Famous for its namesake festival Glastonbury is a wonderful Somerset town just a short drive from the Apple Tree Hotel. The town is a haven for alternative lifestyle and culture with a plethora of alternative shopping opportunities and an eclectic mix of alternative culture night life and typical English town pubs and restaurants. Today we bring you a lightning tour of Glastonbury which is one of our favourite Somerset spots.
On the outskirts of town you will find the wonderful Glastonbury Tor with its sublime views across the Somerset levels and Glastonbury itself. At the top of the Tor sits St. Michael’s tower which was originally built in 11th or 12th century. The walk up the Tor is fairly taxing but the views from the top are beautiful. The summer solstice is celebrated with a big party each year on the summit.
Chalice well sits at the base of the Tor and is a natural spring fed into a series of pools. The well is fed from deep underground and the water has a reddish hue from iron oxide. The well is well worth visiting mainly for the curiosity of the legends and myths surrounding it. Christian mythology suggests Joseph of Arimathea placed the Holy Grail here. Modern mythology gives the water healing properties.
Though mainly ruined enough of Glastonbury Abbey remains to make it an interesting visit with the North Transept, many walls and the Abbots kitchen remaining in good condition. The Abbey was built in the 7th century and fell into decline from the early 16th century with Thomas Cromwell’s dissolution of the UK’s hundreds of monasteries. Like many sites in Glastonbury there are legends surrounding it with it being a purported site of King Arthur’s tomb and suggestions it was founded by Joseph of Arimathea.
Lake Village Museum
The lake village museum may be small but it packs a lot of archaeological history into the high street location. It has a large exhibit dealing with the lakeside village that existed over 2250 years ago when the Somerset levels were still largely under water. The museum offers fantastic insights into the nearby settlement which is the best prehistoric village discovered in the UK. St. Margaret’s Chapel and Magdalene Almshouse St. Margaret’s Chapel and Magdalene Almhouses were originally a monastery founded in 1264. The small chapel is worth a look but the interest here lies in the almhouses which were built in late 16th century.
Glastonbury Town Shopping and Entertainment
If you want weird and wonderful Glastonbury is the best place to shop in the country. There are crystal shops, alternative medicine shops, dusty book shops, farmers markets, comic stores and jewelry shops to explore as well as quintessential English tea shops. Glastonbury is a wonderful town with a lot to explore and enjoy.
From the Apple Tree Hotel the drive takes 45 minutes with the best route taking you across the Somerset levels and over the hills – offering stunning views and plenty of places to stop for a walk, picnic or to take pictures.