10 unmissable events in Taunton to enjoy this summer

The flower show is held in August

The flower show is held in August - Credit: Archant

Simone Stanbrook picks her top tips for a super summer in the county town

Take to the water at the Dragon Boat Race or stay on dry land and watch

Take to the water at the Dragon Boat Race or stay on dry land and watch - Credit: Archant

As the year progresses, the pace of summer picks up and we feel that anticipatory sense of impending balmy days....we hope! Suddenly the calendar is full of sunny things to do. The Somerset countryside is full of life, but there’s masses going on in our county town too.

Every Thursday

Taunton Farmers’ Market

Taunton Farmers’ Market takes place in Taunton’s High Street between 9am and 3pm. A splendid way to cut down on food miles, understand the provenance of your food and support local producers. This excellent market has gone from strength to strength since it started in 1999. Choose from a wide range of delicious, fresh, seasonal foodstuffs. Lovely!

Catch the colourful bubble run for St Margaret's Hospice

Catch the colourful bubble run for St Margaret's Hospice - Credit: Archant

Sunday June 11

Charity Dragon Boat Race on the River Tone

This annual event is organised by Headway Somerset, a charity that supports people with brain injuries. Enjoy a very colourful and funny day on the river. No experience is necessary and the Dragon Boats are provided – so no excuses. Prizes are awarded to the winning teams, for fundraising and for fancy dress.

Taunton Live is a celebration of the creative arts

Taunton Live is a celebration of the creative arts - Credit: Archant

Sunday June 11

UB40 and Billy Ocean perform at Taunton Racecourse

Remember those sounds? This will bring back a few memories. Dig out those glad rags for a summer evening out under the stars (when the sun goes down) with great live music. The tickets are selling fast.

Chill out with live music at the Fake Festival

Chill out with live music at the Fake Festival - Credit: Archant

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Saturday June 17

Somerfest

Somerfest is a wonderful celebration of the varied and diverse culture found in the county – and this year it also marks the 40th birthday of Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre. Taking place at different venues around Taunton, this is a free festival of theatre, music, circus, sport and other performing arts. As well as performances from local, national and international artists, there will be stalls offering a huge range of food and drink, arts and crafts and participatory activities for all the family, including a wildlife and ‘green’ crafts area developed with Somerset Wildlife Trust and Exmoor Park. Cancer Research UK will be holding a Great Somerset Duck Race at Somerfest, with 10,000 ducks heading down the River Tone. Vibrant, eclectic and great fun, the programme is extensive.

Monday June 26 – Saturday July 15

International Women’s Cricket at the County Ground

English summer and cricket is one of those partnerships that many people get very excited about. Taunton is the home of high-class cricket and this year’s events are no exception. A large countdown clock has been unveiled in the town centre marking time to the first Taunton match of the Women’s World Cup, a round-robin competition between the world’s eight best teams. (Matches also at other venues). May the sun shine throughout.

Sunday July 9

St Margaret’s Hospice Bubble Rush at Longrun Meadow

This is a charity event that is more about having fun than running fast, so you don’t have to be too competitive. Be prepared to get very foamy while supporting the wonderful work of St Margaret’s. The hospice is dedicated to making each day count for all patients and families, aiming to ensure that they achieve what they want, from arranging an on-site wedding and a ride on a Harley Davidson, to enabling a patient to pet a hedgehog for the first time.

Saturday July 22 – Saturday October 7

Rhyme Around the World at Taunton’s Museum of Somerset

The Museum hosts a wealth of events throughout the year including this lively and colourful exhibition of nursery rhymes from Seven Storiries – the National Centre for Children’s Books. An enthralling, multi-sensory exhibition where youngsters can step straight into their favourite nursery rhymes. Discover new rhymes from around the world and beautiful work by international illustrators. There will also be a rare opportunity to view Harold Jones’ art from the classic Lavender’s Blue published in 1954. The youthful of all ages will love it.

Monday July 24 – Sunday July 30

Taunton Live in the town centre

A splendid Arts Festival that is free-to-enter, flourishing and multi-cultural. A gala of the creative arts ranging from Somerset’s traditional withy work to an Indian sari catwalk, interactive music workshops to creative writing classes. Enjoy sculpture, poetry, sketching, food and drink tasters from around the world – think of something creative and there’s a good chance you will find it being celebrated here.

Saturday July 29

Taunton Fake Festival at Longrun Meadow

Another chance to dig out those dancing trousers and rock till you drop to some of the best ‘fake’ bands out there. This is a massive party inside an equally massive marquee, so if the summer isn’t hot and dry it doesn’t matter. There’s promise of a superb afternoon and evening. The line-up of eight bands includes: The Fillers (tribute to The Killers), Stereotonics (tribute to the Stereophonics) and Total Stone Roses (tribute to Stone Roses).

Friday August 4 – Saturday August 5

Taunton Flower Show at Vivary Park

A fabulously colourful and aromatic celebration of things floral. But it’s not just about flowers and gardens. Live music from many different genres creates a ‘sizzling summer outdoor vibe’. Enjoy crafts, food, trade stands and a host of arena events including the Xtreme Stunt Team and youngsters’ parachute games.