15 Best Things To Do In Taunton, England

15 Best Things To Do In Taunton, England

By will

Taunton is a town steeped in history and culture, making it the perfect place to explore and discover the many exciting things to do and see.

From the ancient ruins of Taunton Castle to the picturesque Hestercombe Gardens, it’s no wonder tourists flock to this charming town.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll through Vivary Park, a culture-filled day at the Museum of Somerset, or an evening of entertainment at the Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton has something for everyone.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, here are 15 of the best things to do in Taunton, England.

Visit Taunton Castle

Taunton Castle
Photo by Philip Halling

Taunton Castle is an incredible experience – you won’t believe your eyes when you step inside! It’s a stunning Norman fortress that has been a major part of the town’s history since the 11th century, and its grounds are filled with fascinating ruins and artifacts.

As you take a tour of the castle, you’ll get to explore the old chapel, the great hall, and the dungeon, as well as the beautiful gardens and grounds. You’ll also get to learn about the castle’s fascinating history, which includes a visit from King Charles I in 1644 and its use as a base for the Duke of Monmouth during the 1685 rebellion.

The castle has something for everyone, with plenty to discover and learn about. So, if you’re ever in Taunton, make sure to check out this amazing castle!

Explore Vivary Park

Flower garden in Vivary Park
Photo by Stephen Craven

Explore Vivary Park for a great day out – wander the scenic paths, have a picnic, and spot the resident wildlife!
The park is the largest in the area and is located in the heart of Taunton, offering plenty of activities for all ages.
With its picturesque lake, landscaped gardens, and many walking trails, Vivary Park provides a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Take a leisurely stroll around the lake and admire the flora and fauna that can be found here.
You might even be lucky enough to spot some of the local wildlife such as swans, ducks, and even kingfishers.
The park also has a children’s play area, a café, and an outdoor bandstand where you can enjoy some live music.
Pack a picnic and make a day of it!
Vivary Park is a great place to relax and take in the beauty of Taunton.

Shop in the Town Centre

Taunton : Town Centre
Photo by Lewis Clarke

Head to the town centre for a spot of shopping – browse the boutiques and major stores for everything from designer clothes to homeware!

While in Taunton, you can explore the shops for a unique range of items that you won’t find anywhere else. From chic clothing boutiques to quirky gift stores, there’s something for everyone.

Get lost in the streets of the town centre, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by all kinds of independent and chain stores. If you’re looking for something special, why not try a local artisan market?

Stroll around and find some truly unique items, handmade and crafted by local artists. And if you’re looking for a bite to eat, Taunton’s town centre is full of cafes, pubs, restaurants, and sandwich shops to choose from.

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So make sure you get out and explore the town centre for the best shopping experience in Taunton.

Take a Trip to the Museum of Somerset

If you’re looking for a fascinating day out, be sure to check out the Museum of Somerset in Taunton! Located in the heart of the town, the museum is the perfect place to learn more about the history and heritage of the region.

You can find out about the area’s past through the museum’s collection of artifacts, from ancient coins and tools to art and photographs. The museum also boasts interactive exhibits and activities, so you can get hands-on with the museum’s objects and discover more about Taunton’s past.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re interested in history, art, or culture. So why not take a trip to the Museum of Somerset and explore the past of this beautiful town?

Enjoy a Day at Hestercombe Gardens

Experience the beauty of Hestercombe Gardens in Taunton, England, with its 50-acres of landscaped gardens, woodlands, and monuments.

Discover the history of the gardens, which date back to the 17th century, as you explore the three distinct periods of landscape design, which are the Georgian, Edwardian, and Jekyll.

Wander through the majestic gardens and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the place, whether it’s taking a leisurely stroll, exploring the gardens, or sitting in the tranquil surroundings of the lakeside pavilion.

Take a guided tour of the gardens to learn more about its history and the people who’ve helped shape it over the years. Visit the historic buildings such as the Victorian Orangery and the Gothic Temple.

