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

Staff Review: Kühl Rydr Pant

Taunton Leisure | 07/04/2020 16:46:05

Staff Review: Kühl Rydr Pants Follow Oli as he takes on a pair of Kühl ‘s toughest trousers and tries his best to break them in. Kühl, an outdoor gear company founded in Utah with just one man and a bag full of interesting hats, has rightly.... More

Staff Review: On Cloudventure Running Shoes

Taunton Leisure | 06/04/2020 14:14:23

Staff Review: On Cloudventure Trail Running Shoes Sam from the Exeter Store takes this lightweight trail runner for a spin through the woods of Devon and gives us his views. The On Cloudventure is a neutral running shoe that's great for runners who want to take to the trail while.... More

How to clean, wax and care for your leather footwear

Taunton Leisure | 03/04/2020 13:31:51

Photo: Scarpa How to clean, wax & care for leather boots Proper care for your leather footwear is essential for the boots or shoes to perform in the way they were meant to for as long as possible. Just like your own skin, leather will stay looking great and perform well when properly.... More

Hilleberg Tent Labels Explained

Taunton Leisure | 02/04/2020 15:01:47

A Keron 3 GT (right) stands strong during the Swedish winter   Hilleberg Tent Labels Explained Take a look as we explain the differences and intended use for each of Hilleberg’s 4 tent labels Hilleberg the Tentmaker since their founding in 1971 have produced some of the finest tents and shelters.... More

Our Top Pieces of Nature Writing

Taunton Leisure | 30/03/2020 16:40:16

Painting: Girl reading under an oak tree by Winslow Homer Our top pieces of nature writing for days stuck indoors. Unless you are a hermit already living the lifestyle the likes of which we are about to promote, you may notice that everybody thanks to Covid-19 is staying indoors. We’re all.... More

We Carry Kånken

Taunton Leisure | 26/03/2020 14:18:26

We Carry Kånken Take a look at a NEW TO OUR RANGE selection of one of the world’s most iconic backpacks. Recognisable all over the world for its distinct shape, colours and bright red logo on a white circle, the Kånken (pronounced: Konk-un) pack from Swedish gear maker Fjällräven has now been.... More

Dave’s first look at the NEW Rab Kaon Jacket

Taunton Leisure | 25/03/2020 12:07:21

The NEW Rab Kaon Jacket: First Impressions. Dave from the Exeter Shop takes a look at Rab’s new super versatile and super lightweight insulative jacket. Rab describe themselves as masters of insulation, their jackets are some of the most renowned of any brand and have.... More

Staff Review: Fjällräven High Coast Fold Sack

Taunton Leisure | 24/03/2020 12:36:15

Staff Review: The Fjällräven High Coast Foldsack 24L      Follow Emma from the Exeter Store as she takes time to unfold Fjällräven’s light, versatile and waterproof daypack. Ready to play Fjällräven have always had a knack for creating functional, hardwearing and.... More

Coronavirus information for our customers

Taunton Leisure | 24/03/2020 08:00:00

Dear Taunton Leisure Customers, These are unprecedented times and as many of you know we have been in trading for over 40 years as an independent family owned business. Today we are following government guidelines to help protect our staff and the public from the unfolding situation with Coronavirus and closing all of our retail stores. Please.... More

All NEW Arc’teryx gear now available

Taunton Leisure | 19/03/2020 11:39:03

BRAND NEW GEAR FROM ARC’TERYX Take a look at some of the inspiring technical gear available within our range from on the World’s finest gear makers. Arc’teryx have and no doubt will always provide some of the best outdoor gear with beautiful attention to detail. Some of their latest.... 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