THE Museum of Somerset, in Taunton, is to run a six-month trial of Sunday opening.

There will be a programme of popular events and activities on Sundays, including Dino Day (October 24) and Santa (throughout December).

The initiative starts this weekend (Sunday, October 3) and has attracted funding from Somerset West and Taunton Council.

Sam Astill, head of museums for the South West Heritage Trust, said: “The museum is a major attraction in Somerset and one of the most popular destinations in the Taunton area.

"We look forward to playing our part in the economic recovery of the town and welcoming more visitors to the county museum.”

The extension to opening hours coincides with the museum's tenth anniversary - it opened on September 29, 2011, following a major redevelopment funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and other organisations.

Since then, it has welcomed more than 600,000 visitors to its galleries, events and exhibitions.

In addition, more than 10,000 young people annually engage with its learning programmes for schools.

Cllr Caroline Ellis, SWT executive member for culture, said: “We are delighted to support Sunday opening at the Museum of Somerset which will be a major boost to the vitality of Taunton town centre.

“Strategic investment in improved access to great culture and heritage experiences for residents and visitors is a key plank of SWT’s newly adopted cultural strategy and is vital to the district’s economic recovery post-Covid.”

The museum continues its successful run of exhibiting 20th century art with an exhibition that opens on November 13.

The Art of Brian Rice: 60 Years of Painting and Prints will display more than 30 colourful abstract works by a painter-printmaker who was born in Somerset but made an international name for himself in 1960s London.

The museum has recently welcomed a new café provider, The Shed from Goodland Gardens.

The café will be open on Sundays serving brunch from 10am, as well as lunches, teas, coffee and cake.

From October 3, the Museum of Somerset will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Booking is currently advised.

For more information and to book your visit go to