Taunton is located in the wonderful county of Somerset, famous for its orchards and its cider making. The town of Taunton can trace its history back as far as the Saxons, yet despite having such firmly entrenched roots is very much a town looking towards the future. Taunton houses the main shopping district in the county and has all of the stores that you would expect, from the big brand names through to dedicated independent retailers.
Evening entertainment is varied and offers something for everyone from a night at the theatre to an evening in a traditional pub. It is a town that has had a turbulent past and the Taunton Heritage Trail will guide you through the centuries of history upon which today’s Taunton is built. Taunton is generally awash with colour, having won several awards across the years in the national Britain in Bloom competition.
Things to See and Do
As previously mentioned the Taunton Heritage Trail is an interesting experience and well worth a visit. Vivary Park is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon enjoying the great outdoors with a picnic. There is an antique silver market that takes place here every Monday on Silver Street and offers lots of unusual items for those with an eye for a bargain. Thursday sees the farmers’ market taking place on the High Street where you can buy some of the most wonderful locally produced items. Somerset County Cricket Club is based in the town and for those with an interest in the sport the Somerset Cricket Museum is the place to head to. The Museum of Somerset is housed in Taunton Castle and makes for an interesting place to visit.
Places to Visit
The Museum of Somerset has the biggest collection of Roman Coins ever discovered in the UK, as well as an under floor plesiosaur which is bound to grab the kids attention. A grisly part of Taunton’s history is illustrated in the recreation of the Bloody Assizes and the history of the county is laid out from the prehistoric to the present day. There are a number of interactive exhibits, film screenings and hands on objects that will keep the whole family interested. The museum has lots of treasures which have been unearthed in the area such as the Frome Hoard. Located inside Taunton Castle you will also find that the museum is the location for the Somerset Military Museum.
For those with a love of outside spaces Hestercombe Gardens offers a unique experience. The gardens were begun during the 1750’s with the creation of the Landscape Garden. The Victorian Terrace and Shrubbery was created in the 1870’s and the Edwardian Gardens were completed between 1904 – 1908. You will also find plenty of wildlife here such as common lizards and roe deer.
A trip to Fynce Court Nature Reserve offers scenic walks, ancient buildings and plenty of nature trails. There are natural marshes, bogs and pond areas and the kids will enjoy hunting for a myriad of mini beasts as they wander around. There is a castle shaped folly within the grounds that makes for the ideal picnic setting.