A visitor’s guide to Wellington
PUBLISHED: 14:49 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 02 November 2020
We’ve assembled a brief guide to help you make the most of your visit to Wellington
There's a strong sense of community in the town of Wellington, which lies at the foot of the Blackdown Hills, seven miles from Taunton.
It's proud to be a Transition Town, part of a global movement where residents set about making their community more self-sufficient, sustainable and less environmentally damaging. Community gardening projects, a repair shop where volunteers offers services to mend household goods and there's even a Wellington Foraging Map, identifying public areas in town where people can source fruits, nuts and herbs for free.
Wellington is known for its food and drink credentials and is home to a range of independent shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs. It hosts a food festival, eat:Wellington on September 7.
Its strong manufacturing past continues to this day with beauty products being made by Swallowfield and there's Fox Brothers and Co, a renowned cloth maker which dates back to 1772 and makes 'West of England' flannel, selling to London's Savile Row tailors. It's now owned by Deborah Meaden, who stepped in to save the business in 2009. In the past it made puttees, bands of cloth that wrapped around legs, for First World War soldiers and it made suits for Hollywood legends Cary Grant and Fred Astaire.
A legacy of the Fox family is Wellington Park, a restored Grade II-listed garden which was gifted to the town by the family and designed by F W Meyer of the famous Victorian design practice and growers Veitch and Sons. Another beauty spot can be found at Wellington Basins and about 3km away, high on the Blackdowns, is the Wellington Monument, a 53m tall obelisk built to commemorate the Duke of Wellington's victory at the Battle of Waterloo.
Wellington was home to Fox Fowler and Company bank which was the last provincial bank in England and Wales to issue its own banknotes. It issued them continuously from its formation in 1787 through to its takeover in 1921 by Lloyds.
The award winning Gundenham Dairy has been providing milk to the town since the 1920s. It's owned by the Cottrell family and now run by the third and fourth generations of the family. Their whole milk won Taste of the West's Champion Diary product in 2016 and their Dollop clotted cream is a local favourite too.
Move here for...
And get: A four bedroom, semi detached and Grade II-listed family home at Tonedale, within walking distance of the town centre.
Why? Enjoy beautiful views of the Blackdown hills while eating freshly-made, seasonal platters
Why? Take afternoon tea, Somerset-style, with a little French chic thrown in. There's a lovely secluded garden too.
Why? A delightful B&B in an old renovated cider barn in the nearby hamlet of Runnington. Arrive for tea and cake and enjoy a great breakfast the next morning.