Glastonbury is one of the most popular places to visit in the United Kingdom due to the hospitable climate and long, rich history it has. It has historical sites, homes inspired by Victorian-era architecture, cafes, theaters and a long list of attractions that will keep any visitor indulged in the unique atmosphere that only Glastonbury can provide.
As far as tourism statistics go, Glastonbury's most popular events bring hundreds of thousands of people from around the world to visit. The most recent pop music festival had an attendance figure that was in excess of 175,000 people, many of which were tourists that took a visit to Glastonbury just to enjoy the festivities.
In this guide, you will explore everything that you would ever need to know to start planning your trip to Glastonbury. You'll learn about the travel times from the major airports to Glastonbury, when the Glastonbury 2015 Festival will be, where you can camp, and what attractions you will have to visit in Glastonbury before you depart.
Glastonbury enjoys a rich history from its unique location in a dry point of the Somerset Levels. This gives it an ideal , cool climate that allows for the right mix of verdant green surroundings and enjoyable winds of fresh, gentle air. The geography of Glastonbury has allowed it to be inhabited by humans for a considerable amount of time. It's claimed to be home to one of the oldest roads, which dates back to 3807 or 3806 BC and runs through the woods located next to the marshlands near Glastonbury.
The relatively flat and open areas of Glastonbury have allowed it to become home to both residents and the annual festivals that Glastonbury hosts, the most popular of which is known as the Glastonbury Festival.
As far as Glastonbury's more modern history goes, it has been a home to people since around the year 700. Though the origins of Glastonbury are hard to determine, it was likely an early Anglo-Saxon fort, village or monastic enclosure. Glastonbury continued to prosper once it became a recognized settlement in the 1700s. The development of the canals allowed for trade to grow, which in turn allowed for more individuals to settle in this town.
The climate for Glastonbury tends to be moderate with fewer cold, hard rains than other regions in the United Kingdom experience.
The most beautiful weather in Glastonbury tends to occur during the late half of June when the Glastonbury Festival occurs. The average temperature stays between 18 to 25 Celsius with a comfortable breeze with few clouds in the sky on most days, which allows the sun to shine down and grace your skin with warm, comfortable heat.
This makes June and July the best months for most tourists whom prefer a warmer climate to truly enjoy Glastonbury.
During the Winter, Glastonbury may have snow, sleet or some freezing rain. Clouded skies are still uncommon during this time of the year, though the temperature tends to stay a few degrees above freezing thanks to the geographical features of Somerset.
One point worth mentioning about Glastonbury is the mythology concerning it. The legends of Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and King Arthur all have ties with Glastonbury. Glastonbury is considered to be the very place where Joseph of Arimathea captured Jesus's blood, which in turn became the Holy Grail.
Glastonbury also holds ties to the legendary King Arthur. The mythical king and his queen were said to have been buried at Lady Chapel of the Abbey Church, though their remains were reportedly lost during the Reformation. Some historians have also stated that they believe Glastonbury is the place that many of the tales of King Arthur refer to as Avalon.
Another interesting idea to note about Glastonbury is that it may be the residence of an ancient Sumerian stellar map, though this belief is considered as fleeting by some as the fairy tales of King Arthur due to the lack of evidence supporting such a theory.
The tourist attractions of Glastonbury can be divided into two categories: sight and experiences. The sights are things like Glastonbury Tor, and the experiences are places like the Glastonbury Festival or the many cafes that reside in the town.
When it comes to scenery, Glastonbury offers both countless photo opportunities and jaw-dropping scenes that you will remember for the rest of your life.
The places you'll have to visit to experience everything Glastonbury has to offer are listed below.
Glastonbury Tor is an island that overlooks the island of Avalon, the town of Glastonbury and a fair portion of Somerset. The most iconic feature of this landmark is the large tower built during the 15th century that still stands in the middle of a prominent hill.
While only the tower portion remains, this was supposed to be the site for two churches dedicated to Saint Michael.
