Stylish self-catering holidays and short breaks in Somerset

The Top 10 Things to do in Glastonbury - Make the Most of a Visit

 

Looking for a family-friendly destination, whilst you're on your holidays in Somerset, that has something for everyone? Look no further than the charming town of Glastonbury! Home to not only the Glastonbury Festival but also some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. From legendary sites like Glastonbury Tor to exciting historical monuments like Glastonbury Abbey, there is something for everyone, young and old, in this vibrant Somerset community.

At a glance, Sally's top ten things to do in and near Glastonbury that are great activities for families:

  • Glastonbury Tor
  • Glastonbury Abbey
  • Chalice Well
  • Glastonbury Tribunal
  • Glastonbury Lake Village
  • Somerset Rural Life Museum
  • Ham Wall Nature Reserve
  • Glastonbury Treasure Trail
  • Glastonbury Shops & Markets
  • Walking the Glastonbury Way

 

To help out we've listed in detail below some of the best Glastonbury attractions and things to do to help you make the most of your trip:

1) Glastonbury Tor


 
 
 
 
 
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A steep climb to the top, visiting Glastonbury Tor with the roofless St. Michael’s Tower perched on top, is worth it for the spectacular panoramic views of Somerset and beyond. If you are visiting on a clear day, take a pair of binoculars so that you can spot faraway ships sailing in the Bristol Channel or catch a glimpse of wildlife out on the Somerset Levels.

We do recommend on wet weather days you wear the right walking gear to protect you from the wind and the rain as it can get a little wild on top!


Contact Details

 

Address: Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury, Somerset

Telephone: 01278 751874

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/somerset/glastonbury-tor


 

 

2) Glastonbury Abbey


 
 
 
 
 
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This iconic and beautifully preserved medieval abbey is one of the most popular attractions in Glastonbury. Tourists flock to this historic location year-round to explore its stunning architecture, breath- taking grounds, and fascinating history.

Founded as an abbey in the 8th Century, it was destroyed by fire in 1184 and rebuilt to become - by the 14th Century - one of the richest monasteries in England, owning huge swathes of Somerset land.

The abbey has been deeply connected with the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table since the 12th century with its tales of gallantry and chivalry. The myths were likely spread by the monks and that Glastonbury Tor was the ancient Isle of Avalon and was probably started to attract more pilgrims and make everyone in the town more money!

People still believe that King Arthur and Queen Guinivere are buried here but there is no evidence to suggest this ever happened. Does make for a great story though.

In September 1539 and on the orders of the King Henry VIII's Treasurer, Thomas Cromwell, the Abbey was plundered for its riches for the Crown, its abbot hung, drawn and quartered whilst the monks sent packing as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Over time the site was plundered for its lead, timber and stone eventually becoming a ruin. The taking of materials from the site only stopped with the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882.

Today, you'll find its dog-friendly ruins to be a peaceful and beautiful setting of 36 acres offering a range of events and activities designed for families. There is an entrance fee for adults, but children go free of charge and there's usually plenty for them to do.


Contact Details

 

Address: Magdalene St, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9EL

Telephone: 01458 832267

Website: https://www.glastonburyabbey.com


 

 

3) Chalice Well


 
 
 
 
 
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Nestled inside a quiet, wooded area at the foot of the majestic Glastonbury Tor, the Chalice Well is a peaceful oasis that is beloved by locals and visitors alike.  The iron-rich waters from the well flow at an impressive rate of 25,000 gallons per day at a constant temperature of 11 degrees centigrade. Also known as "Red Spring" it is one of the most important and historically significant wells in England.

Whether you are looking for some quiet time alone or would like to wander among the beautiful gardens, there is something special here for everyone. When visiting Glastonbury, be sure to set aside some time and visit the Chalice Well to relax, reflect and recharge in a historically sacred place of tranquillity.


