Parks and Gardens
Exhibitions and Talks
21 May 2021
As we look forward to Covid restrictions easing for the summer, we also look forward to welcoming visitors from around the country to Taunton.
From our experience last summer, “staycationers” were certainly enthusiastic about their visit to the area and blown away by the beauty of the surrounding countryside, arming themselves with maps and walking books from us to really be able to get out and explore.
When you live in a place for any length of time you can sometimes lose your appreciation for it and concentrate more on the negatives than on the positives. After the long months of lockdown and restrictions it is clear that many businesses and attractions have had to close and, without doubt, empty shops do make a town look rather sad but this isn’t a problem that we are facing alone as every town is in the same boat.
At the Visitor Centre we’re all agreed that tourism is of huge importance to the local economy. From buying a coffee at one of our popular cafes, staying in guest accommodation and visiting the Museum to enjoying a bit of retail therapy in our many and varied independent shops, it all adds up and the more we can promote it the sooner we can hope for a more prosperous town centre.
So, what do the visiting “staycationers” ask us for? One of the most popular requests is for information on local walks and where to go on the Quantock Hills. Other frequently asked questions are: Where can they buy and taste the local cider? Which are the dog-friendly places and eateries? What can they do with children when it’s raining? We can help point people in the right direction and supply them with the information they need.
We also stock souvenirs and lovely, locally-made gifts, popular with locals and visitors alike, they help promote and support local businesses. Beautifully scented Lily and Lynn Soaps produced in Taunton, honey from the hives of bees overlooking Vivary Park, Shakespeare Glass created in nearby Langport, cards and prints from local photographers and artists such as Katrin Snell are some of the high-quality products we have on sale which make unique mementos and gifts.
What would be an itinerary for a short break in Taunton? This is the kind of thing we might suggest:
Monday: Visit the Antiques Market, enjoy lunch in town, explore Vivary Park and have a go at the orienteering course or follow our Heritage Trail.
Tuesday: Head over to Sheppy’s Cider for a nature walk and a bite to eat followed by an afternoon of paddle-boarding on the River Tone with Channel Adventures.
Wednesday: A leisurely walk around Hestercombe Gardens with lunch at the Stables café and a pleasant boat trip from Somerset Boat Centre in the afternoon.
Thursday: Pick up some great local produce at Taunton Farmers’ Market and head over to the Museum of Somerset in the morning. For the afternoon, visit Coate’s English Willow to see traditional basket making in action and enjoy a walk on the Somerset Levels.
Friday: Book a trip on the West Somerset Railway stopping off at some of the stations along the route to Minehead.
So, as we meet visitors and welcome tourists to the town, don’t forget, we’re here for locals too so pop in and see what we have to offer.
Supporting English Tourism Week 22nd-31st May at the Taunton Visitor Centre