For the best in local meat, fish, vegetables, cider, cheese and cask ale, head to Junction 24 Farmers’ Market each Saturday. Continue the shopping theme at the Orchard Centre, home to all your favourite brand names, plus a bunch of bars and bites where you can watch the world pass by.
Up the pace with clay shooting or inflatable games available on-site, or pony trekking just a couple of miles from the house. Work on your handicap at Oake Manor Golf Course or Minehead Golf Course, fish the Durleigh Reservoir, or explore the local highways and byways with Somerset Bike Hire.
Hire horses with Quantock Trekking in West Bagborough, pamper yourself with the spa and treatments at Cedar Falls and The Mount Somerset Hotel, or swim at Quantock Lodge Leisure. Try some tennis or other racket sports at Blackbrook Leisure Centre.
Get seriously active with high ropes, archery, kayaking, mountain boarding, climbing or caving at Black Rock Outdoors, or high ropes with ‘power-fan descender’ at Vivary Adventure Centre. Hire kayaks and canoes at Channel Adventures in Minehead or steam through the scenery on the West Somerset Railway.
Whether it’s a homely, hearty pub with cask ales and a roaring fire, or something a little more metropolitan, this corner of Somerset is your friend. After a hike over the Quantocks, a pint in the 16th-century Rising Sun beneath its original beams or a craft ale or cider in the Blue Ball Inn is just what the doctor ordered.
For more-lively haunts, head into Taunton to sample five individually themed areas at Zinc Bar and Nightclub, to Cosy Club, a buzzy diner offering burgers, tapas and more, or to Pitcher and Piano, a chain bar serving beer, wine and cocktails, plus a menu of grazing plates and pub classics.
Tristans and Mambo are more cocktail spots, while The Bierkeller is good for cocktails, steins and good times. Refuel at Eat the Bird, for burgers, wings and nachos, or The Bank, home of an internationally inspired menu. Or catch the live music and TV screens at Perkin Warbeck.
Eat, drink and bowl at Hollywood Bowl complete with dedicated games area and arcade, or catch the latest flicks at the Odeon, with 2-D or 3-D format, plus family and student deals. Or catch theatre, plays, music, ballet and art at Taunton’s The Brewhouse.