A post office in a Somerset town is to relocate after the postmaster announced he was retiring after 25 years.

The Castle Carey branch in Bailey Hill will close at 1pm on August 12 and re-open in The Market Garden greengrocers and florists in Fore Street, at 1pm four days later.

Current postmaster Jonathan Thomas is moving back to Switzerland with his wife Nathalie and their three children.

They lived in Switzerland before moving to Castle Cary in March 1996.

Mr Thomas, who coached at the local rugby club for seven years, said: "We were looking for a change of scene.

"Castle Cary Post Office was a lovely building in a great town.

"Our children were educated in the local school. I have enjoyed being postmaster at Castle Cary, and we have gladly served the community for over 25 years.”

Mr Thomas said he would miss the town and the people, adding: "I would like to thank all the community for their support over the years. It’s time to go back to Switzerland, but I will miss Castle Cary."

The new post office premises will offer 40 additional hours per week opening 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.

Services will include bill payment, cash withdrawals and foreign currency, postage, home shopping collections and returns from two modern serving points.

Jason Collins, Post Office network provision manager, said: “We thank Jonathan Thomas for his loyal and devoted service to Castle Cary and we wish him well in his move to Switzerland.

"We are delighted that we are able to relocate Castle Cary Post Office and to be able to offer much longer opening hours than before.

"After careful consideration of the feedback received during consultation, we remain confident that the layout and location of the new branch will continue to meet customer needs and deliver an excellent service, whilst securing the long-term viability of Post Office services in the local community."

He added that time restricted roadside parking is available near the new outlet.

During the transfer alternative branches include Wincanton and Bruton post offices.