As the county town of Somerset, Taunton’s long been the shopping destination of choice for the locals. Bristol may be bigger but this handsome market town still has plenty to offer bargain hunters with a great mix of high street names, independent favourites and bustling markets packed with local goodies.
Shopping in Taunton
Handily placed right in the centre of town and complete with its own multi-storey car park, Orchard Shopping Centre has almost 50 stores to choose from, covering everything from fashion and beauty to jewellery and gifts. This is where you’ll find big national names like New Look, Jack Wills, HMV and Waterstones but it’s also got a great range of local specialists like Maiz Hair & Beauty, and Miles Morgan Travel. Don’t miss the opportunity to pop into Hatchers – a classic independent department store that’s been a high street fixture in Taunton for over 240 years. As well as men’s and ladies’ fashion they have specialist departments covering electronics, furniture, cookware and more, not to mention their own coffee shop with a mean selection of homemade cakes. And if you fancy something a little more substantial, Orchard is also home to Taunton’s branch of restaurant chain Bill’s, ‘open from breakfast to bedtime and everything in between’ as they like to put it.
For more independent stores, locals head to County Walk Shopping Centre. Here you’ll find Taylors Leather offering handbags and shoes, often at bargain prices, while fans of street fashion should skate down to Wave Games, a ‘board lifestyle store’ that stocks brands like Volcom, Rip Curl, Vans, DC and more. County Walk has its share of national names too, with Maplin Electronics covering all your tech and AV needs, while Games Workshop is the place to go if you need an army of the undead at short notice or a new coat of paint for your dragon.
A little further out of town, next to the River Tone and just a 10-minute walk from Premier Inn Taunton East hotel, you’ll find Hankridge Retail Park. As well as a sizeable Sainsbury’s Superstore they’ve got a raft of out-of-town favourites from Clarks, and Comet to Homebase and popular interiors outfit Ponden Home. Perhaps not the place you’d expect to find one of Taunton’s most charming pubs, but the Hankridge Arms is a stunning conversion of a 16th century farmhouse complete with cosy log fires and atmospheric wood-panelled rooms. Not your average retail park pit stop!
Orchard Shopping Centre
County Walk Shopping
Taunton Street Markets
Market towns like Taunton were built on local people selling local produce and it’s great to see the tradition still thriving today. If you’re lucky enough to be in town between Wednesday and Saturday then pop along to Taunton Street Markets in historic Bath Place and take time to stroll around the stalls selling local Somerset delicacies including meats, cheeses, cakes and more (and before you ask, yes, there will almost certainly be someone selling cider). This is the original street food so bring your appetite and see what takes your fancy.
If you’ve ever watched Bargain Hunt and thought you’d make a shrewd wheeler dealer then this could be your chance. Taunton Antiques Market is held every Monday between 9am and 4pm on the appropriately named Silver Street. With over 130 dealers it’s one of the West Country's largest markets for antiques and collectables so get ready to sharpen those haggling skills!