If I was to mention the English town of Glastonbury, what would be the first thought that would spring into your mind?
Is it a world renowned music festival that comes to mind, or the alleged connection to Arthurian legend, or the fact that it’s a spiritual Mecca that draws numerous tourists every year?
For those of you that have either; not visited or even heard of this small town, let me tell you it’s well worth a visit if you have some time spare. It doesn’t matter if you’re a UK resident or a tourist passing through, go and experience it for yourself.
To give you an idea of what wonders Glastonbury holds, following is a little information about the area that may help you decide to visit.
Glastonbury Itself –
- The town is built around the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, where a stone church was first erected in the 7th Century by the King of Wessex. It’s a wonderfully historic site to visit.
- It is reputed to be the birthplace of Christianity in England.
- Rumour has it that Jesus visited with Joseph of Arimathea, and built a church there around 63 AD
- Legend has it that Glastonbury itself, sits on the ancient Isle of Avalon.
- It is said that the Holy Grail was buried just below the Tor (a holy hill), at which time a spring appeared and became known as the Chalice Well.
- In the grounds of the Chalice Well (a world peace garden) grows the Holy Thorn tree which is reputed to have sprung from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea.
- Should you drink water from the Chalice Well; eternal youth will be gifted to you?
- A lone tower sits atop the Tor. All that remains of a chapel built in the early 1300s although; the site has been used for Christian buildings since the early Medieval times.
- Two ancient oaks, known as the Oaks of Gog and Magog, and believed to be the last remains of a Druidical avenue lead up to the Tor
- The English National trust own and care for the Tor.
- The Tor is rumoured to be a door to the underworld and it’s said that the faerie folk reside there.
- Graves belonging to Arthur and Guinevere sit in Glastonbury Abbey grounds.
- The main thoroughfare in the town is lined with quirky little shops, with wonderful names such as ‘The Cat & the Cauldron’.
- You will also find that many therapists, psychics, and healers have set up shop in the town.
- There currently isn’t a train station at Glastonbury, when traveling by train you have to depart at Castle Cary, and catch a local bus the rest of the way. The best form of public transport is via National Express coaches.
- You will find innumerable places to stay, from quaint bed & breakfasts to a budget hotel situated on the outskirts of the town……not forgetting the campsite when the music festival is being held.
- The first Glastonbury music festival was held in 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died.
- The festival has been an annual event since 1981, generally in June.
- The festival supports various worthwhile causes including Greenpeace, Oxfam and Wateraid, among others.
- Notable performers like the Rolling Stones (2013), David Bowie (1971 & 2000) Oasis (1995), Lady gaga (2009) and numerous other acts have all performed there.
Now, should you get a little spiritually fatigued though I doubt it, I suggest you take a 20 minute stroll to a nearby village called ‘Street’? It’s small, it’s quaint and it’s also home to the Clark’s Shoe Museum, which has exhibits dating from Roman times until present day, but if that’s not your thing, walk through a little alleyway off the main shopping street, and you arrive at……..
Clark’s Village –
- A designer shopping outlet.
- It includes more than 90 shops, as well assorted eateries and dining areas.
- You’ll find stores from Adidas to Timberland, Billabong to Monsoon, plus Body Shop to Wedgewood not forgetting Cadburys or Thornton’s chocolates. Whatever your taste, there’s a store to match it.
- It is situated in the old unused factory buildings that belonged to the Clark brothers.
I have visited this area of Somerset many times and will continue to do so, and I really suggest you add it on to your holiday list, even if just for a short vacation. The following links may sway the town in your favour… http://www.glastonbury.co.uk/pages/ http://www.glastonburyabbey.com/ http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/ http://www.clarksvillage.co.uk/