Trains to Bruton


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Just 20 minutes from Yeovil

Bruton is the Somerset village everyone not only wants to visit, but live in too. Both charming and cutting-edge, a rural retreat and yet fabulously fashionable, it’s become a haven for foodies, art fans and the odd celebrity too. Much of its cool cachet comes from the Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery, which opened in 2014 to genuinely worldwide acclaim and created a ripple effect for the rest of Bruton’s shops, cafés and attractions. Set in perfect Somerset countryside, it’s how all villages should be.

Attractions

London, New York, Los Angeles, Zurich... Bruton. The Hauser & Wirth gallery hosts exhibitions of contemporary art and a range of events in a refurbished set of old farm buildings on the outskirts of town, and it’s surrounded by stunning gardens by internationally-renowned landscape designer Piet Oudolf. It’s a wonderful place to spend some time – and stay for lunch (see restaurants).

There are gorgeous riverside walks in the area along the Brue Valley, to Castle Cary and on to Somerton, easy enough for all the family – book advance train tickets online for your journey back from one of those stations or further down the line.

Bruton is a quintessentially lovely town to explore, so take time to sample its shopping, eating and drinking treats, all activities that are catered for in At The Chapel, an impeccably restored old church. If you’re after more purposeful activity in the stunning scenery around Bruton, King Alfred’s Tower is a 49 metre high folly with breathtaking views from the top of its 205 steps. It’s linked to the Stourhead Estate, an 18th century Palladian mansion with a genuinely world-famous landscape garden full of temples, grottoes and exotic plants to discover.

And talking of discoveries, Kilver Court, just 15 minutes away, is a real find – an old textile mill, now home to exclusive designer shops.



A street in Darlington
Bruton
Restaurants

Bruton does the good things in life spectacularly well, including food. At The Chapel’s effortlessly classy setting in a converted church was first to pull in the weekenders, offering the best West Country produce in a Mediterranean-inflected British menu. Roth Bar & Grill is part of the Hauser & Wirth restoration on Durslade Farm, and ethical British produce has never tasted so good... in a converted cowshed. And it doesn’t get more Bruton than Matt’s Kitchen – it’s literally Matt, cooking delicious supper in his kitchen, 3 days a week. A small but perfectly formed operation. Needless to say, you need to book in advance. And you must.


Hotels

With its bakery, restaurant, wine store and clubroom, At The Chapel has such a wonderful atmosphere of relaxed bonhomie during the day, it feels like a treat to stay a night in one of its eight contemporary rooms – you even get fresh croissants from the bakery the next morning. Just as unique – literally, as there’s only one room – is the chance to stay above Caro, a Scandi design shop which has the most gorgeous bedroom filled with delightful Danish touches. A lot more rooms are available at Holbrook House, 15 minutes away – but the commitment to luxury, Somerset-style, remains.



Shopping

A small town has surely never had so many quirkily cool independent boutiques, cafés and vintage shops. Like something out of the feature pages of a high-end design magazine, Caro’s lifestyle store and café has impeccable credentials, offering “objects for life” with a distinct Scandinavian theme. Instagram star Molly Gunn loved At The Chapel so much, she opened her first store, FMLY, in Bruton, selling T-shirts, notebooks and candles. At The Chapel’s bakery and winestore are simply amazing, and if you want some cheese to go with those staples, head to the award-winning Westcombe Dairy in a magical secluded valley just up the road.

Travel Links

Part of Bruton’s charm is that it’s set away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. It’s smaller than some villages and proud of being one of the smallest towns in England, and it’s easily explored on foot, but the train station is about a mile from the town centre. There is no taxi rank at the station, so book with one of the local cab firms in advance. Alternatively the bus stop for the centre of town or the surrounding area is a 5-minute stroll away. If you’re being met by friends, there are 18 car parking spaces and 4 cycle racks at the station.

For more ideas on what to do in Bruton, visit the Bruton Town website.

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