A Trip to Taunton

outside Taunton MuseumIf I was to write a list of places to visit that had something to interest each member of the family, museums would be pretty near the top, if not taking the number one spot. We’ve had Taunton’s Museum of Somerset on our list of outing ideas for a while. It did not disappoint.

The museum covers a full range of eras.

ammonites at Taunton Museum of Somerset

There were fossils aplenty. I was impressed with all the displays. Each one drew the children in. The information held their interest without talking down to them.

fossil in floor at Taunton museum

The use of the floor to display the plesiosaur skeleton was brilliant. All three children knelt down to have a closer look. Moving around it to study it more.

My dinosaur boy was happy.

dressed as roman

The projected images told the mosaic floor’s story. Headphones were provided to listen to the story. It was so well done, that Youngest was able to relay the whole plot, with names, to me.

Meanwhile, Eldest couldn’t resist dressing Middle One up as a Roman. Full instructions were provided, as well as the togas.

Two happy history-loving girls!

Taunton museum needles

I always love seeing craft tools from years ago. So much work put into making these tools, even before the owner sat down and used them for their intended purpose. I try to imagine how they used the weaving combs and why they spent time engraving them. Imagine using the needles, made out of bone, to join two pieces of woven fabric together.

Craft Mother was happy!

roman armour


I was intrigued by the Roman armour. I’m not sure I’ve seen any before. We used to visit Pompeii a lot, but I can’t remember seeing it there or in other sites. How long must it have taken to attach each of those pieces of metal, or to make the little holes? Did they have a gadget to punch the two holes at the same time, I wonder?

canoe boat in taunton museum

I liked the way that the canoe boat was suspended between the floors. We talked about how this boat was made and used in the flooded Somerset Levels, long before the area was drained. An area the children know well.

Great Buzzards at Taunton Museum

Eldest was pleased to find a pair of Great Bustards. Quite a size. Pairs have been reintroduced on Salisbury plain, in recent years. Easier to imagine, after seeing this pair.

Happy Eldest child!

dressing up as soldier by canon

The military room included a dressing up area. Three outfits for the children to try on and pose for the camera. Even their father joined in.

Happy family!

tree at Taunton museum

So many displays to create moments of wonder and…

door with central door knob

….intrigue. Why would you have a handle in the middle of a door? Making the door heavier to open.

reconstructed Almshouse at Taunton Museum

So much to see, but not overwhelming. I always think that a good sign of  museum is one that when you leave you are already planning your next visit.

 Top tip for museum visits.

A bit like shopping –  make sure you eat before you start your visit.

Moules at frites at Beefeater Taunton

Nothing like a hungry child to cut an outing short. Not fair on them either as we all know how difficult it can be to concentrate when a rumbling tummy buts in all the time.

We stopped off at the Taunton Beefeater. I’d already planned it. Before children, my husband and I would have winged it and stopped somewhere en route. With three children in tow, its not quite so easy to please everyone, so now-a-days I like to plan ahead.

beef at beefeater

I can’t remember the last time we went to a Beefeater. Maybe before children. The Taunton restaurant is easy to find and makes a welcome break.

We had two children’s pizzas, a cheese burger, a beef chilli and a plate of moules frites. All lovely and polished off.

coleslaw container

I am totally taken with the little kilner jars that they serve the coleslaw in. Such a cute idea that I am going to use. I wonder where they get them?

eton mess at Taunton Beefeater

As for the Eton Mess, it was finished off in no time and I loved my lemon posset (in another little kilner jar).

The only downer was that the pudding stage and getting the bill took a loooong time. The staff were very attentive for our main course and then everyone seemed to disappear. Maybe most diners like to take longer, but we had a museum to see. The food was good and we will be back.

loin at Taunton Beefeater

Planning somewhere to eat was a good idea, as we don’t know Taunton very well. Beefeater’s menu is varied enough to please all our family’s different tastes. So another good choice. With full tummy, the children were able to enjoy the museum even more. Perfect.

Disclaimer: We were supplied with a voucher to eat at Taunton’s White Lodge Beefeater for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own and are completely honest. I know I always appreciate other people’s reviews when I’m looking for places to eat.

Taunton museum is free to go in but they do invite donations.



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