Discover Taunton

Somerset Museum and Taunton Castle

Taunton is Somerset’s county town, it’s the perfect hybrid of a town-centre lifestyle surrounded by an area of outstanding beauty; the mendips and blackdowns.

Taunton boasts museums, historic grand houses, famous cider farms, theatres, art galleries and live music venues. It has a beautiful independent shopping quarter, an independent market and an insurgence of restaurants, bars and coffee shops over the past couple of years has significantly improved your dining options. Taunton also has some of the best schools in the UK: Taunton School, Queen’s College and King’s College . On top of all of this it has fast transport links to major cities: Bristol, Exeter and London and is actually closer to the coast than you might think.

A brief history of Taunton:

The name of the town is derived from ‘town on the Tone’, for the River Tone which runs through it. The river’s source is in the Brendon Hills and it flows through Taunton before joining the River Parrett. 

Taunton Castle groundsSomerset Museum, photo credit: GP in Somerset.

Taunton Castle was built to defend the area, and dates back to the year 1107. It’s been the site of various revolts and uprisings over the centuries including the famous Siege of Taunton in 1644.

It’s now the site of a hotel and The Museum of Somerset. Due to the pandemic you can now explore lots of exhibitions, heritage resources and information about the local area through their website. But it’s worth a visit – it’s great for the whole family, and the perfect spot for a solo wander.

For local walks and outdoor activities in the area (and across Somerset) you can check out our Autumnal Activities blog.

The Somerset LMC team are also based Taunton and their events programme tends to be based around the town. You can meet the team here and find out how they can support your move to the county here.


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