Explore the picturesque lake, complete with its own island. Take a break in the tea room or the restaurant for a bite to eat or simply relax with a cup of tea.

Hestercombe Gardens is the perfect destination for an enjoyable day out in Taunton.

Have an Adventure at Go Ape

Swing into action at Go Ape for an unforgettable adventure!

Nestled in the heart of the Quantock Hills in Taunton, Go Ape is an outdoor adventure playground offering an exciting range of treetop activities. I was amazed by the sheer range of activities on offer, from high-ropes courses to zip wires and Tarzan swings. I was excited to try it out!

The courses are not just for adults either, as there are courses suitable for children as young as 3 years old, making it perfect for a family day out! With a range of difficulties and heights to choose from, there’s something for everyone at Go Ape.

I was able to take part in a variety of activities, including zip lines and a Tarzan swing. The experience was exhilarating and the views of the Quantock Hills were breathtaking. I highly recommend Go Ape for those looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure!

Relax in Vivary Pool

Unwind and relax at Vivary Pool, the perfect spot to spend a sunny day in Taunton! This gorgeous public pool is a great place to soak in the sun and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear water.

Not only does Vivary Pool boast of a 50m swimming pool, but it also has several slides, a wave machine, and a lazy river! With plenty of facilities for children and adults alike, this pool is the ideal spot for those seeking to have some fun in the water.

The pool also offers a range of activities for those looking for a more relaxed experience, such as aqua aerobics and yoga classes. There’s even a sauna and steam room available for those wanting to take it easy.

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Vivary Pool also has a café serving delicious food and drinks throughout the day. With excellent amenities and a friendly staff, it’s easy to see why Vivary Pool is the perfect spot for a day of relaxation and fun in Taunton!

Take a Tour of Forde Abbey

Take a step back in time and explore the awe-inspiring Forde Abbey, a stunning 800-year-old abbey located just outside of Taunton.

Housed within the walls of this majestic building are some of the most incredible pieces of art and architecture that you’ll ever see. From the beautiful stained glass windows to the intricately carved stone walls, a tour of Forde Abbey will be sure to leave you feeling both inspired and amazed.

Take a guided tour of the abbey and learn all about the incredible history of this site. Along the way, you’ll get to see ancient artifacts, learn about the abbey’s past, and see some of the most stunning works of art and architecture.

And don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding the abbey.

A tour of Forde Abbey is a must-do for any traveler visiting Taunton!

Explore Creech Castle

Discover the hidden gem of Creech Castle, a stunning medieval castle located near Taunton, England.

Located in the village of Creech St. Michael, just a few miles from Taunton, the castle is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

The site of the castle has been occupied since at least the 12th century, and it has seen many different uses over the centuries.

You can explore the ruins and discover the secrets of the castle’s past.

The well-preserved remains of the castle are quite impressive and provide a great opportunity for a history lesson.

Inside the castle walls, you’ll find a number of interesting features.

There is a beautiful inner courtyard, complete with a Norman archway, and the keep has several original features.

You can also explore the chapel, the cellar, and the guardroom.

There are also plenty of great photo opportunities, with the castle’s exterior providing a picturesque backdrop for a camera.

Take a trip to Creech Castle and explore its fascinating past.

Hike Through the Quantock Hills

Leaving behind the wonders of Creech Castle, I started off on a journey through the Quantock Hills, ready to explore this area of outstanding natural beauty.

As I made my way along the winding paths, I was amazed by the range of landscapes I encountered. From rolling hills blanketed with lush green grass, to steep cliffs with sheer drops, the Quantock Hills provided a beautiful backdrop for my hike.

Along my way, I was treated to stunning views across the Somerset Levels and Exmoor National Park. I stopped for a while at the summit of Wills Neck, the highest point in the Quantock Hills, and was rewarded with breathtaking views of the Bristol Channel and the Welsh hills beyond.

I also encountered a number of historical sites, including Iron Age forts, Bronze Age burial mounds, and ancient hill figures carved into the landscape.

