Taunton is Somerset’s county town, and it’s a very nice one too, with a lot of events throughout the year, the most well known being the annual flower show in Vivary Park where there’s a high ropes centre and a golf course. Every Thursday the High Street is a bustle with the jolly atmosphere of the Farmers’ Market; people come from far and wide to pile their baskets high with all sorts of locally produced delights.
Even in these days of the world wide web, Taunton is still busy with shoppers, probably due to the good range of shops and the variety of places to eat. If you explore the side streets you’ll find several surprises, like Bath Place and Riverside Place, where you can tuck into scrumptious seafood at Albatross Fish & Seafood. Stroll up Hammett Street and have a good look around the glorious St Mary Magdalene Church, then slip down Whirligig Lane for a bite to eat at The Bank.
Taunton has certainly played its part in history; in 1497 Perkin Warbeck marched his army into town in the Second Cornish Uprising (most of his men surrendered to Henry VII); in 1685 the Duke of Monmouth crowned himself king there before marching on to the disastrous Battle of Sedgemoor. Behind the Castle Hotel is The Museum of Somerset where you can find out more and see a wonderful Roman mosaic found in a field not far away.
If you time it right you can sit back and enjoy a match at Somerset County Cricket Club, or get dressed up in your finery to cheer on the nags at Taunton Racecourse just outside the town.