The Bridgwater and Taunton Canal
The Bridgwater and Taunton Canal can be found meandering lazily through the Somerset lowlands. Once a bustling waterway for those looking to travel between the two towns of its namesake, the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal is now more suited to holiday goers thanks to its picturesque surrounding landscape and rich history.
With many companies offering kayak, canoe and even narrowboat hire, the water itself is perhaps the best way to experience the canal’s 14-mile length. On your travels, you’ll come face-to-face with the area’s history – from Saxon times to the modern-day, including pillboxes and other World War Two era defences designed to impede invading armies as part of the Taunton Stop Line.
If you’re not quite so sure of your sea legs, then there’s still plenty to be seen along the canal while remaining on firm ground. Forming part of National Cycle Route 3 and a variety of other planned bike and walking routes, the Bridgewater and Taunton Canal provides avid explorers with fantastic views of the Quantock Hills while travelling between the two market towns. Whether by boat, by bike or by foot, it’s impossible to ignore the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
A unique feature of note is the Somerset Space Walk. Designed by inventor Pip Youngman, the attraction makes use of the Canal’s length to present a 1:530,000,000 scale model of the solar system. With each millimetre of the model equating to a jaw-dropping 530 kilometres, the resulting model features two sets of planets emanating out 11 kilometres from the model’s centre, with the location of the Sun, at Maunsel Lock. Walking the full distance of the model in either direction provides a real sense of scale to the solar system and is highly recommended for families with budding astronauts among their ranks!
With all the natural beauty and scientific wonder available on the canal itself, it’s important not to forget about the places it connects. The destination is just as satisfying as the journey no matter which direction you decide to travel!
The market towns of Bridgwater and Taunton are worth a visit in themselves and offer bustling shopping districts and mouth watering cafes and restaurants. Both towns are also steeped in their own colourful histories. At Taunton, you can step back in time with a visit to the town’s Norman castle that was the site of many a bitter struggle during the 1600s. Home to the Museum of Somerset, the castle now offers visitors a look into the history of the area – rather than into a dungeon cell! The Blake museum at Bridgwater, on the other hand, takes a long look at the life and career of local Naval Hero Admiral Robert Blake, whose 17th-century campaigns earned him the title of “Father of the Royal Navy”.
The Bridgwater and Taunton Canal offers a chance to relax, to explore and to learn – but best of all it’s only a short distance from Lakeside Holiday Park. After a long day on the water, there’s no better place to kick back; whether that’s on our fully stocked fishing lake, in our heated pool or with some great food and drink at The Boathouse. Make sure you don’t miss the last of the good weather and book your next stay at Lakeside today.
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