Founded in the 7th century, Taunton is nestled in a picturesque vale. It makes a perfect base for visiting the magnificent Somerset countryside or for staying put, drinking the famous cider or shopping for antiques.
Taunton has an ancient and colorful history including central role in the Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion, and glimpses of this past can still be seen in the old buildings found within the narrow lanes crisscrossing the modern shopping streets. Its rich religious heritage can also be glimpsed in the 17th century Silver Street Baptist Church. Souvenirs reflecting Taunton’s eventful past can be purchased at the West Country’s largest antique fair which is hosted in the town every week and should not to be missed.
A walking tour of Taunton’s lively center can quickly help you take in the main sites of historical significance. But for a look at Somerset’s beautiful rolling Quantock and Blackdown Hills and magnificent surroundings, then a stroll to Vivary Park at the top of the High Street is definitely recommended.
Taunton is a shopper’s paradise with options ranging from modern departmental stores to the renowned antique fair. A particular favorite for shoppers is the Old Market Centre – a pedestrianized area with specialty stores. You won’t go hungry or thirsty with numerous pubs specializing in local food beers and ciders.
Just outside Taunton on the A38 is Sheppy’s Cider Farm – follow Prince Charles’ footsteps (a visitor in 2003) and learn about and taste of alcoholic brew which is synonymous with Somerset. The historic town of Glastonbury, together with Glastonbury Tor and Avon River are soaked in Arthurian legend.
The M5 motorway links Taunton with Devon and Cornwall to the south and to the rest of England via the M4 and M6. Taunton lies on the main rail network and is two hours from London Paddington station or 44 minutes from Bristol.