The town of Glastonbury is synonymous with the music festival that bears its name, and is a great place to visit on holiday.
The Glastonbury Tor
The town is overshadowed by the dramatic outline of Glastonbury Tor, which stands proud from the surrounding level countryside of Somerset. At the top of the Tor, at a height of 525 feet, you will find the ruins of an ancient church. This is what remains of the 15th Century St Michael’s Church; the remains and the approaches up the Tor are maintained now by the National Trust. From the summit you can take in the incredible view of the county across to the Bristol Channel to the north, Shepton Mallet to the east, Polden Hills to the south and the broad expanse of Exmoor to the west. The Tor is the focus of many of the areas myths and legends that have been told across the centuries, such as the tor being home to the Lord of the Underworld (Gwyn ap Nudd) to it having magical properties as it is believed to lie across a series of mystical ley lines. A trip to the top of the Tor is something that you just have to do, whether you believe in the myths and legends or not.
Places to Visit
Glastonbury Abbey is also a must see attraction. What was one the biggest and richest abbey in the whole of England now lies in ruins in the heart of this ancient town. If you want to learn about the significance of the abbey in the history of the town, simply ask one of the monks, knights, kitchen maids or other characters that you will find in the abbey grounds between March and October. Another place of history and mystery is the Chalice Well Trust and Gardens; it is believed that the well has strong links with Joseph of Arimathea and the legends of King Arthur. The site is definitely a peaceful sanctuary which is believed to soothe a worried soul and calm the anxious. The Trust also offers some evening openings where the gardens are lit by candlelight and visitors can be soothed by restful music.
Things to See and Do
There are a number of footpaths and walks around the area which are well maintained and well signed, so there is no excuse for getting lost. There are many ancient lanes that wind their way around the Tor which are open to those wishing to walk them. Take the children on a quest to find the fairies that are believed to dwell in and around the ancient Tor, or explore the connections with King Arthur and his royal court. Take a trip out to the surrounding towns and villages and discover more of this beautiful part of the country. There are plenty of parks and wide open spaces which make the perfect locations for picnics either with the family or as a romantic getaway. No matter what you are looking for from your time in Glastonbury, you are sure to find it, plus lots more besides.