Tickets and Opening

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens 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 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”

Buy Once, 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 (please check this page for closures).

The 12 month Admission 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’s Only or specifically ticketed), plus daily guided tours.

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

Buy Admission Tickets onsite or via this website.

Opening Hours

The Palace, Gardens and Chapel  are OPEN:

  • 9.30am-5.30pm daily in the summer months
  • 10am-4pm daily in the winter months (from Sunday 29th October 2023 – Saturday March 30th 2024)

Last admission is 30 minutes before closure.

The site also closes for the Christmas period on the 23rd of December 2023 and will reopen to the public at 10am on the 4th of January 2024.

Scroll down for additional special closures.

Admission Prices (non-event days) 

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

Buy Admission Tickets onsite or via the link below.

Adult £16.00 £16.00
Children (Under 5 years) FREE FREE
Children (5-17 years) £8.00 £8.00
Essential helpers assisting disabled visitors FREE FREE
Student/Blue Light Cards (with valid in date student card or Blue Light membership) £12.50 £12.50
Group Admission Prebooked £8.75
Child Group Admission Prebooked £4.00

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. Under this scheme, if you’re not a Member of The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens, you have the choice of two entry tickets. When you buy your ticket, we will offer you the Gift Aid Admission price; but it is entirely up to you which ticket you choose. If you want the Non-Gift Aid price, just let us know when you come to pay.

Gift Aid Admissions let us reclaim tax on the whole amount paid* – an extra 25 per cent – all of which goes straight back into the upkeep of this unique, Grade I listed, historic site.

Amount Paid by visitor £16.00 £16.00
Tax Refund from the Government* £4.00 £0.00
Total Received by the Bishop’s Palace £20.00 £16.00

*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.


Once you’ve discovered The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens you’ll want to keep coming back!  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 Member’s Only events and tours; 50% off entry to partner gardens; 10% discount on plants and produce and regular Members updates.

Wells Heritage Pass

The Wells Heritage Pass gives unlimited access for one year to three of the finest heritage sites in the county – The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens, Wells Museum and Wells Cathedral – including events and activities, plus a 10% discount in the respective shops.

(Note: please allow 3 working days to process your Wells Heritage Pass before it will be available for collect at The Palace’s ticket office or put into the post).

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 2023

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.

  • Monday 4th December 2023 (Palace Building Closure from 12pm)**
  • Wednesday 13th December 2023 (Palace Building Closure from 1pm)**
  • Saturday 23rd December 2023 at 4.30pm – Friday 5th January 2024 at 10am (full site closure for Christmas)


**Please note that the Palace Gardens and café remain open as normal during these dates.

September/October 2023: some rooms in the Palace building may be temporarily inaccessible due to the curation of a new exhibition.


Guided Tours

Our tours are delivered daily by volunteer tour guides. 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)


Our Accessibility Guide can be found HERE (this will take you to an external website).


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.


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)

(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.