With its stunning landscapes and historical attractions, the Quantock Hills make a great destination for a day out.

Check Out the Somerset and Dorset Railway

Embark on a journey back in time and explore the derelict Somerset and Dorset Railway, a once-thriving transport route between Bath and Bournemouth.

This railway was once the beating heart of the South West, with passengers and goods transported between towns and cities.

Now, the railway has become a haven for nature and wildlife. You can explore the many bridges, tunnels, and viaducts that remain in the area, and witness the stunning beauty of the Quantock Hills in all its glory.

Experience the steam locomotives that still run along part of the route, and take a ride back in time as you hear the whistle of the engine.

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Or, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, take a hike along the length of the abandoned route. You’ll get to explore the countryside and witness the history of the railway in all its glory.

Either way, taking a trip along the Somerset and Dorset Railway is a great way to experience the best of Taunton.

See a Show at the Brewhouse Theatre

Experience award-winning theatre in the heart of Taunton when you visit the Brewhouse Theatre.

Located in a stunning Victorian building, the theatre is home to a wide variety of performances, including plays, music, comedy, dance, and more.

You can even enjoy a spot of afternoon tea before a show in the theatre’s bar and cafe.

The Brewhouse Theatre puts on an extensive season of live performances, from classic plays and musicals to modern works from leading playwrights.

There’s something for everyone, so be sure to check out what’s on when you’re in Taunton.

With its friendly, inviting atmosphere and top-notch shows, the Brewhouse Theatre is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Go Birdwatching at West Sedgemoor

Come explore the picturesque West Sedgemoor and spot some of the UK’s rarest bird species! I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty of nature, so when I heard about the opportunity to go birdwatching in this stunning wetland near Taunton, I jumped at the chance.

I wasn’t disappointed. I was able to spot a variety of rare wildfowl and wading birds, including the Eurasian oystercatcher, Eurasian bittern, and northern shoveler. I also spotted some more common species, such as mallards, swans, and Canada geese.

The area is also known for its great crested grebes, who are often seen during the winter months. I was amazed at the variety of birds that I could find in such a short space of time.

It was an incredibly rewarding experience and something I would definitely recommend to any birdwatching enthusiast.

Enjoy a Pint at the Cider House

From the serenity of birdwatching to the lively scene of a traditional pub, a visit to Taunton wouldn’t be complete without a pint at The Cider House. Located right in the heart of the city, this traditional pub has been serving up some of the finest ciders in England since 1769.

The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, and the staff are always happy to help. Whether you’re looking for a pint of local cider or a glass of something more exotic, The Cider House has something for everyone.

The Cider House also serves up a tasty menu of traditional pub grub, with favorites like fish and chips and steak and ale pie. On Sundays, they offer a traditional Sunday roast that pairs perfectly with a pint of cider.

With a wide selection of ciders, ales, and lagers on tap, The Cider House is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a pint in Taunton.

Try Some Local Cuisine at the Swan Hotel

Treat yourself to a delightful culinary experience at the Swan Hotel, a renowned Taunton establishment since the 18th century. The Swan Hotel’s menu features classic English cuisine with a modern twist.

From hearty pub fare to classic dishes, you can find something to suit your tastes. Enjoy the hotel’s signature dishes, such as their steak and ale pie or the famous Somerset ploughman’s lunch. The Swan Hotel also has an extensive selection of local ales and ciders to complement your meal.

The atmosphere is inviting and the staff are friendly and attentive. Whether you’re looking for a traditional pub lunch or a romantic evening out, the Swan Hotel is sure to provide an enjoyable experience.

Conclusion

I’ve had a great day exploring all that Taunton has to offer.
From the historic castle to the beautiful gardens, there’s something for everyone.
I’ve enjoyed the local cuisine, gone birdwatching, and seen a show at the Brewhouse Theatre.
All in all, it’s been a fantastic day and I’d recommend anyone visiting the area to take the time to explore all the attractions that Taunton has to offer.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or an action-packed day out, there’s something for everyone in Taunton, England.

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.