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Taunton Leisure

Over 40 years in the outdoor industry has been an amazing experience not to mention an incredible journey. Founded originally by the Clark family and still in the same hands today we are still passionate about the outdoors and the industry in which we work. Our success stems not only from our retail stores and online business but equally our team of dedicated and knowledgeable staff that offer an unequalled level of service. Our focus today is still the same as when we first started in 1977 to seek out unique brands with an equally great heritage and with a passion for products and the outdoors that we all enjoy so much.

Simon Clark, Taunton Leisure Managing Director.

Taunton Leisure is founded

Taunton Leisure & Camping is founded by Chris Clark and opens its doors on East reach, Taunton for the first time. Back then the store was not much bigger than a garden shed and amongst other various bits and bobs, mostly sold family tents in the summer and mobile gas heaters for domestic use through winter. The company is still independently run by the Clark Family. The Original Taunton Leisure Logo featured a gas bottle going for a hike.

1977

Purchase new premises

This small shop grew so successfully that within a year, Taunton Leisure was able to purchase the premises in East Reach, we still trade out of this shop today, though it has been redeveloped and extended many times to accommodate our ever growing range of outdoor kit

1978

Start selling tents, camping equipment

Business expanded rapidly and in addition to tents, camping equipment and bottled gas Taunton Leisure now offered carefully selected footwear, rucksacks, climbing and canoeing products. Taunton Leisure also brought out a lot of own label gear including boots, packs, jackets and even an Icelandic tent.

1980

Launch sleeping bags

Taunton Leisure launches its own brand sleeping bags Seen here with MD Simon Clark from left to right: The Purple Softy, Rainbow Expedition and the Rainbow warrior. We still see some of these bags in circulation today. Many have been all over the world. £1.00 from every sleeping bag sale was donated to Greenpeace.

1982

Opens Second store

Taunton Leisure opened its second shop in Bristol along Bedminster Parade, the shop has grown a reputation as one of the very best footwear fitters in the South-west and has many people travel from further parts of the UK for the fantastic range and service.

1983

Opens Third store

Taunton Leisure opens a third store in Swansea, sadly no longer with us.

1987

Opens Third store

Taunton Leisure produces its in-house catalogue detailing many pieces of kit within its range, we used family and friends as models, took our own pictures and used a local company to throw it all together. It of course featured an era appropriate order form which could be filled in and posted off in order to have products delivered to have great kit straight to your door! The mail order catalogue was available in this form for another 10 years.

1989

Our catalogue

A catalogue cover from 1990/1991

1990

New Exeter Store opens

Taunton Leisure opens its Exeter Shop, its largest shop yet. It has a permanent tent display area upstairs, a massive range of climbing gear and fantastic facilities for all sorts of outdoor gear.

1991

Expanding orginal store

The original Taunton Store gains a huge extension to make way for even more gear and has a natural stone fireplace fitted.

1991

Offering a helping hand

On this day adventurists Richard and Andrew Mclaughlin from Taunton completed a 17,000-mile journey by cycle and sea kayak setting what was at the time claimed to be the longest human-powered journey. During their trip they survived a shipwreck, were shot at in West Timor, survived a cyclone and narrowly escaped being thrown in jail in Tibet. At Taunton Leisure we were delighted to have helped with advising on and supplying essential equipment for this adventure.

2001

Another helping hand

Taunton Leisure Exeter offer their services in assisting customers Ann Daniels, Caroline Hamilton and Pom Oliver in becoming the first British women to have trekked to the North Pole and also the first women to have trekked to both poles as part of an all-female expedition, occasionally they still pop in.

2002

25 Years old

Taunton Leisure celebrates 25 years!

2003

New website

Taunton saw the introduction of e-commerce functionality to our website. In other words, you could buy outdoor gear online!

2003

Simon Clark takes over

Chris Clark, the founder of Taunton Leisure retires. Simon Clark takes over all operations.

2009

Taunton updated

The Taunton Leisure logo was updated to its current design and our loyalty cards were updated accordingly as well. Here are some other logos and loyalty cards from throughout the years.

2011

Nick B in Sweden

Exeter Shop Manager Nick B makes us proud while on a training trip to Sweden with Tentipi. He went Ice fishing and caught this monster!

