These pages are chiefly to help new residents and visitors to the town and show what services are available.
A handy mini-timetable showing all Bruton’s regular bus services can be picked up at the Community Office in the High Street.
CAT (Community Accessible Transport) to anywhere in the Bruton, Castle Cary, Wincanton, Milborne Port and Sparkford area. Hospital appointments &c. Info 01963 34594; booking 01963 33864 (2 or 3 days’ notice needed). Small fee.
Nippy Bus Service 667: Wincanton to Street via Bruton and Castle Cary, 0871 200 2233 or see the timetable for each of their services on www.nippybus.co.uk/services.php.
South West Coaches: 01963 33124: Service 1, Yeovil to Shepton Mallet via Castle Cary (some services come through Bruton); Service 19, Bruton to Yeovil via Shepton Montague, Fridays only; Service 33, Bruton to Frome, Wednesdays only. See the timetable for each of their services on www.southwestcoaches.co.uk/bus-timetable.
For journey planning and ticket purchase: http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/planjourney/search.
Bruton station is ten minutes’ walk from the town centre, crossing Church Bridge and turning left past the church, then after two hundred yards or so turn left up Station Approach. There are no staff but you can buy your ticket on the train (with cash or card) when the conductor comes around. There is no wheelchair access to the far platform, which is for trains coming from Bristol or going to Weymouth (see Assisted Travel by rail at the end of these notes), and no toilet.
Bruton is on the Bristol to Weymouth Heart of Wessex Line; the main stations in between are Bath, Trowbridge, Westbury, Castle Cary, Yeovil and Dorchester. For train times see the Bruton station page on www.brutoncarytrains.co.uk/. You can also see if the train you are catching or meeting is going to be on time. For a full timetable for all the stations on the Heart of Wessex line click on the link to it on the same page.
Services to London and elsewhere
Berry’s coaches, Wincanton (or Shepton Mallet and Frome) to London: 01823 331 356 or see their timetables on www.berryscoaches.co.uk/Timetables-Fares. This cheap and fast service, up early or mid-morning, back in the afternoon or evening, takes you to Hammersmith Bus Station, with direct access to the London Underground rail system and London buses.
First Group have no services through Bruton but to see their connections around the South West see www.firstgroup.com/.
For train times at Castle Cary station for London Paddington or Exeter and Plymouth, see the Castle Cary page on www.brutoncarytrains.co.uk/. This page also gives times of arrival at or departure from London Paddington. Castle Cary station is 10–15 minutes by car from Bruton and there is a large car park but it can get quite full. Less conveniently, you can go to London from Bruton station by changing at Westbury (sometimes with rather a long wait); the Bruton station page on the same site shows arrival and departure times at Paddington. For trains to South Wales and the South Coast or the Midlands, North and Scotland see the table at the top of the Map page of the same site.
Another train service to London or Exeter is from Gillingham station, about 11 miles from Bruton, with more frequent and cheaper trains. For train times there, and the times that the trains arrive at or depart from London Waterloo, see the Gillingham station page on www.brutoncarytrains.co.uk/. There is a car park here and it too can get quite full.
For Poole and Bournemouth take a Weymouth train from Bruton station and change at Weymouth. Timetables for that line can be found in the table at the top of the Map page of the Bruton station website: click on the SW28 link. (It is a little cheaper to make the change by getting off at Dorchester West and walking for ten minutes to Dorchester South station; the route is signposted.)
Train times for journeys between any two stations in England, Wales and Scotland can be found with a few clicks on the very clear website of National Rail Enquiries; you can also book and pay on line: ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/planjourney/search.
Assisted travel by rail for elderly passengers and those with mobility problems: see www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/your-journey/assisted-travel or www.southwesttrains.co.uk/assisted-travel.aspx. For more information see the Accessibility page of the Bruton station website.
Getting to airports
Heathrow: Train from Castle Cary, or Bruton (changing at Westbury), to Reading, then on by airport bus; or train from Gillingham to Woking, then on by airport bus.
Gatwick: train from Gillingham, changing at Clapham Junction (or at Woking with one more change).
Bristol: Train from Bruton to Bristol Temple Meads station, then on by airport bus.
Exeter: Train from Castle Cary to Exeter St Davids station, then Stagecoach no 56 bus to airport, or train from Gillingham to Exeter Central station, then a short walk to Exeter Bus Station for Stagecoach no 56 bus to airport.
Map of railway lines throughout the region, and links to the rest of the country: see the Map page of www.brutoncarytrains.co.uk/; there is much other information on that site as well.
Going by car
Protecting your computer etc. against lightning
Worth knowing if a big storm is coming your way – this is the British Isles and near Continent map: www.blitzortung.org/Webpages/index.php?lang=en&page_0=12. As you can see there are regional and world-wide maps too. + marks a lightning flash, white within the last 20 minutes, fading through yellow to dull red when two hours old, so it’s easy to see which way a storm is moving.
This information is provided by the Friends of Bruton Railway Station, the group of volunteers who tend the station garden and meet regularly with the company that runs the train services. Each station along the Heart of Wessex line has one of these groups, but ours was the first, set up in 1997. (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.)