Walks, route from the station and things to do in Castle Cary & Ansford
Around the Town
In the ground floor of the Market House is our Tourist and Community Information Desk, manned by a team of volunteers with extensive local knowledge, and open every weekday from 9.30am to 2pm (12.30pm in the winter months) and Saturdays from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Here you will find leaflets about Castle Cary, the surrounding area, and tourist attractions within about a 30 mile radius, accommodation information, bus and train timetables, and much more. While you are there you can look at our prison cell (complete with Oscar, our prisoner), the well, and the Shambles (the old meat market). You can also ring the Information Desk on 01963 351763 or email on [email protected]
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 below:
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.
Keys for the Round House are kept at the Information Point in The Market House, open weekday mornings.
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). www.castlecarymuseum.org.uk.
In The Vicinity
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.
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.
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.
Public footpaths can be found on this website: https://roam.somerset.gov.uk/roam/map
Hauser & Wirth Somerset is a pioneering world-class gallery and multi-purpose arts centre, which acts as a destination for experiencing art, architecture and the remarkable Somerset landscape through new and innovative exhibitions of contemporary art. A landscaped garden, designed for the gallery by internationally renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf, includes a 1.5 acre perennial meadow, which sits behind the gallery buildings.
Centred around a core belief in conservation, education and sustainability, Hauser & Wirth Somerset offers a wide variety of special events including talks, seminars, workshops and screenings, as well as an extensive learning programme for local schools, young people and families. The centre also provides resources including a bookshop and dedicated learning room.
Hauser & Wirth Somerset supports an immersive artist-in-residence programme, encouraging artists to benefit from the idyllic surroundings and to integrate with the local community.
On-site restaurant, the Roth Bar & Grill, serves seasonal, locally sourced produce, and includes a site-specific bar created by Björn and Oddur Roth, the son and grandson of artist Dieter Roth.
Hauser & Wirth Somerset has been awarded a RIBA South West Award 2015, a Civic Trust 2015 Award, and in 2014 it was the winner of the William Stansell Historic Buildings Award, for Durslade Farmhouse.
The centre is open with free admission to the public, six days per week, throughout the year.
For more information, please visit their website: www.hauserwirthsomerset.com
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
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.