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The local area guide to living in Shepton Mallet

Shepton Mallet is a handsome town that lies 20 miles to the south of Bristol and five miles from the Welsh border in the county of Somerset. To the north lie the beautiful Mendip Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and home to rich grasslands and wooded valleys. Shepton Mallet has a rich history and is sited on the ancient route of the Fosse Way, the ancient Roman road that spanned the south west. For many centuries the wool and cloth trades were very important to the town, but towards the end of the 20th century they were replaced by brewing as the major industry, producing a lot of cider, as it still does to this day. Shepton Mallet was also home to the now defunct Anglo-Bavarian Brewery, the first place in England to produce lager.

Information about the local residents

In 2008, Mendip council estimated the population of Shepton Mallet to be 9,700 people, a rise from the 8,981 people counted at the 2001 census, with 22% of those being aged 16 and under. Of the people of working age in the town, 66% are in employment and only 3.5% are unemployed, with the rest of the population being classed as economically inactive. The service industry employs most people in the area, followed by manufacturing and professional occupations.

Nearby schools

Bowlish Infant School was rated by Ofsted as ‘good’, as was St Paul’s Church of England School, which was further praised for the ‘impeccable’ behaviour of its students. Shepton Mallet Community Infants School was also rated as being ‘good’.

Whitstone School is the local secondary establishment and was classed as ‘good’ in its last Ofted inspection. For education at sixth form level and beyond, the closest colleges are Strode College, based in Street, and Norton Radstock College.

Getting around

The town used to have two railway stations, but these unfortunately fell victim to the Beeching cuts and the nearest is now a mile and a half away at Mendip Vale. However, there is a good bus service that runs around the town and out to the surrounding areas, as well as a service to nearby Bristol, the closest city to Shepton Mallet. The A371 runs through the town, linking it to A37, which in turn joins the A361 near Pilton. The nearest motorway junction is for the M5, 20 miles to the west at Down End.

Local shops

Shepton Mallet is home to 218 listed buildings, an impressive amount for a relatively small town. Many of these buildings are within a conservation area that is made up of the areas known as Darshill, Charlton and Bowlish, as well as the town centre. This conservation area has had heritage funding from the National Lottery and English Heritage. Some of the town centre was remodelled during the seventies, and a new concrete entertainment centre and library was constructed, now known as The Academy. As well as being surrounded by beautiful countryside, the town also has a very large and charmingly landscaped park, which was donated by a local in 1906.

The town is a popular destination with visitors to the south west and this reflected in its shopping options. There are some excellent independent shops alongside well-known high street stores such as Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Sports Direct, Laura Ashley and New Look. For food shopping and day to day need there is the choice between Aldi and Tesco. Shepton Mallet is a great place for foodies with an excellent selection of pubs and restaurants, including an Italian restaurant called La Travola D’ora, which serves some of the best pizza and pasta in the area.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.