Top 5 things to do in Taunton with your grandparents

Should your grandparents come to visit, we've selected recommendations from our Care Professionals and Clients!

West Somerset Railway

The age of steam trains has been highly romanticised, and many older generations retain fond memories of sitting on the banks of hills and watching them trundle by, trailed by a long tail of steam. Although most trains run on electricity now, several steam engines continue to run for nostalgic purposes as tourist attractions.

The West Somerset Railway is one such example, doubling as a steam train service and museum. As well as containing several preserved models of steam engine from the height of the steam age, it also offers rides through the idyllic Somerset countryside. A perfect opportunity to take a step back to a simpler time.

You can join the steam train from several different stations, but our clients favorite is Bishops Lydeard Station which gives our Clients the full experience! You find the station just outside the village with plenty of parking.

Somerset Museum

With the oldest parts constructed as early as 710 during the reign of King Ine of Wessex, Taunton Castle was built by the Normans during the reign of King Henry I. Since then, it has watched over Taunton for nearly a thousand years, and is now open to the public as an historical attraction.

As it was a Parliamentarian fortification, Taunton Castle was spared the destruction levied against other fortifications after the Civil War, and so is remarkably well preserved. Regular tours are held to take guests around the walls and main buildings of the Castle, and events are held regularly throughout the year.

Much of the Somerset Museum is free to walk around in, but be aware that some parts may be inaccessible by any means other than the stairs. Not all areas may be paved or have a lift in use.

The Museum of Somerset is in the heart of Taunton and can be reached by the Castle Green or by Goodland Garden park. Find it here.

‘A small, local museum that holds surprises like a full fossil and an impressive mosaic floor. Much of the focus was understandably on the Monmouth rebellion but had nice bits of local histories too like drinking games for cider! Good for little ones and adults and very empty on a weekday.’ – Zoe

Sheppy’s Cider

The award-winning Sheppy Cider is brewed locally in Taunton, and guests are free to visit the facilities and surrounding orchards. An on-site restaurant can also be found, where of course Sheppey Cider is available to buy alongside a cooked meal.

Tours around the facilities are offered throughout the year, although certain dates may be excluded due to special events. Guests are shown the orchards, press house, and rural life museum. Naturally, each tour is also concluded with a chance to sample freshly made cider that the facility produces. Special seasonal events are also offered.

Admission requires a fee, which varies depending on which tour is booked. Tables at the restaurant can also be reserved if visiting at a busy time of year.

Disabled parking bays are provided outside the site, and all parts of the facility are accessible to wheelchairs. Be advised that the upstairs seating of the restaurant can only be reached by the stairs, however plenty is offered on the ground floor. During tours, staff are always happy to assist where needed.

Located on Wellington Road, you can find Sheppy’s here.

Are you looking for home care in Taunton? At Home Instead we match people in need of support with Care Professionals in their local area. Whether you need care at home for a few hours a day, or are looking for live-in care in Taunton, we can help you find a compassionate Care Professional to support you.

Hestercombe House and Gardens

Covering over 50 acres, the historic estate of Hestercombe House and its surrounding gardens is nearly as old as Taunton itself. The earliest charters for the area date back to the 7th century, and the oldest part still standing is a stone archway dated to around 1280.

After passing hands between several families over the centuries, which brought with it numerous renovations, the house briefly served as the headquarters for the local fire department before being acquired by the Hestercombe Gardens Trust from the local council. The House and its grounds are now open to the public, where they can enjoy its extensive gardens, on-site café, and second-hand book shop.

Because it was built in an age where such concerns were not common, there are sections of Hestercombe House that are inaccessible if stairs cannot be used. However, where alternative routes can be found, they’ve been marked on the house’s guides. Level access is available for the entirety of the ground floor, which is where the restaurant and bookshop can be found.

The Gardens are, naturally, much more accessible except for certain areas. In those spots, short flights of stairs or steps may be found. Benches can be found throughout the grounds, providing plenty of spots to stop and rest.

Not all surfaces are flat, with many gravel paths, uneven flag stones, and stone steps. During wet weather these can become slippery, so make sure that sensible footwear is worn. We recommend bringing a walking stick, if needed.

Find Hestercombe and it’s temples, lakes and formal beds towards Upper Cheddon in the heart of Somerset.

‘Lovely gardens originally designed by Gertrude Jekyll with lake and orangery, tea room, plant shop and house with gift store. Lots to see, very helpful volunteers, beautifully quiet when I visited on a Saturday during the bank holiday. Recommended.’ – Julie

Wellesley Cinema

Take a step back in time at Wellesley Cinema! The cinema is independently owned and is located on Mantle Street. With its’s art deco-style auditorium with a digital sound system and 3-D projector, they show everything from blockbusters to stage events!

Built in 1937 in the traditional Art Deco style of that period it seats 400 people across two levels. The cinema often has showings of the most recent releases, and has a licensed bar in the foyer. The Wellesley also shows many of the National Theatre Live and Royal Opera House live events.
Wellesley Cinema first opened in July of 1937 with the first film ever shown being Dimples, starring Shirley Temple. With just under 500 seats, the cinema is relatively unchanged from its original layout still using the circle (balcony) and stalls method of seating as was so popular at the time. In the 1950s, stage facilities were added allowing stage productions to take place. To this day between two and three productions take place at the Wellesley and continues to prove popular with our Clients and Care Professionals!
Booking is essential.