2013

40 Years old

Taunton Leisure celebrates 40 years!

2017

Down vs. Synthetic insulation–Which is right for you?

Taunton Leisure | 20/01/2021 15:15:37

Down vs. Synthetic insulation Which is right for you? We’re taking time to explain the key differences and what you can expect from each form of technical insulation. We cannot deny it, the cold plays a huge part in the obstacles faced when getting outdoors. Whether you’re simple heading on.... More

6 pairs of walking trousers perfect for local winter walks

Taunton Leisure | 15/01/2021 14:21:17

6 pairs of walking trousers perfect for local winter walks and beyond Following government guidelines, it is very important that we stay at home and only leave the house to shop for food, meet your support bubble, go to work, seek medical assistance, or exercise. Though things are looking down, we must now.... More

Staff review: The Mountain Equipment Chamois Pant

Taunton Leisure | 15/01/2021 11:26:06

In praise of the Mountain Equipment Chamois Pant Being a skinny jean wearer by day, the idea of wearing ‘baggy’ walking trousers on weekend adventures was not my cup of tea. Then I discovered the range of Mountain Equipment’s leg wear that not only fits perfectly,.... More

Staff Review: Fjällräven Vidda Pro Trousers

Taunton Leisure | 13/01/2021 14:42:37

Treen coast path near the Gurnard’s head, Cornwall August 2020. Staff Review: Fjällräven Vidda Pro Trousers Durable, versatile and full of special features, take a look at Oli’s experience with these superb all round walking trousers from one of our most popular outdoor brands. One of our most popular brands, Fjällräven.... More

Our guide to Gore-Tex lined footwear

Taunton Leisure | 08/01/2021 15:21:28

Scarpa Ranger GTX, a superb Gore-lined wet weather boot. Shop HERE Our guide to Gore-Tex lined footwear Take a look at our handy guide and think about which footwear is right for your wet weather needs. In the words of Gore-Tex themselves “the rain is a tyrant”. In the UK especially.... More

Latest Service Update

Taunton Leisure | 05/01/2021 06:38:00

In line with Government Guidance all our stores are temporarily closed. You can still shop online, our warehouse is operating safely and we are despatching Mon - Fri as normal. Our UK delivery providers DPD & Royal Mail are operating as normal. International shipments are temporarily paused however. If you have a store query then.... More

Smartwool: Go far, feel good

Taunton Leisure | 18/12/2020 15:16:42

Smartwool: Go far, feel good Read up here on why we think Smartwool is this year’s outdoor lover’s essential. Simple fact: It isn’t Christmas without socks. Often neglected by both both outdoor lovers and others, decent socks we believe are one of several steps towards a prosperous life. To have a pair.... More

Top winter picks from our North Face collection

Taunton Leisure | 18/12/2020 12:56:06

Top picks from The North Face this winter Winter has only just begun, it’s time to get wrapped up warm in one of the world’s favourite outdoor brands Brr! Can you feel the chilly, likely wet weather coming in? Despite our classic British festive season having such often foul weather, we wouldn’t.... More

Recycled Polyester: Patagonia’s eco innovation

Taunton Leisure | 11/12/2020 15:24:56

Recycled Polyester: Patagonia’s eco innovation With massive influence in the outdoor industry, clothing brands must assess and act on the effects with which their production has an impact. Patagonia as a company, since its founding in 1973 by renowned mountaineer and gear maker Yvon Chouinard has.... More

Top picks from our Christmas gift list

Taunton Leisure | 04/12/2020 12:52:51

The festive season is once more upon us! Take a look at some of the highlights from our adventurous gift selection, perfect for the outdoor lovers in your life. A Hydro Flask Imagine showing up to your Christmas day hike with one of these in your pack filled.... More
Taunton Leisure Ltd, Victoria House, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3FA Company No: 3603607 VAT No: GB 720970835 © Integrated Ecommerce © Citrus-Lime Limited Credit subject to status and affordability. Terms & Conditions Apply. Taunton Leisure trading as are a credit broker and are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Credit is provided by Hitachi Personal Finance, a division of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register no. 704348. The register can be accessed through http://www.fca.org.uk