Getting out and about in your local area is a great way to stay engaged, active and happy in senior years. You can even bring along all the family!
Visit Fyne Court, the Crosse family home for over 300 years. It is now a haven for wildlife with half-hidden clues to its past life as an Arcadian Garden.
Included in the 2.1km circular walk is a courtyard, walled garden, arboretum, boat house, a 1900’s folly that used to be the dog kennels and the church were scientist Andrew Crosse worshipped and his grave can be found in the churchyard.
Enjoy a treat from the tea-room, delve into Fyne Court’s history or discover hidden fungi. Whatever you decide to do, there’s something for everyone!
Admission is free, car parking fee is £5 for non nation al trust members. Accessible toilet opens daily 10am to 4pm and dogs are welcome on leads. There are all-ability trails (including pathways and open space) and their ramped access to some areas or steps with available. You can find it on the edge of the Quantock Hills
“Amazing place, nature at its best. Perfect for a hike, slow paced walks or running. A great variety of plants, animals and insects. Car parks are decent, coffee shop is great and toilets nearby. Definitely recommend” Paul
This is a lovely walk. on the level, in the centre of Taunton with stopping points for the café and points of interest such as the tree trail. The walks are on tarmacked paths and can be as short or as long as is required. The park closes at dusk every day.
The main entrance is via Upper High Street, the southern entrance via Mount Street and the western entrance is by way of the wooden bridge from Wilton Lands. Public car parks nearby are at Fons George, Ash Meadows and Orchard multi storey.
Vivary Park covers 7.5 hectares of parkland. In medieval times the site was the fish farm or vivarium for the priory and castle. There are no visible remains of the lakes now, but the history lives on in the name ‘Vivary’. The land has been used for public events since at least 1851 when the first Taunton Flower Show was held there!
In 1902 an oak tree was planted close to the bandstand to mark the coronation of Edward VII. With money left over from the celebrations, the fountain was commissioned as a memorial to the late Queen Victoria. It was unveiled in 1907.
There’s a tree trail, public loos with disabled facilities, tennis courts, and café (Vivary Golf Club). If you have a sporting adventure in mind there is a mini golf, (details are available from Everyone Active), bowling green and indoor rinks (maintained by Taunton Bowling Club).
“A park for everyone to enjoy with activities for the young and plenty of walking and sitting places for the less active. A park which is well maintained but not full of keep off the grass signs!” Rob
The Basins is a local nature conservation area between Wellington and the neighbouring community of Rockwell Green comprising two small ponds separated by a walkway and set in several acres of open countryside intersected by streams.
The ponds, which are a popular local fishing venue, were built in the early 19th century to provide a controllable water supply via a complicated system of leats, sluices, and fenders to power water wheels at the former Fox Brothers woollen mill.
The ponds can be circumnavigated on foot and there is a footpath all the way to Rockwell Green. It is accessible for wheelchairs and buggies and people with impaired mobility. Limited car parking is available on site, or there is a large car park at the nearby Wellington Sports Centre. It is suitable for families with young children, although care must be taken because of deep water in places, and it is ideal for dog walkers, picnickers, and nature lovers in general.
There is plenty of wildlife to see, including swans, ducks, moorhen, geese, coots, kingfishers, wagtails, reed buntings, dippers, owls, five different types of bat, rabbits, squirrels and foxes. The habitat is varied, including grassland, hedges, and a community woodland with many tall trees. A natural gem and is maintained by members of the Wellington Basins Volunteer Group.
Situated close to Wellington Bowling Club, you find the Basin’s next to the perfect pond to feed the ducks!
“A great place to go. Feed the ducks, swans etc, go on a nature walk. Car park nearby. Also great coffee served here – check board at entrance to ensure Neill’s coffee van is there!” Gemma
At Hestercombe you’ll find 50 acres of gardens featuring designs from the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s, a café, and plant centre, and in the historic Hestercombe House, a contemporary art gallery, gift shop and second-hand book shop.
They very much welcome people with disabilities including their assistance dogs and have a four wheel All-Terrain ‘Tramper’ mobility scooter available for hire at £6 per two-hour slot. (pre-book this in advance).
They are open daily (7 days a week), from 10am – 6pm (last entry 4:30pm). They no longer required to pre-book timeslots for admission to the gardens, house and gallery, however if you book your admission online you can save 10%! Hestercombe is now a fully cashless venue – only payments by debit or credit card, contactless, Apple Pay and Google Pay are accepted. You can find Hestercombe just over 5 miles outside of Taunton.
“The grounds are stunning and we picked a lovely sunny day to go. The staff are all friendly and they gave us some dog biscuits for our lab. The stables café is a must, great food and the staff were welcoming and friendly. I even got a takeaway box as I couldn’t eat all my cream tea! The second-hand bookshop is well stocked. Worth a visit.” Barbara
The Wellington Monument stands a tribute to the Duke of Wellington and his victory at the battle of Waterloo. The £3.1m project to repair Wellington Monument has just finished. During the walk you can discover more about the journey to repair the world’s tallest three- sided obelisk.
It can be approached along a path lined with beech hedgerows and is surrounded by a rich wildlife meadow. The ideal place for a picnic or to fly a kite! A one-mile walk taking in the surrounding area is a rewarding way to see the beautiful Blackdown hills.
There is an easy access path up to the Monument, with some rest stops. Please note that the monument is around 500m from the car park. There are no toilet facilities on site, however the nearest toilet is at the Iron Duke pub, Wellington. Just under 3 miles from the monument. There is an easy access path up to the monument, with rest stops. You can find the car park here.
“Pleasant walk to the monument through the trees and once you get up there – wow, what a colossal height. At 175ft and the tallest 3-sided obelisk in the world – very fascinating” Andrew