Train times at the four local stations, including the junction for the Cardiff-Portsmouth line at Westbury, can be found using the links in the four boxes side-by-side on the Home page, or by putting your pointer on the Home button above to see the separate stations’ buttons drop down; each of those pages has its own links to the relevant train company timetables.
Bruton and Castle Cary stations are both on the Heart of Wessex Line, which links Bristol and Weymouth and serves a string of fine country towns including Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge (the county town of Wiltshire), Frome, Yeovil (the centre of European helicopter production), Maiden Newton and Dorchester (the county town of Dorset). Weymouth is a very popular seaside town with a fine beach and ferry connections to the Channel Islands. The trains are operated by First Great Western. Castle Cary station is also on the main line from London (Paddington) to the Westcountry.
Click to see the map of the Rail system of the South West of England, and its connections with the rest of the country. All timetables for the local region and its services to and from the rest of the country can be found using the links on this map. Timetables for many other services can be found on the Other Timetables page.
Trains to London, and to the Westcountry
The easy way to get a train to London (Paddington) for many Bruton people is to drive or take a taxi to Castle Cary station. If you have to start from Bruton station you will need to change at Westbury, but check the onward connection first so as not to have a very long wait at Westbury. You can go to London (Waterloo), if that is more convenient as a destination, by changing at Westbury and Salisbury (see also the note on London trains from Gillingham just below this). All London (Paddington)-bound trains stop at Reading, from where there are frequent coach services to Heathrow Airport and train services to Gatwick Airport (with another change at Redhill). Trains from Castle Cary also go to Exeter and the West. (There is also a National Express coach service once a day from Yeovil to London via Shaftesbury that calls at Heathrow.) Important station and track improvement works will from time to time affect trains through Reading for several years, particularly at bank holiday times, so if you are going to London or Heathrow at such times check carefully on the journey planning sites on our Useful Links page to see if your plans are affected. For details of the impressive work at Reading station click here.
You can get the cheaper and more frequent South West Trains service to London (Waterloo), and for stations to Exeter, from either Gillingham or Templecombe stations, both about 10 miles from Bruton (Gillingham is the easier one to drive to but Templecombe tends to have more parking available). You can now book on line for their services and collect your tickets from the machine on the station forecourt at Gillingham. For Heathrow Airport change to the half-hourly bus service at Woking, and for Gatwick Airport change trains at Clapham Junction.
Coaches to London
There is a very good and cheap coach service to London from Wincanton, and another from Shepton Mallet; please go to the Coaches and Buses page for details.
Trains beyond Bristol, and connections to many other destinations
Some of the trains through Bruton and Castle Cary on the Heart of Wessex Line go beyond or start beyond Bristol, to or from Gloucester, even one to Great Malvern (all of these stop at Bristol Parkway from where there are frequent fast trains to Cardiff). CrossCountry trains through Bristol go to the Midlands, the north of England and Scotland.
For Cardiff there are trains one can change to more conveniently at Westbury than at Bristol Temple Meads. One can also change at Westbury for the hourly service to Salisbury, Southampton and Portsmouth. From either of these last two towns you can change to trains going further along the south coast, to Chichester or Brighton, for example. Go to the Westbury page for more details.
Taking a Weymouth-bound train from Bruton or Castle Cary and changing at Dorchester West (with a ten-minute walk across to Dorchester South station) you can get onto the South West Trains service to Poole and Bournemouth, but a much easier and only slightly more expensive way of changing on to that line is to go on the short distance to Weymouth, where it is just a matter of changing platforms. You can also change at Upwey, but it has no facilities, and changing there always means crossing the bridge to the other platform. To see the timetable for this line click here. For Crewkerne, Axminster or Honiton on the South West Trains line to Exeter you can drive or take a taxi to Gillingham station or take a train from Bruton or Castle Cary to Yeovil Pen Mill station and then a bus to Yeovil Junction station on the South-West Trains line. Trains on that line run every hour. See at the foot of the Other Timetables page for how to get details of this bus service (but note that the last bus is quite early), or look on the Heart of Wessex Line Guide timetables page, right-hand column.