Glastonbury Centre

Glastonbury Centre

Glastonbury, where the streets are fragranced with the aroma of patchouli and joss sticks, is set within the Somerset Levels - a low lying area of marshes and fenland where the ditches, rhynes, cross the landscape. Glastonbury Tor is the most prominent landmark rising above the town and is thought to be the fabled Isle of Avalon as the sea did once lap at the base of the Tor. Even when the land was drained and the sea receded, the marshlands that surrounded it would have been difficult to negotiate when in flood.

Glastonbury Clothes Market

Glastonbury Clothes Market

Arthurian Legend in Glastonbury

Glastonbury is steeped in spiritual legend and is believed to be the birthplace of Christianity where the first British church was built to house the Holy Grail. There is also a strong link with Glastonbury and the Arthurian legend that Glastonbury is the Isle of Avalon where King Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds and where his sword Excalibur was forged. Much of this legend is due to the monks at Glastonbury Abbey having claimed to have discovered Arthur's remains along with the remains of his wife. In 1191 excavations in the Abbey's grounds revealed an oak coffin with an iron cross and an inscription "Here lies King Arthur in the island of Avalon" in which the two bodies were believed to be that of King Arthur and his Queen, Guinevere.

However, the truth of this latter discovery is somewhat shrouded in doubt. Glastonbury is not just a Christian centre for spirituality. Glastonbury is at a junction with several ley lines that can be traced to other spiritual sites such as Stonehenge. These ley lines are said to resonate mystical energy making Glastonbury one of the most magical centres in England if not the world. People have long been making he journey to Glastonbury from all over the world either as a Christian pilgrimage or to seek more New Age spiritual well-being.

Glastonbury book shop

Glastonbury book shop

Glastonbury Shopping

Glastonbury's town centre is small, but jam-packed with all sorts of interesting independent shops, cafes and restaurants. You can buy everything from jewellery incorporating crystals and minerals that hold a variety of healing properties to candles and incense, books, eco-friendly shops, musical instruments and everything you might need for witchcraft. Over time more cosmopolitan outlets have started to appear including beauty salons and modern cafes which seem slightly incongruous next to the colourful New Age shops that line the streets.

You'll find lots of small independent shops down little alleyways and in courtyards leading off from the High Street so make sure you do a bit of exploring to see all that Glastonbury has to offer.Glastonbury holds a market every Tuesday in the Market Place which sells fresh fruit and veg, fish, plants, clothing and craftwork. On the fourth Saturday of every month Glastonbury's Farmers Market takes place in St John's car park.

Glastonbury Tourist Information Centre

The area around the Abbey is what is left of medieval Glastonbury and the Tourist Information Office is in The Glastonbury Tribunal, believed to be a 15th century Merchant's house. On the first floor is the Lake Village Museum that takes you through everyday life in an Iron Age settlement. Many of the artefacts were excavated from Glastonbury Lake Village that had lain preserved in the peat that once covered the Somerset Levels for thousands of years.

Somerset Rural Life Museum Glastonbury

Near the Abbey is the Rural Life Museum whose centrepiece is a fourteenth century barn. This aims to show what social and domestic life would have been like in Victorian rural Somerset. It follows the life story of a farm worker, John Hodges, and displays tools and farming techniques that he would have used for willow growing, peat digging and cider making. There is a packed programme of events throughout the year including demonstrations of traditional crafts such as spinning and stick weaving demonstrations.

Glastonbury cafes

Glastonbury cafes

Glastonbury Somerset Carnivals

Glastonbury is on the circuit for the Somerset Carnivals. These are usually held between September and November. It's well worth timing your visit to coincide with one of the carnivals that are held at a whole host of towns throughout the county. The Somerset Carnival tradition dates back to the 1600s when many places in Somerset commemorated the Gunpowder Plot. Street entertainment, fireworks and special events throughout the town add to the fun and carnival atmosphere.

B&Bs in Glastonbury

  • Street   (1.9 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Prices from
    £32
    per person (B&B)
     
    Charming B&B in the town of Street, close to fabulous walks on the Somerset Levels, National Trust properties and the beautiful Somerset coast. Easy access to Glastonbury.
     
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  • Near Wells   (2.8 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Prices from
    £35
    Per person per night B&B (based on 2 sharing) reductions for
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 64 reviews
    Rating from 64 reviews
    Award-winning farmhouse B&B in the Somerset Levels near Wells & Glastonbury. Rural & river views, luxury suites & wheelchair access. Free WiFi, tea room and scrumptious breakfasts.
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  • Glastonbury   (0.3 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Prices from
    £75
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 228 reviews
    Rating from 228 reviews
    Edwardian guest house in Glastonbury just a short stroll from the Abbey and town centre. Twin and double en-suites, free parking, garden and WiFi. Evening dinner on request.
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  • West Pennard   (4.5 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Prices from
    £90
     
    The Bothy at Manor Farm, which comprises a detached studio for up to 3 people in the garden of our house in Sticklinch - a hamlet located between Pilton and West Pennard in rura...
     
  • Pedwell   (4.8 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Prices from
    £25
    Per person per night
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    Polden Vale is a small family run B & B, Situated on the outskirts of Clarks Shopping Village, central for exploring Somerset and Devon. Although on the A361 the accommodati...
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Cottages in Glastonbury

  • Glastonbury   (1.0 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £197
    Per week
     
    Special Offer
    10% discount off second week's rental
    Holiday cottage in Glastonbury. Nestled in a stunning location close to Glastonbury Tor. Comfortably furnished self catering accommodation. Car parking available. Sleeps 4.
     
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  • Glastonbury   (1.2 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £475
    Per Week (Seasonal) Sleeps 2/4.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 4 reviews
    Rating from 4 reviews
    Attractive Glastonbury cottage with views towards the Tor. Great self catering facilities, free parking and internet access. Ideal for couples and families.
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  • Glastonbury   (1.0 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Sleeps 6
    Prices from
    £325
    Per Week, Seasonal
     
    Homely, bright and modern self-catering holiday cottage in Glastonbury. Family accommodation near Glastonbury Tor, including luxury features and communal gardens. Sleeps 6.
     
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  • Glastonbury   (1.2 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £511
    Per Week (Seasonal) Sleeps 2/4
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 6 reviews
    Rating from 6 reviews
    Holiday cottage in Glastonbury. Nestled in a stunning location close to Glastonbury Tor. Great self catering facilities. Car parking and hardwired internet available. Sleeps 2/4.
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  • Glastonbury   (5.6 miles from the centre of Glastonbury)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £200
    Per Week
     
    Somerset self-catering cottage with a private patio and garden, on-site parking, WiFi and secure bike storage. Enjoy a relaxing break in a pretty waterside location.
     
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