VISIT CASTLE CARY DURING YOUR STAY AT LONG HAZEL PARK, CARAVAN PARK & CAMPSITE
Our nearest town, Castle Cary, is just 4 miles away. Castle Cary is a traditional Somerset market town and one of the most important in the South West, with a direct train link to London.
Castle Cary first appears in recorded history after the Norman invasion in the eleventh century, though there is evidence that the site was occupied, and probably fortified, before this. During the middle ages it appears in various documents under different names: Cari, Cary, Castra Cary, Castell Cairoc and Caricastel. Like a number of other settlements in the area, it takes half of its name from the River Cary that rises at the foot of Lodge Hill. ‘Caer’ means ‘rock’, ‘crag’ or ‘castle’ in various Celtic languages, and so the river may be named after its point of origin, but this is only speculation. The castle, meanwhile, certainly existed by 1138, when it was besieged by King Stephen in the course of the struggle for the throne of England with his cousin Matilda; it was besieged again in 1152. An excavation of the site in 1890 found the foundations of a large stone tower, but only the earthworks remain today; by the mid-fifteenth century the castle had been abandoned by its owners in favour of a large (and doubtless less draughty) manor house nearby, and the stones were probably used for other buildings in the town.
Castle Cary is built around a 19th Century Market House, which houses the local market on Tuesday mornings. It is made of local yellow Cary stone and is a Grade II listed building. It is built in a Flemish style, replacing a former house of 1616 and likely uses the old columns. The Market House was built in anticipation of the opening of the original Castle Cary railway station.
The modern market features local Somerset vendors, with a heavy focus on local cheeses, ciders, baked goods and fruit and veg. It is ideal for picking up gifts from your stay in Somerset, but equally great for making a special meal back at your tourer or cooking on the BBQ.
Situated in the centre of Castle Cary is an historical temporary lockup, The Round House. Opened in 1779 and built for the cost of £23, the lockup was usually used for unruly drunks and children above the age of seven who were not at Sunday school. It is said that the last prisoner held in the lockup managed an escape through the drain.
This is thought to be one of only four remaining cylindrical lockups in the UK, with the roof shaped in a similar style to a policeman's hat. The lockup is just 10ft tall and 7ft in diameter. It is also licensed as a wedding venue.
Follow the signs for the community Moat Garden to the site of the old Castle Cary castle. You will find historical earthworks remaining, with views across to Glastonbury Tor; Wiltshire and the Somerset Levels.
Many of the building
The Newt country estate is situated at Hadspen, just outside of the town of Castle Cary. The original house was built in the 17th Century and remodelled in Georgian times and sits within over 300 acres of farmland, formal gardens and woodland. The gardens are the sponsors of the Chelsea Flower S
RHS membership holders can visit for free on Tuesdays, or annual memberships can be purchased when visiting which allows entrance to attractions including the Roman villa and museum, built next to an original Roman excavation site.
Castle Cary is also the closest train station to Glastonbury Festival and is on the main line between London Paddington and Penzance in Cornwall, as well as having local regular trains to Weymouth, Plymouth and Bristol.
A day out to Somerset's county town of Taunton or to Bath is also a great way to explore locally.
Our local bus from Sparkford runs to Castle Cary frequently throughout the day and takes just under 20 minutes. Bus passes are also accepted. Our nearest bus stop is just 100 yards from our entrance.
Castle Cary is home to an intersection of three famous walks:
The Monarch's Way is a 625 mile long route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester. It runs from Worcester to West Sussex via Castle Cary.
The Macmillan Way is 290 miles and links Boston, Lincolnshire to Abbotsbury in Dorset.
The Leland Trail is a 28 mile footpath in Somerset running from King Alfred's Tower to Ham Hill Country Park near Yeovil.