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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

An Ode to Christmas Socks

Taunton Leisure | 03/12/2021 13:50:12

An ode to Christmas socks Read on as we tell you what we love about this highly underrated Christmas essential and show some of the very best from our great range There is a great injustice at Christmas time that we feel goes highly unspoken. There is a sad.... More

Our ultimate equipment gift list

Taunton Leisure | 02/12/2021 16:23:17

Our ultimate equipment gift list Take a look at some fantastic gift options from our vast selection of wonderful outdoor gear. Finding the right gift can be tricky, but with our fantastic range of outdoor gear there is something perfect for the intrepid adventurer in your life! Whether their.... More

TNF Kid’s clothing perfect for everyday, endless play and countless adventures

Taunton Leisure | 12/11/2021 12:59:05

TNF Kid’s clothing perfect for everyday, endless play and countless adventures Take a look at our handpicked range of superb TNF kid’s clothing, perfect for your little ones over the chilly months and throughout the year. Finding decently made clothing.... More

Our gift guide for the ultimate outdoor gadgetry

Taunton Leisure | 05/11/2021 12:19:10

Our gift guide for superb outdoor gadgetry From the simple but beautiful to the techy but tough, these are our favourite outdoor gadgets to give to your favourite outdoorsy folk this festive season. YES, it is early November and YES, we are doing a gift list! It is that.... More

An ethical approach to waterproof jackets

Taunton Leisure | 04/11/2021 17:14:15

An ethical approach to waterproof jackets Take a look as we unravel the steps taken by our ethical manufacturers to make our essential waterproof jackets better on the planet and those who make them. Over the last few years many of our suppliers have put great work into the advancement of outdoor.... More

How a base layer can upgrade your adventures

Taunton Leisure | 29/10/2021 12:44:38

How a base layer can upgrade your adventures We break down the many uses behind this perhaps underrated outdoor garment essential. So often overlooked, we believe a decent base layer is essential for decent outdoor recreation, be it hillwalking, mountaineering or many other activities. A part of the classic.... More

An eco approach to insulated jackets

Taunton Leisure | 28/10/2021 14:51:00

An eco approach to insulated jackets Take a look as we highlight the approaches from our brands towards making the perfect, ethical, insulated jacket. Over the last few years many of our suppliers have put great work into the advancement of outdoor equipment technologies, specifically with the goal of.... More

Scarpa’s Green Manifesto

Taunton Leisure | 22/10/2021 11:24:23

Scarpa’s Green Manifesto From a clever acronym, learn all about Scarpa’s approach to eco manufacturing and the world around them. Renowned the world over for some of the best outdoor footwear in the industry, Scarpa have put there mark on everything from your casual outdoor inspired trainer, to superb.... More

First look: Rab Xenair Alpine Jacket

Taunton Leisure | 21/10/2021 12:47:02

First look: Rab Xenair Alpine Jacket Follow Amy from Taunton Leisure Exeter as she goes walkabout with Rab’s new, innovative Xenair jacket and gives us her thoughts. As someone that always feels the cold I jumped at the chance to take our new Rab Xenair alpine jacket out for a spin and after daily.... More

Staff Review: Cirrus Flex 2.0 Hoody

Taunton Leisure | 21/10/2021 10:17:37

Staff Review: Cirrus Flex 2.0 Hoody Follow Luke from Taunton Leisure Bristol as he takes on Rab’s latest version of their renowned synthetic insulator and gives his thoughts. As someone who has always opted to wear heavy fleeces instead of insulated jackets, I was very excited to try out the innovative Rab.... 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