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Places to go and things to see in Taunton in 2018

PUBLISHED: 11:26 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:02 30 January 2018

Eat Taunton returns

Eat Taunton returns

Archant

A new year means a clear diary primed for filling to the brim with the best events in the county town

In Taunton you’ll be sure to find quality festivals, foodie events, exhibitions and music to pack your 2018 diary with.

Taunton’s offering to residents and visitors has continued to grow with the town, with some of the very best facilities in the county all based in and around this area. Exceptional eateries, museums, markets, theatre and shopping all mean you won’t get bored exploring the county town this year.

Theatre

There’s no shortage of theatre opportunities in Taunton, from the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, to The Brewhouse Theatre and even outdoor theatre events at the likes of Hestercombe, and Castle Green - there really is something for all the family.

A mainstay of Taunton’s theatre scene, the Brewhouse has a packed programme of events which spans the year.

The Royal Shakespeare Company come to the Brewhouse on Valentine’s night, for their production of Twelfth Night, a tale of unrequited love.

And following the Shakespeare theme, Hestercombe welcomes back firm favourites Folksy Theatre on July 29 with a production of Shakespeare’s Love Labour’s Lost on the Orangery Lawn where you can bring a picnic and enjoy the outdoors.

Folksy TheatreFolksy Theatre

Festivals

Look forward to the festival season and get prepped with your wellies and your waterproofs for events including Taunton Live, Taunton Fake Festival and Somerfest.

Held on July 28, Fake Festival brings six ‘fake bands’ to the county town – professional ‘touring-grade’ tribute bands that put on a superb performance.

Catering for all ages, a giant marquee ensures a warm, lively, inside atmosphere, so you can really enjoy the music. There’s a licensed bar, an outside area for independent food traders, stalls, children’s rides and face painting and even a Fake Fest rodeo competition!

Also held in July – all month up until the 21, is the fourth Taunton Live Arts Festival.

will be hosting creative events celebrating the rich diversity of multi-culture that Somerset has to offer. Celebrating all the genres of the arts in all its wonderful forms - sculpture, poetry, music, dance, theatre, outdoor arts, yarnbombing and plenty more are all embraced in this event.

The festival works with more than 20 local schools and colleges for the school’s art and poetry workshops and competition and more than 30 Taunton retailers which showcase mini exhibitions in their windows.

June 16 welcomes Somerfest 2018 – bringing the successful event of 2017 back to Taunton, with open air theatre, circus performance, poetry slam, music, and demonstrations all around the locations of Castle Green and inside the Musuem of Somerset and the Museum Grounds.

Food

On May 12, Hammet Street becomes a hive of activity for Taunton’s popular Eat Festival.

The Eat Festivals across Somerset have seen their popularity surge and with the abundance of fabulous produce that we have in our county, it’s no wonder.

The 2017 Eat Festival in Taunton saw demonstrations, tastings, and a coming together of some of the best local producers, rivalling the best in the country.

With music, street food, drink and a brilliant atmosphere, you’d be hard pushed to find a better food festival.

Away from festivals, a mainstay of Taunton shopping is the popular farmers’ market which takes place every Thursday in the High Street and showcases all the best in British produce. The abundance of local produce is a draw to big crowds and with cheeses, breads, jams and pickles, fruit and veg and meat products, you can get all your shopping in one convenient place.

The farmers market is held weeklyThe farmers market is held weekly

Sport

Get on your lycra, prepare to sweat and launch yourself into the 2018 Taunton Triathlon, organised by Immortal Sport. The gun goes off at 5pm on May 26 at Taunton School’s fantastic indoor five-lane 25m pool.

Or if a flutter is more your thing head over to Taunton Racecourse, which runs lots of exciting events and race days through the year. Check out its Ladies Day when females really do dress to impress.

If you prefer to spectate, rather than participate then Somerset Cricket Club offers a packed fixtures programme throughout the year and the County Ground attracts visitors from across the country. Enjoy your viewing from the Ian Botham Stand, one of the indoor viewing rooms or the Thatchers Terrace.

Staying over

Taunton is lucky to be home to the stunning Castle Hotel, steeped in history, and providing the perfect town centre stopover while you visit. Plenty of events are taking place at the Castle through 2018 which you can find on their website.

Mount Somerset is another well-established hotel with a great reputation for great food and a welcome place to stay. It hosts many events, including talks and conferences.

Days out

The Museum of Somerset is a jewel in the crown of Taunton, with plenty of jewels to explore inside. Perfect for families it hosts world-class exhibitions and displays, and plenty of events such as dino discos and archaeology days.

If you want to step outside of the town then Hestercombe in nearby Cheddon Fitzpaine is perfect for discovering landscape and formal gardens, taking a well-earned stop in the Stables Café and taking your pooch for a grand day - all part of the experience.

Don’t forget Taunton’s shopping. With lots of new brands entering the town, you can find pretty much anything you need – whether it’s in the picturesque Bath Place, or along the main thoroughfare of the High Street.

With a wide selection of shops and places to eat, you’ll be guaranteed a great day out in Taunton.

The Museum of Somerset holds fascinating exhibitions through the yearThe Museum of Somerset holds fascinating exhibitions through the year

Hold on! See more of Taunton and Somerset’s charming market towns below...

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