About the Walnut Tree Hotel, North Petherton, Somerset

History of The Walnut Tree Hotel

During Medieval times North Petherton was more important than either Taunton or Bridgwater by virtue of its elevated position. North Petherton’s most famous resident was the author Geoffrey Chaucer, known particularly for “The Canterbury Tales”, who was banished from Court to become the ‘keeper of the King’s Forest’ at Petherton Park.

There has been an Inn on the site since 1620, when it was known as The New Inn. Alterations followed in 1897 and it was renamed The Clarence Hotel in honour of Queen Victoria’s son, the Duke of Clarence.

During the last century the central courtyard, through which coaches and horses gained access, was used by funeral corteges leaving the church opposite en route for the cemetery beyond the current hotel car park. The Hotel also catered for wedding celebrations and an early photograph is displayed in one of the corridors showing a happy couple outside the main entrance, complete with local sweep for good luck.

Following ownership by various breweries the Hotel was purchased by the Goulden family in 1978, who carried out extensive alterations, renaming it The Walnut Tree Hotel in 1980.

In March 2006 the hotel was purchased by the present owners. Subsequent development accompanied continuous growth to the business which is today reflected in its 34 superb bedrooms and our 3 star rating from the AA.

The Hotel has a reputation of excellence for its hospitality, catering for guests’ accommodation needs, weddings, conferences, functions and special events. The restaurant has won awards for the quality of food and service, and it is with these standards that we strive to remain a top class venue in the area.

Our Local Area

We are located 3 to 4 minutes from Junction 24 of the M5 motorway and within easy reach of many areas of interest. Our proximity to Bridgwater and its commercial areas makes us the ideal spot to stay on business or for meetings and conferences.

We may be within easy traveling distance of the M5, but the proximity to the motorway in no way detracts from the village surroundings. For for those wishing to explore the area on foot, there is a pleasant walk along a nearby canal or walking on the nearby Quantock Hills for the more adventurous.

Further afield there is the magnificence of Exmoor and the seaside resorts of Weston-Super-Mare and Minehead, which are less than half an hour away. Just a little closer you will find the medieval town of Dunster with its magnificent Castle and Gardens.

Bristol is just a short trip up the M5 motorway, known for its historic port, the SS Great Britain, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and not forgetting the zoo.

You can shop to your heart’s content at Clark’s Village Factory Outlet (15 miles away) or Cribbs Causeway in Bristol.

Locally the West Somerset Railway runs from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead, a steam train journey to delight adults and children alike. In Bridgwater and North Petherton we have the wonders of the Carnival at the beginning of November every year.