Aerial View

Location

Our Location

Queen's College is only a ten-minute walk from the bustling market town of Taunton in the south-west of England. The town's many shops provide everything from the latest high-street fashions and technology to traditional English antiques, bric-a-brac and souvenirs. Taunton is the ideal location to visit the very best of the West Country - for destinations such as Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Dartmoor, Torbay, Exmoor and the North Devon coast.


Queen's College

Queen's College was founded by the Methodist Church in 1843. The present building, in the Tudor Gothic style was built in 1874. The college's Latin motto is Non scholae sed vitae discimus  (We educate not just for school but for life)

The leisure facilities at the college are outstanding. There is a modern theatre and cinema (Queen's Hall) that is used for film nights, talent shows and drama; a Performing Arts Centre (PAC) for whole-school events and music and dance workshops. There is a music room with grand piano. There is a large indoor sports hall where students can play basketball, badminton, 5-a-side football, netball, dodgeball and many other sports. 


Queen's College Campus

Queen's College Campus

The college also has an indoor swiming pool and extensive outdoor sports fields, pitches and courts for tennis, football, athletics, rounders and even cricket. The campus covers some 140,00 square metres.

The student houses have many student common rooms - comfortable places for students to relax with TVs, game stations and DVD playersand some pool tables and board games.

The student houses have many student common rooms - comfortable places for students to relax with TVs, game stations and DVD players and some pool tables and board games.

Famous ex-pupils include a former Prime Minister of Newfoundland, a Nobel prize winner for chemistry and a swimming Commonwealth Games gold medallist, to name but three.

Taunton

Taunton is the county town of Somerset and dates back over a thousand years- there was an early Christian monastery here in the 10th century. It has a population of roughly 70,000. The name means "Town on the River Tone". 

Taunton saw action during the Wars of the Roses and the Civil War of 1642-45, Taunton castle changing hands several times as the Royalists battled against the Roundheads.


Taunton continues to be a strategically important town: it lies at the gate to the West Country and is relatively close to London. Taunton has fine parks and a good, modern shopping centre. It is an affluent town, with three public schools: Taunton School, King's College and Queen's College. 

The nearest airports are Exeter International airport and Bristol Airport, both less than 70 km from the town.

The West Country

The West Country is the area of south western England which includes the historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, and the City and County of Bristol.

The West Country is mostly rural, with only a few sizeable towns and cities. Tourism and agriculture, especially dairy farming, play a significant role in the economy. The landscape is principally granite moorland in the west, and chalk and limestone downland in the east. 

Historically, tin mining, wool and fishing were the principal sources of income and employment in the west of the area - less so today - although the latter still contributes to the economy. 

Gastronomically, the region is traditionally famous for its production of cider, clotted cream and pasties. 

In modern times, the west country has also become well known for such attractions as the Glastonbury Music Festival, The Eden Project and Radio One road shows.

Excursion destinations

Dunster Castle
Dunster Castle & Village

Dunster Castle is a former motte and bailey castle, now a country house, in the village of Dunster. 

The castle lies on the top of a steep hill called the Tor, and has been fortified since the late Anglo-Saxon period. After the Norman Conquest in the 11th century, William de Mohun constructed a timber castle on the site as part of the pacification of Somerset. At the end of the 14th century, the de Mohuns sold the castle to the Luttrell family, who continued to occupy the property until the late 20th century.

Dunster Castle is managed now by the National Trust. Little remains of the medieval castle except for the Great Gatehouse and the remains of several towers. The heart of the modern castle today is the much altered 17th-century manor house.

The key features of the castle include the original 13th-century gates and several pieces of art, including a sequence of leather tapestries showing scenes from the story of Anthony and Cleopatra.

The gardens surrounding the castle cover approximately 6 hectares and include the National Plant Collection of Strawberry Trees. The gardens and parkland are listed, Grade II*, on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.

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The city of Bristol

Bristol is a city beside the River Avon in the southwest of England with a prosperous maritime history. It is England's sixth biggest city with a population of some 450,000.

Historically, Bristol is famous for being the starting place for the early voyages of exploration to the New World. On a ship out of Bristol in 1497, John Cabot, a Venetian, became the first European since the Vikings to land on mainland North America. One of today's highlights of a trip to Bristol is a visit to one of the first iron steamships in the world: the S.S. Great Britain, built by the engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who also built the Great Western railway from London to Cornwall.

Its former city-centre port is now a cultural hub, the Harbourside, where the M Shed museum explores local social and industrial heritage. The harbour's 19th-century warehouses now contain restaurants, shops and cultural institutions such as the contemporary gallery The Arnolfini. The city is well-known for its theatres, art centres and music venues.

Banksy, the internationally famous street artist, comes from Bristol.
In 2009, Bristol was selected by international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley, in their Eyewitness guides for young adults, as one of the world's top ten cities.

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Weston-Super-Mare

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Weston-super-Mare is a typical English seaside resort in Somerset, on the Bristol Channel, 18 miles south west of Bristol.

Weston has spectacular tides owing to the large tidal range in the Bristol Channel: the low-tide mark in Weston Bay is about 1.6 kilometres from the seafront! 

Weston is a popular tourist destination, with its long sandy beach, helicopter museum, Grand Pier, Seaquarium acquarium and seasonal Wheel of Weston. 

