Glastonbury is a town that is known throughout the world. The famous festival draws in over 200’000 visitors every year, far more than the population of the town itself. And the festival is even bigger in popularity as it is in size — entry tickets often sell out in record time. Despite living in the South West for over 10 years, I’ve never attended the festival. But I’ve paid frequent visits to the town itself, and it always leaves me wanting to come back for more. The magical and vibrant atmosphere makes it the best town in the South West by far. There’s something so captivating about the area, it really has to be seen to be believed. If you’re interested in visiting this wonderfully weird town, read on to find out how to spend a perfect day there.
Visit the Abbey
Start your day in the town by visiting the famous Glastonbury Abbey and learn all about its connections to ancient legends. As well as being the alleged resting place of King Arthur, the Abbey is one of the oldest and most significant religious places in the UK. There’s even an urban myth that claims that Jesus visited the Abbey, which inspired one of the most recognisable pieces of music in the country, Jerusalem. Considering its spiritual significance, it’s no surprise that it was once the richest monastery in the country.
The Abbey is still considered one of the most important Christian sites in the UK, and one of the most beautiful ones too. Wandering around the undisturbed grounds is such a serene experience. The surroundings are beautiful all year round, but I most enjoy visiting the Abbey on a cold winter’s morning. The low hanging fog and the icy frost clinging to the ancient ruins makes the experience feel even more mystical and magic. As well as the magnificent grounds, you’ll also find a site museum which will give you a short but sweet account of the history of the site. With adult tickets costing just £8.50, it’s the perfect way to introduce yourself to the history of this spiritual town.
This is something that I could spend all day doing in Glastonbury. There are so many gorgeous and quirky independent shops, you’ll struggle to choose where to go first! If you’re interested in crystals and eye-catching jewellery, you should definitely check out StoneAge. Even the journey to get here is an experience, as to get to the shop you must first pass through an archway embedded with all different kinds of crystals. When it comes to the cost, StoneAge has something for people on every budget, so you’re sure to find something beautiful that’s in your price range.
If you’re more interested in decorating your house than yourself, make sure to check out Art of Africa. This shop has been selling breath-taking art since 1989, and it’s one of the most popular places to visit on the high street. From personal experience, I know that the products are of the highest quality, no picture can do them justice! This shop is a definite must visit.
There’s a ridiculously wide range of great shops in Glastonbury, such as The Speaking Tree Bookshop, Goddess Temple Gifts and so many others. But my absolute favourite has to be Earthfare. Is choosing a grocery store as my favourite shopping experience a bit boring? I’d usually say yes — but not when it comes to Earthfare. As a vegetarian, this shop is my paradise. It’s full to the brim of mouth-watering and nutritious vegetarian and vegan food, and it’s a great place to find eco-friendly and cruelty free makeup and skincare too. Check out their online shop to get a taste of the products that they stock.
Grab a Bite to Eat
If you’ve never had the pleasure of dining out in Glastonbury, you’re in for a treat. There are so many great places to eat here, you’ll want to keep coming back until you’ve tried them all! Starting off with my personal favourite, The Blue Note Cafe is a must-visit. This is one of my favourite cafes in the country, let alone in Glastonbury! The highlight of the menu is by far the amazing range of veggie burgers. My burger of choice is the Jamie — a spicy vegetarian schnitzel topped with cheese and salad. But if you’re not into burgers, there’s still plenty on the menu from you to choose from, including filling sandwiches, nutritious salads and a selection of mouth-watering cakes.
Another one of the best foodie places in Glastonbury is Hundred Monkeys Cafe. This ethical eatery uses local and in-season products to reduce their carbon footprint, and the eggs and meat they use are free range. But eating here isn’t just about cleansing your conscience — the food is absolutely delicious too. The menu is very hearty and nutritious — warming soups, jacket potatoes, filling sandwiches and the delectable cakes are just some of the highlights. And if you visit on a cold day, make sure to ask for a cuddle. Don’t worry, you won’t get kicked out — that’s the name of the best drink on the menu.
If you don’t have a big appetite and you want to grab something quick and easy before your next stop, pay a visit to Burns the Bread, the best bakery in town. There’s a wide range of food on offer here, including savoury pastries, sweet treats and delicious sandwiches. You’ll find some great vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options here too, so there’s something for everyone. If you’re in the mood for a picnic, buy a selection of snacks here to take to your final stop.
Climb the Tor
Last, but by no means least, is Glastonbury Tor, one of the most spiritual places in the country. Make sure to have your lunch before you go, as it’s a steep climb! The Tor is a phenomenon, as it stands so 158 meters above the rest of the flat and low-lying levels of the area. In fact, the Tor used to be an island, as the Somerset levels once lay below sea level. The landmark was once a settlement for Pagan’s and Christians, and it’s still celebrated as a religious site today.
It’s also believed that the hill lies on top of ley-lines, which give the landmark a powerful spiritual energy. Cynics may advise you to take this claim with a pinch of salt. But people who have visited Glastonbury know that it has a mysterious and mystic atmosphere. One thing’s for sure, there’s definitely something different about this town.
When you get to the summit, you’ll find the ruins of a 14th century chapel. Make sure to look out for engravings in the stone left by the people who settled their centuries ago. And of course, the views you get up here are like no other. The surrounding land is so flat and stretches for as far as the eye can see. Although it’s a steep climb, it’s definitely worth it. And my mum did it when she was pregnant with me, so you can too! Reaching the summit of the Tor feels like you’re on top of the world, and it’s the perfect way to end your day in Glastonbury, a town like no other.
Have you ever been to Glastonbury? What’s your favourite thing to do there? Let me know in the comments below!