Trains to Taunton take you right into the heart of the town, a short walk from the riverside and the famous Somerset county cricket ground. Brace yourself for the breathtaking Taunton Castle, festooned with flowers all year round. The castle has a somewhat bloody history, so get some sustenance first at the award-winning restaurant at the Castle Hotel nearby – after that you’ll be ready to venture inside for a rather horrible history lesson. Taunton station originally opened in 1842 as part of the Bristol and Exeter Railway. The structure was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but the station’s split design proved tricky to navigate for passengers – each platform had its own set of buildings and sheds, with a hotel in between. A major redevelopment was undertaken in the 1860s. Many of these extensions survive to this day, but sadly the popular 40 Steps footbridge, a favourite location for trainspotters, was pulled down in 2013.
There are six platforms, connected by a subway with step-free access. Toilets are found on platform 2 and 6. Platform 5 serves trains to London Paddington, Bristol and the north. You’ll also find a cafe here. There is a car park on both sides of the station and bus services to the town centre call in front of the ticket office.