- Category: Visitors Guide
one of the most attractive
of Somerset's market towns
Tucked away in a secluded spot a few miles off the A303, the golden stone of Castle Cary and Ansford exudes a warm glow complemented by its glorious setting in the South Somerset countryside and its friendly inhabitants.
Castle Cary and Ansford is known by its two parishes. But folk who know the town simply call it "Cary". The 12th Century castle of the name no longer exists, although you can still see some of its stone in the buildings of the town centre. And the town is the source of the River Cary which rises from Park Pond, part of the original castle moat.
The 19th Century Market House dominates the centre of the town, across the HIgh Street from the thatched George Hotel - one of Cary's oldest buildings. Fore Street, stretching down to the Horse Pond, is full of individual, high quality shops, delicatessens, cafes and restaurants. Tuesday is Market Day, when fish and organic vegetables are sold in the front of the Market House. All parking in the town is free (thanks to a council initiative), with stays limited to two hours on the streets and two longer-stay car parks at Catherine's Close and Millbrook Gardens (both signposted from the main roads).
Behind the Market House stands Cary's historic Roundhouse lock-up. Constructed in 1779, it is one of only four such buildings remaining in the country today. The celebrated diarist Parson James Woodforde (1740 - 1803) lived in Ansford; more recently Douglas Macmillan, founder of Macmillan Cancer Support, lived in Cary.
If you're walking, rambling or simply looking for a quiet time in the countryside, Cary can provide it. The Monarch's Way, the Macmillan Way and Leland Trail all pass near the town, as does the route to Glastonbury for many festival-goers.
"The website featuring Castle Cary and Ansford was very informative with its insiders guide."
" ... I thought Castle Cary was a delightful town to visit ....."
"We were offered keys to the round 'lock up' (held by the Pie Butcher) and allowed to look for ourselves, which was most interesting and
"Although I have been to Castle Cary before, I found it so much more interesting this time – like visiting for the first time."
"I enjoyed Castle Cary very much. It is nice to see a variety of small businesses still open."
No matter when you visit, you'll find something special: Cary is a town for all seasons. Not to be missed is the renowed illuminated carnival which takes place in October. If you want to get away for the weekend, there is plenty of great hotel or Bed and Breakfast accommodation too and many award-winning attractions around the Cary area - both indoors, and out-and-about.
This part of the website is intended to be a general catchall for all the information about Castle Cary and the surrounding area, of particular interest to visitors both new to the area and old hands. We're improving it all the time, so please keep checking back for additions.