A Day in Glastonbury Town, Somerset

It's true what they say: sometimes you forget what you have on your own doorstep. When I travelled to Bristol regularly for my studies from Dorset, I'd often pop into a variety of towns en-route as the journey could sometimes take over 2 hours (farm traffic!). About an hour and a half into my journey was Glastonbury, that is also a town near to where my family live. I've never really explored the actual town itself for ages, so one weekend I decided to do just that. 

Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset, England, situated on the low lying Somerset Levels and is about 23 miles south of Bristol (handy map above because, I'm kind of obsessed with them!). It is of course synonymous with Glastonbury Festival, but actually the festival itself takes place at Pilton Farm, which is about 6 miles from Glastonbury Town. Still, Glastonbury goes hand-in-hand with the festival, with it being a centre for religious tourism and pilgrimage. It has a fascinating and unique history, and it is this that inspired the roots of Glastonbury Festival as we know and love it today.

The thing I truly love about Glastonbury is how it supports a large number of alternative shops for such a small town. Here you will find shop after shop selling crystals, incense, holistic books but also plenty of vintage shops and one of my new-favourite sewing boutiques. After a while, I'm not going lie, I felt a little dizzy from all the incense! It's such a multi-sensory shopping experience!

The huge significance to Glastonbury is so much that it has been described as a New Age community which attracts people with New Age and Neopagan beliefs, and is notable for myths and legends often related to Glastonbury Tor, concerning Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and King Arthur. In facts its whole past is full of myths and legends. One of the myths that fascinated me the most is that Jesus visited Glastonbury when he came to Britain, and according to an article my Auntie recently read, is an idea immortalised in the opening lines of William Blake's Jerusalem. Moreover, The Chalice Well, situated at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, is said to have had a cup buried by Joseph of Arimathea which belonged to Jesus at the Last Supper (he is thought to be the Great Uncle of Jesus and was referred to as 'Joseph of Glastonbury'). Consequently, the water that flows from this well is sometimes called the 'blood spring' and its high iron content is said to have strength-boosting properties. True or not, the history of Glastonbury is truly fascinating.

Glastonbury is also home to one of the most important abbeys in England and it was the site of Edmund Ironside's coronation as King of England in 1016. It's really nice to see that so many of Glastonbury's most notable and oldest buildings still survive in the town, including the Tribunal, George Hotel and Pilgrims' Inn and the Somerset Rural Life Museum, which is based in an old tithe barn. There's just so much to see and do in Glastonbury and if you get the chance, I highly recommend you visit. It's a place truly, truly like no other and an experience you'll remember.

I've been half thinking of creating a 'Exploring Wiltshire' or 'Exploring Somerset' feature in the future
but I've got to finish my hometown of Dorset first! Have any of you been to Glastonbury before? Please be warned if you plan to visit whilst the nearby festival is on the roads get completely chic-a-block. Trust me friends, trust me!! 

xoxo

3 comments:

  1. looks like you had a lovely day! there's so many places i want to visit, and now i need to add glastonbury to the list, haha:-) x

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    Replies
    1. I hope you get to go Laura! It's such a unique place :) xoxo

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