Of all the gardens in the United Kingdom, it's very likely that no garden is as famous nor as beautiful as those that reside at Chalice Well. This well is the oldest in Great Britain, which has allowed it to become a spot of tranquility and faith. The gardens and orchards surrounding it are cultivated by caretakers whom practice the "Many Paths, One Source" ideology.
A trip to this living sanctuary is a must for any visit to Glastonbury.
The Glastonbury Goddess Temple is unique in that it celebrates the local spirit that Somerset retains from the early Anglo-Saxon days. It's a place that resides in beauty and regularly celebrates the beauty of all things natural.
As far as attractions go, this temple is unique in that it's a calming, meditative and beautiful place to visit. You can also schedule tours that lead to other nearby sights of Glastonbury.
As far as experiences go, Glastonbury hosts events and places that are unique to even other places in the United Kingdom.
Below are some of the must-visit experiences in Glastonbury.
Renting a campervan for Glastonbury has become very popular these day's as the place literally gets flooded with tents so people choose to book a campervan rental where they have the freedom to explorer when visiting the area. The annual festival in Glastonbury represents one of the largest attractions in Somerset. It primarily hosts contemporary music, but things like poetry, dance, comedy, cabaret, circus and a plethora of other arts can be seen by visitors here.
If there's one event that you have to partake in, then the Glastonbury Festival that occurs during the last weekend in June is one such event. If you're looking for places to camp during the Glastonbury Festival, some of the more popular ideas are listed below:
A unique group of individuals return to this spot every year during the festival, which allows it to have an interesting culture from a diverse community.
While less lively than most other areas, the serenity of these grounds is undeniable.
This ground is designated for family camping only, which makes ti perfect for you if you plan to visit the Glastonbury Festival with your own family.
These grounds are purposed to serve cyclist camping primarily. If you want to have a more nature-oriented experience, then these are your best bets.
Family and hospitality camping primarily occur in these grounds. You should consider arriving early or making reservations to ensure you can grab a spot in these grounds.
Most of the camping grounds available for the Glastonbury festival quickly fill. While there was enough room for the increased amount of visitors to the festival in 2014, you should do your best to arrive in as timely as a manner as possible or you may find yourself forced to camp on the very fringes of the camping grounds.
One unique thing everyone whom visits Glastonbury must indulge in is the local cuisine. Burns the Bread is one of the better examples of baked goods that can only be acquired in Glastonbury.
While you sit at this cafe, you'll be able to smell the aroma of the unique pastries and other creations that are baked fresh daily. Combine this with the friendly staff, and you have a unique place you have to experience firsthand.
The one of a kind jewelry and other goods sold at Facets of Avalon will make for the perfect gift to remember your visit.
Beautiful, hand-crafted pieces of wire jewelry are created right in this studio. You can then purchase them and take them home with you to remember your trip for years to come.
The first step for any tourist desiring to see the sights and experience all that Glastonbury has to offer is to arrive in the United Kingdom. The most convenient way to do so directly is by arriving at the local airport Bristol International Airport of which we offer cheap flights.
Once there, you can travel by train, coach, car or bus to the town of Glastonbury. It takes about 40 minutes to drive from the airport to Glastonbury, and 20 to 30 minutes if you travel by train. We offer cheap car rentals from many cities and airports around the UK.
Depending upon your trip plans, you may decide to take a different approach to arriving at Glastonbury. This strategy has some unique rewards, as the country roads between Glastonbury and the major airports like Heathrow Airport are littered with homely stops along the way.
Just be wary that doing so will mean that your trip might take considerably longer.
Car travel takes a little over two hours to reach Glastonbury from Heathrow Airport, 2.5 hours from Gatwick airport, and 6.5 hours to reach Glastonbury from Manchester Airport.
Choosing to take the train will generally allow you to arrive in a shorter time frame, but you may be trading kilometers of scenic green landscapes for the opportunity to see the family operated restaurants and cafes that can make your trip to the UK even more memorable.