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West Somerset Railway

West Somerset Railway

Zummerzet Photography

Explore Taunton Deane

A working water mill, a delightful lakeside stroll or circular walks around unspoilt, peaceful villages: all are on offer as you set out to explore this fascinating area.

Taunton itself provides an ideal place for the exploring to start, with its ancient buildings and important sites now linked by a network of paths and alleyways, leading you away from the traffic and crowds of the town centre.

You can admire some of the famous examples of the celebrated perpendicular style of Somerset church architecture at St Mary Magdalene, towering imposingly over Hammet Street, or St James, close to the county cricket ground.

But it’s almost inevitable that you’ll be tempted to follow either the River Tone or the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal as they lead you seamlessly out into the countryside where even more attractions await.

One of the most popular circular walks, for instance, starts on the banks of the Tone in central Taunton and leads out across water meadows to the west of the town for an undemanding, four-mile amble.

Another route encircles Creech St Michael, lying on both the river and the canal, while a trail laid out around Churchstanton, high on the Blackdown Hills, provides distant views across Somerset to the Dorset and Wiltshire downs.

Most local walks are well waymarked and we have downloadable detailed maps available by clicking here

Taunton is a hub for bus services leading to all corners of Somerset: if you’re not feeling too energetic you can always take a bus out of town to a chosen destination and walk back.

At Bishop’s Lydeard, west of Taunton, one of two medieval water mills has been restored and turned into a hugely popular attraction: a visit here could be combined with a trip on the West Somerset Railway, Britain’s longest heritage line where you can get a real experience (including smoke and smells) of steam travel as you puff gently up over the Quantocks and down to the seaside. The Taunton Visitor Centre sells the West Somerset Railway Day Rover discounted ticket.

Tags: Explore Taunton Deane

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