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This weekend I did something I haven’t done for a long time, I got a bus.
It’s been so long since I got a bus that I was oblivious to the amazing prices that buses have going on at the moment. In my mind, a bus into town was going to set me back a few pounds at least but nope, £1.
Yep, as very clearly modelled so elegantly below, all single fares in the Taunton town zone are capped at £1 this winter, meaning you can go and do your Christmas shopping or meet up with friends and family without any of the hassle or cost of parking.
The deal extends into the whole of Somerset too. Get a single bus anywhere at all in the county and it will cost you just £2. It’s an absolute bargain – you’d pay that for your parking, not even considering the petrol.
Buses of Somerset originally asked if I fancied showcasing the joy of getting a bus by arranging to meet friends or family but to be honest, I enjoy a trip out on my own just as much and so suggested that I take myself on a little morning at as a treat. I love spending time just me, mooching about. Plus you can take as many pictures as you want and no one rolls their eyes or complains you should be spending Quality Time with them.
The first step obviously was to get a bus. That was as easy as that sentence makes it sound – I walked to the bus stop, the bus arrived on time, I handed over my shiny pound coin, (you don’t have to have cash) and off we went. The bus dropped me off bang in the centre of town, so no need to worry about finding a parking space or paying for it.
Then of course it was time for brunch. It’s always time for brunch with me. When I first moved back to Taunton I actually cried in the street because I couldn’t find anywhere to have eggs florentine, (the crying may have been about something a little deeper, although I wouldn’t put it past me, I do feel strongly about brunch).
I’ve since found my way around the Taunton branch scene thank goodness and decided to head to The Shed, partly because my lovely friend Rachel works there and partly because it used to be public toilets and that appeals to my childish nature. I found myself a cosy corner and got stuck into some homemade beans on toast with a poached egg.
Fully brunched, it was time for a bit of Christmas shopping. One of the things I love about going into Taunton is that I always see somebody I know. I’d already had a hug with Rachel, but just down the road at My Carbon Coach is Rachel‘s husband Tim. He sells all sorts of lovely, plastic-free, eco-living goodies and I bought some adorable make-your-own place scenes for my nieces in Cornwall.
I also popped down to Rocket and Bird to see Susie and Jeanette. They have a gorgeous shop in the Taunton Independent Quarter where they sell things they make and curate work from lots of other Somerset makers.
(If you want to see me making all of my friends wave at the camera then head to Instagram to have a look at the video I made of my outing. Bless them, they barely even asked what I was doing, just waved happily.)
Because Christmas is coming up, there are lots of arts and crafts tents in the town centre at the moment, so I had a browse through those and helped myself to some cheese samples from one of the festive food huts. It would have been rude not to, the cheese is there to be sampled after all.
I took Belle a hot chocolate at work – she’s working in a shop in the town centre at the moment – did a little more Christmas shopping and then it was time to really exploit the fact that I had come on a bus by getting a mulled wine. It was the coldest day of the year so far, as you can see from the colour of my nose, so the mulled wine went down very nicely. I may have had two. Don’t tell anyone.
After a few hours of delightful mooching about, full of cheese and mulled wine, it was time to get the bus home again. I can’t get over what good value the bus is at the moment – I’m definitely going to plan a trip further afield in Somerset and make use of the £2 cap as well.
You can find out more about the deal and the campaign to get more people to ‘Say Bus!’ on the Buses of Somerset website here.
Do you get the bus often? Would these low fares encourage you to make better use of the buses in Somerset? Leave a comment and let me know!