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Glastonbury

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Glastonbury is a small town (9,000 inhabitants) in the English West Country county of Somerset, some 20 miles (35 km) south of Bristol.

Understand

Glastonbury is best known for the myths and legends surrounding both Glastonbury Tor, a prominent hill rising up from the surrounding flat landscape; Glastonbury Abbey, which together have made the town a thriving centre for mystical, New Age, alternative spirituality; and the annual Glastonbury Festival, a summer music festival that has been likened to the equivalent of an ongoing Woodstock music festival.

Get in

You can take buses from Wells or other major cities in the area to get to Glastonbury. A National Express coach leaves the High Street early in the morning, and one returns at night to get you to London and back, or you could get a Megabus or train to Bristol and then get the 376 local service to Glastonbury (1½ hr).

Get around

There are 5 bus services in Glastonbury but you can easily get around walking through the town since it's quite small.

See

  • 1 Glastonbury Tor. Maintained by the National Trust.
  • 2 Glastonbury Abbey. Summer: 9AM-6PM, Winter: 10AM-4:30PM. A place of pilgrimage for thousands worldwide each year, one of the legendary burial places of King Arthur. Admission £5 adults, concessions available.
  • 3 Glastonbury Tribunal, 9 High Street, BA6 9DP, ☏ +44 1458 832954. Museum: adults £2.50, children £1.00, concessions £2.00.
  • 4 The Chalice Well, Chilkwell Street, ☏ +44 1458 831154. Known also as the Red Spring, the Chalice Well is a natural spring fresh water well sitting at the foot of Glastonbury Tor in the county of Somerset, England. The Chalice Well is owned and managed by the Chalice Well Trust. £4.65.

Do

  • 1 Glastonbury Festival, ☏ +44 1458 834596. This festival is held annually at the end of June and is famous for its wide range of headlining music acts ranging from rock to (in 2004) opera. In bad weather it is also famous for its seas of mud! Actually, the festival is held near the small village of Pilton, but since Glastonbury is the nearby town and because of its New Age connections, it has lent its name to the event.

Buy

A selection of crystals, semi precious stones, incense and esoteric books are available. Most shops on the high street are not chain stores; therefore, you are guaranteed to find an unusual item. An abundance of witchcraft, pagan and goddess shops will confront you, and it's worth taking a look at least one of them on your visit here.

Of particular note is the new Gauntlet Thoroughfare, opened last year, which contains a plethora of specialist shops, at 11 High Street.

Look around. Certain crystal shops regularly overinflate prices, and a couple don't even have prices. We locals feel they have the 'Look at the shoes and handbag of the person and then pluck a price out of thin air' method of pricing. Beware of this, and look around a few different shops before you purchase anything.

Eat

Drink

Although there are a number of pubs in Glastonbury, the "proper English" pubs are found in Wells (20 min bus ride away). Once in Wells, the Rose and Crown and the City Arms are both nice pubs for a drink. The Rose and Crown has a pool table, so you can have a lovely game of pool whilst sampling some great local ales.

Sleep

Although there is now a new Travelodge just out of town, your best bet is one of the numerous bed and breakfasts, ranging in price and quality markedly.

The Overlook, right on the High Street, above the stationers is of particular note, as is Number Three (Number Three is closed), both in walking distance of the main shops and sights. There are 34 other bed and breakfast establishments in Glastonbury and it is best to look for the ones that are rated 4-star by Visit Britain and Quality in Tourism, especially AppleTree House and Parsnips Bed and Breakfast.

  • 1 Travelodge, A39 Wirral Park Rd, BA6 9XE, ☏ +44 871 984 6339.
  • 2 The Overlook, 6 High St, BA6 9DU.
  • 3 Apple Tree House, 27 Bere Ln, BA6 8BD, ☏ +44 1458 830803.
  • 4 Parsnips Bed and Breakfast, 99 Bere Ln, BA6 8BE.

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