Things to see and do
- Category: Visitors Guide
AROUND THE TOWN
Castle Cary & District Museum Located in the historic nineteenth-century Market House in the centre of town, the museum has an extensive collection of agricultural and domestic artefacts, and displays of geological, archaeological and historical information. Open between April and October, Monday to Friday 10.30-12.30 and 2.00-4.00, Saturday 10.30-12.30; admission free (but donations always welcome). Website.
Round House One of the best-preserved examples of an old town lock-up in the country, built (or more probably re-built) in 1779. Located in Bailey Hill, behind the Market House; nearby you can also see the fine eighteenth-century house that's now the Post Office.
The Castle Once one of the largest castles in twelfth-century England; sadly the stones have long since been removed, but behind the town, on the lower slopes of Lodge Hill, you can still see the remains of the motte and bailey and other earthworks.
All Saints Church Originally constructed in the fifteenth century, and extensively restored in the nineteenth, this Grade-II listed building has a peal of six bells dating from 1760. More information.
Walks Castle Cary has many other fine eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings, including houses and factories. There are several different walks around the town, some taking you past these sites of interest and some offering spectacular views of the town as a whole and of the countryside around, even across towards Glastonbury and the Levels. Pick up copies of the leaflets from the Tourist Office, or download them here.
IN THE VICINITY
Walks There are many quiet roads and footpaths around the town, leading you further into the countryside. In addition, several long-distance paths pass through or nearby Castle Cary: the Macmillan Way, the Monarch's Way and the Leland Trail.
Cycling Castle Cary is on the 80-mile 'Round South Somerset' circuit (more information). However, if you're not feeling quite that energetic, there are plenty of quiet roads in the neighbourhood, many of which manage to avoid the steepest hills. Possibilities include a 13-mile circuit to the south via North and South Cadbury, Sparkford and South and North Barrow; a quick trip down to the Red Lion at Babcary via North Barrow and back; cycling up to Bruton via Hadspen, Cole and Pitcombe (where the historic church is worth a visit). We hope to add more detailed information about local cycle routes to this website in 2012.
The Old House, Cockhill Fifteenth-century house with medieval wall paintings, just a mile or so outside Cary. See their website for more information, including visiting arrangements.
Cadbury Castle A spectacular Iron Age hill fort, long associated with King Arthur's Camelot (more information). Even if you don't believe that, it's well worth a visit to see the dramatic earthworks and to enjoy the view across South Somerset. There's a car park in South Cadbury, from which you can walk up.
Haynes International Motor Museum The UK's largest collection of cars and bikes, from classics of the 1950s and 1960s to modern supercars. Outdoor exhibition of military vehicles, themed adventure playground for children, kids' racing track and museum motoring shop. Website.
Gants Mill Mill and garden near Bruton; open to visitors on the second Sunday of each month from May to September. Website.
Cycling At Langport, you can hire bikes and follow different routes through the historic villages and fascinating landscape of the Somerset Levels. Website.
Wells The smallest city in England, with its spectacular cathedral, the historic Bishops Palace, an excellent street market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and of course many sites familiar from the film Hot Fuzz, which was filmed here...
Glastonbury Famous for the ruins of the Abbey, once the richest and most powerful monastry in England, for the dramatic landmark of Glastonbury Tor, and for its wide selection of 'alternative' shops... Nearby, for those less interested in mysticism and more interested in bargains, is Clarks Village outlet shopping centre.
Stourhead Most famous for its spectacular eighteenth-century landscape gardens, with lake, Greek temples, grottos and historic trees, but the house is also well worth a visit. Website.
Lytes Cary Manor A medieval manor house with a famous Arts & Crafts garden. Website.
Fleet Air Arm Museum Europe's largest collection of naval aviation, with regular events as well as the standard exhibits. Website. Nearby RNAS Yeovilton is home of the famous Yeovilton Air Day, held every year in July.
Bath & West Showground Regular events and exhibitions throughout the year, including the Royal Bath & West Show and the National Gardening Show. Website.
Wincanton Racecourse Race meetings between October and May, and other events. Website.
This new website offers a guide to historic sites, quirky museums and ancient monuments throughout Somerset. You can either follow the 'tube map', which breaks the county into seven different 'lines', or you can search by historic period or collection type. The webpage gives information about each historic site, including forthcoming events and downloadable guides. www.somersetroutes.co.uk