In August 2015, the artist Banksy opened the temporary art installation "Dismaland" at the town's Tropicana venue.

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The city of Bath

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Bath is a town set in the rolling countryside of southwest England, known for its natural hot springs and 18th-century Georgian architecture. The museum at the site of its original Roman Baths includes The Great Bath, statues and a temple and the facility’s Pump Room serves a popular afternoon tea. Today’s visitors can soak in the waters at the contemporary Thermae Bath Spa.

The city became a spa with the Latin name Aquae Sulis circa AD 60 when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, thanks to the location's natural hot springs.The Roman Baths complex is one of the finest Roman remains in the world - with cold and hot baths still functioning. It gives an incredible glimpse back in time into everyday life during the ancient Roman period.

After a period of neglect, the town once again became popular as a spa town whose waters had significant health properties in the 17th century - the Georgian period. The city became very fashionable in high society, lead by the famous socialite, Beau Nash. This was the period in which the marvellous Royal Crescent was built.

Jane Austen, author of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility lived in Bath in the early 19th century.

Today's city has a great, bustling atmosphere: interesting shops and boutiques; musicians playing in the streets and everywhere baskets of hanging flowers.

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Cheddar Gorge

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Cheddar Gorge is a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar (famous for the cheese produced here). 

The gorge is also the site of the Cheddar caves, where Britain's oldest complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man, estimated to be over 9,000 years old, was found in 1903. Older remains from the Late Stone Age era (12,000–13,000 years ago) have also been found.

The caves, produced by the activity of an underground river, contain stalactites (which hang down from the roof of the cave) and stalagmites (which grow up from the floor). 

The gorge is a haven for wildlife, being home to adders, buzzards, kestrels, horseshoe bats and several rare species of butterflies.

The gorge is popular with climbers, too: there about 350 officially graded climbing routes on the 27 cliffs that make up the gorge.

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Oxford

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Oxford is a city in the south east of England. With a population of 160,000, it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom. Dating from Saxon times, the name of the town originally meant The Ford of the Oxen

The city is famous around the world as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Buildings in Oxford demonstrate notable examples of every English architectural period since the late Saxon period. Oxford is often referred to as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold.

The university is famous for its many colleges, which can be visited by the public. The oldest of these colleges are University College (1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264). The university is currently ranked as 6th best in the world, according to QS World Rankings, behind its main UK rival, Cambridge (ranked 3=). 

Famous literary ex-alumni of the university include Lewis Carrol (Alice in Wonderland), J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) and Oscar Wilde.

The Bodleian Library (the largest library system in the UK) and the Ashmolean Museum (the oldest museum in the UK) are two of the top attractions for the over 10 million tourists who visit the city each year.

Perhaps the most famous event on the University calendar is the annual boat race on the Thames in London between the universities of  Oxford (the dark blues) and Cambridge (the light blues). At the time of writing (2016) Cambridge lead Oxford by 82 victories to 79.

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The city of Exeter

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Exeter is a cathedral city in Devon with a population of 125,000.

It lies on the River Exe and originated as a Roman town called Isca. The name Exeter comes from the old English Escanceaster, meaning the fort on the River Exe.

The city is dominated by its cathedral which was founded in 1050 when the Bishop of Devon decided to move his residence from Crediton to Exeter because the latter's roman walls offered better protection against "pirates" (the Vikings). 

The cathedral houses one of the country's oldest and most important documents in Anglo-Saxon literature: the Exeter Book. The book dates back to the 10th century and contains poems, religious pieces and a series of (sometimes rather rude) riddles. 

The cathedral itself is a magnificent example of the Decorated Gothic style and boasts an astronomical clock and the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England.

The modern city has an impressive shopping centre in Princesshay with favourite shops such as Apple, All Saints, Jack Wills, Zara, Hollister, Top Shop and Superdry. There is also a large Primark store in the centre.  

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Torbay & the UNESCO geopark

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Torbay is in South Devon. It is a large bay - home to three towns: Torquay, Paignton and Brixham - forming a natural  east-facing deep-water harbour. 

Torquay became popular as a health resort in the early Victorian period and is still famous in the UK for its colourful nightlife. Paignton has a reputation as a relaxed, safe,  holiday resort especially popular with families. The historic town of Brixham is still the county's No 1 fishing port. 

The bay is known in the UK as the English Riviera, thanks to the mildness of its climate - it is one of the sunniest localities in the country. 

It is a popular tourist destination for English and foreign visitors alike. Its main attractions include Paignton Zoo; The Dartmouth steam train; Quaywest waterpark, and Kents Cavern, a spectacular cave system. In addition, the bay has miles and miles of sandy beaches and rocky coves which are great for swimming. Torbay is also an important watersports centre.

Torbay has recently been designated The English Riviera UNESCO geopark because of the importance of its geology. The 2016 international UNESCO geopark conference will take place here in September 2016.

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South West England

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The South West countries of England, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, are all areas of outstanding natural beauty. There are two coastlines, a Channel one and an Atlantic one, windswept moorlands and charming villages, unchanged in centuries, have inspired writers, artists and film makers.

Just 45 minutes from Taunton is Dartmoor National Park - southern England's last great wilderness. Covering an area of approximately 1000 square kilometres, Dartmoor is famous for its ponies that live freely on the moor, as well as its notorious prison and as the setting for Sherlock Holmes's most famous adventure, the Hound of the Baskervilles.