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Top places to live in Somerset Castle Cary

Enjoy all that this pretty South Somerset town has to offer and Bruton's culture/foodie scene on the doorstep (but without the price tag to live there). Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY?

Cary as the locals call it, is a pretty market town in South Somerset with historic buildings – 18th century Market House, 19th century lock up and thatched George Inn – and a fab collection of indies supplying all you desire. You need never leave (although if you do, the connections are good).

EAT

Eat Thai in the former bakery The Bakehouse; eclectic grub at Home. The nearby Alhampton Inn is a first rate, proper local with good food.

SHOP

There are a good selection of cut above indie shops and cafes, including the excellent Bailey Hill Bookshop, Pinsents deli (brilliant coffee, salads, Scotch eggs), a wine shop, ironmongers, butcher, The Wonderful Garden Company and David Simon Contemporary art gallery. Browse the stalls of the excellent food market under the columns of Market House every Tuesday and head to the supermarkets in Shepton Mallet, with a Waitrose in Gillingham, any day of the week.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

The Newt in Somerset country house hotel and spa with gorgeous grounds, open to the public (and 267 varieties of apples) is on the edge of town. All of Bruton‘s attractions including Michelin Osip and At the Chapel, indie shops and international art gallery Hauser & Wirth are very handily right on your doorstep (but you’re not paying through the nose to live there). Like many Somerset towns and villages there’s an annual carnival. Bring your walking boots: the Leland Trail , the Macmillan Way and Monarch’s Way routes are all close by.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

The town boasts some attractive period properties, some of which are clever contemporary conversions of former industrial buildings, as well modern and new builds. The average house over the past year was £380,732, with detached properties selling on average for £589,430, with not much difference between semis at £263,333 and terraced at £258,927.

HOT PROPERTY

A period 3-bed terrace on Castle Cary high street, The Old Bakehouse comes with a licensed restaurant and a £640,000 price tag.

SCHOOLS

There’s a state primary and Ansford Academy is ‘Good’. For independents, head five minutes down the road to Bruton School for Girls, (which accepts boys in the nursery and pre-prep) and King’s Bruton, a co-ed for 13 to 18 year olds. Outstanding for its music (and much else), Wells Cathedral School is 13 miles away; Millfield Prep and Senior are a similar distance. Hazlegrove Prep is about 6 miles and All Hallows 10 miles.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Castle Cary was a textile town as far back as the 14th century. John Boyd Textiles, established in 1837, still weaves horse hair fabric (using hair from the tails of live horses) on original looms and is one of the last surviving horsehair weavers in the world.

COMMUTE

Hop on a train from the station on the edge of town to get to London Paddington from 1 hour 32 mins or leave from Bruton or Templecombe to get to Waterloo in around 2 hours.

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Best Place to Live in Somerset Reader Vote

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Langport

Thriving laid back indies and a spirit to match on the edge of the Somerset Levels (and with the possible return of the railway it could be a good time to buy).

Ilminster

Sleepy Somerset market town which just happens to house the HQ (with shop and bar) of one of the UK's top designers.

Castle Cary

Enjoy all that this pretty South Somerset town has to offer and Bruton's culture/foodie scene on the doorstep (but without the price tag to live there).

best places to live: Bear Flat, Bath, Somerset

Bear Flat, Bath

The best of both worlds in this 'village' to the south of the city centre, with a lovely community feel and lots of indy shops – yet with everything the World Heritage City of Bath has to offer on your doorstep.

Frome

The community-minded town’s packed with arty, artisan indy businesses and cafes, and hosts the best street market in the West.

Bruton

The Notting Hill of the South West has more than its fair share of cultural highlights, great food and famous people.

best places to live Clevedon Somerset

Clevedon

Independently minded, lively little seaside town overlooking the Bristol Channel and beyond, with elegant Victorian villas, indy shops and eateries, possibly the country's prettiest pier – and only 15 miles from Bristol.

best places to live Wells Somerset

Wells

England's smallest city is fast becoming the South West's go-to place for festivals with annual food, comedy, theatre and literary fests.

Know another brilliant place to live in Somerset?

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