While Taunton can’t rival nearby Bristol for breadth of entertainment, the town is well supplied with music venues, theatres and several high-quality sports venues.
Entertainment in Taunton
A region noted for its folk music – and The Wurzels, which we won’t hold against it – Taunton boasts several live music venues that host an array of local bands and travelling acts.
A non-profit community venue, the Creative Innovation Centre has a broad musical remit spanning indie, rock, pop, jazz, funk and much more and operates as a live-music venue, café, bar and gallery. The Centre puts on regular events offering everything from Bollywood nights to disco throw-downs and plenty of live music including saxophone quartets, big band sessions and a regular open mic night when anything goes.
It might be the least rock’n’roll venue going, but St. Mary Magdalene church puts on some of the town’s best live music. With a large choir growing year on year, the church’s centrepiece is their organ named Old Father Willis in honour of its builder. Dating back to 1882, the organ has thousands of pipes and can range from a barely there whisper to an all-conquering noise that shakes the foundations of the church. There are regular events through the year including regular choir performances, live brass bands and guest shows from travelling groups and orchestras.
The Brewhouse Centre
Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre
Vivary Golf Course
The biggest theatre in town, The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre opened in 1977 and welcomed the then-unknown David Jason of Only Fools and Horses fame as one of its first actors. A 350-seat theatre, the Brewhouse puts on a wide variety of entertainment during the year spanning tribute acts, homegrown plays, touring productions, burlesque shows, family shows and plenty more. The theatre has plenty of star-pulling power – Michael McIntyre recently sold out several nights – and also live-screen opera and ballet from big stage productions in London. The space also includes a second theatre that can seat 60, a bar, gallery and creative space, and is just over a mile from our Taunton East hotel.
The newest addition to the town’s theatrical output is the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre. Opened in 2000, the state-of-the-art venue balances a lot of artistic output including dance, theatre and music. As well as hosting regular shows that span laugh-out-loud comedies, family theatre, guest speakers and tribute acts, they host and curate creative workshops aimed at getting the local community involved in the arts.
The beating heart of Taunton’s cultural and entertainment scene for over 40 years, The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre is the main spot to get your funny bone tickled. Be it up-and-coming comedians like Joe Lycett or established acts that can sell out arenas like Michael McIntyre, the theatre puts on regular comedy shows in its 350-seat auditorium.
Easily one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the UK, Somerset play their home games at the County Ground in Taunton. Cricket has been played at the town centre ground for over a century, with the ground hosting several international matches. Backed by the River Tone – which no doubt holds more than its fair share of balls – and St. James Church, the ground is well known for previous players including Sir Ian Botham, Sir Viv Richards and home-grown talent Marcus Trescothick. Somerset have a long and illustrious history, having won several one-day and Twenty20 cup competitions during their history, but have never finished higher than second in the longer form of the game.
If football is your game, head to Taunton Town Football Club, one of the more successful non-league teams. Founded in 1947, the team moved to their 2,500 capacity Wordsworth Drive stadium a decade later and had their best FA Cup run in the 2016/17 season when they reached the first round for only the second time in their history.
Taunton Rugby Football Club is of a similar size and stature and is home to Taunton Titans who scrum their stuff in the National League 2 South division, the fourth tier of the English rugby union system. They play their home games at Hyde Park, just off the M5 motorway with tickets £10 for adults and free for children under 16.
Finally, if you’re looking for some swinging action, pitch up to Vivary Golf Course in the heart of Taunton and two miles from our Taunton Central North hotel. A full 18-hole golf course, there’s also an 18-hole mini golf course, a footgolf course and a well-stocked café. You can turn up and pay and play or sign up for short-term membership if you’re sticking around, with everything from clubs to golf shoes and gloves available to hire from the club shop.
If horse racing is your thing, take a look at our dedicated guide to Taunton Races.