Contact Details

 

Address: The Chalice Well, Chalice Well Trust, 85-89 Chilkwell St, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8DD

Telephone: 01458 832267

Website: https://www.chalicewell.org.uk/


 

 

 

4) Glastonbury Tribunal


 
 
 
 
 
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For history buffs and art lovers alike, the Glastonbury Tribunal is a must-visit attraction in this vibrant Somerset town. Located near the famous Glastonbury Abbey, this unique medieval edifice is home to colourful murals painted by local artists and an intriguing collection of artifacts that chronicle the history of Glastonbury's past.

Built in the 15th century as a merchant's house it has been designated as a Grade I listed building. The property is currently under the guardianship of English Heritage whilst housing the museum of the Glastonbury Antiquarian Society hosting a number of different artifacts.

 


Contact Details

 

Address: Glastonbury Tribunal, 13 High St, Glastonbury, BA6 9DP

Telephone: 0370 333 1181

Website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/glastonbury-tribunal/


 

 

5) Glastonbury Lake Village


 
 
 
 
 
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If you are looking for a unique and culturally significant attraction, be sure to visit Glastonbury Lake Village. Located on the outskirts of town, this preserved Iron Age settlement is one of the oldest and best-preserved archaeological sites in the UK.

Founded over 2200 years ago, this picturesque "crannog" was constructed using timber and clay  foundations with wooden roundhouses and barns then built on top. The settlement had lain hidden - from roughly AD50 - when it was abandoned, likely to due to rising water levels swamping the village. 

Rediscovered by a local antiquarian in 1892 - pretty much on a hunch - he then spent the next 15 years excavating the site and recovering ancient items which he recorded and, in some instances, donated to the local museum. 


Contact Details

 

Address: c/o Glastonbury Lake Village Museum, Glastonbury Tribunal, 9 High Street, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9DP

Telephone: 01458 832162 or 01458 832954

Website: https://avalonmarshes.org/the-avalon-marshes/heritage/glastonbury-lake-village/ &http://www.glastonburytic.co.uk/attractions/glastonbury-lake-village-museum/


 

 

6) Somerset Rural Life Museum


 
 
 
 
 
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If you are looking for a unique and immersive experience that takes you back in time to explore the rich agricultural history of Somerset, look no further than the Somerset Rural Life Museum.

Located in historic buildings surrounding a beautiful 14th-century barn, that once belonged to Glastonbury Abbey monks, this museum is the perfect place to explore traditional Somerset rural industries and craftsmanship. You'll will find displays of antique farming tools, early Victorian farm machinery, a fully restored threshing barn, as well as exhibits on local crafts like peat digging, mud horse fishing as well as the production of cheese and cider (both famous Somerset exports themselves!). Whether you are an avid history buff or simply enjoy learning about the rich culture of Somerset this museum ticks every box so do pay it a visit when in Glastonbury.

As well as regular events and activities held for children and families, you'll find a lovely a shop, tea room, car park & disabled access.


Contact Details

 

Address: Somerset Rural Life Museum, Abbey Farm, Chilkwell St, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8DB

Telephone: 01458 831197

Website: https://swheritage.org.uk/somerset-rural-life-museum/


 

 

7) Ham Wall Nature Reserve


 
 
 
 
 
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This somewhat hidden Somerset gem is a sprawling wetland oasis that is home to countless species of birds, fish and plants. Located on the western outskirts of Glastonbury, Ham Wall Nature Reserve offers visitors a chance to slow down, breathe in deep and reconnect with nature.

Whether you take part in one of the many hiking trails through the reed beds or simply stretch out for a picnic by the water's edge, this pristine nature area is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Those interested in getting up close and personal with some of Somerset's most unique animals and plants can head to the reserve's education centre for regular wildlife talks and events. So if you're looking for an opportunity to unplug from phones and screens then it's definitely worth a visit.

Ham Wall Nature Reserve is open daily and is free to enter though you will have to pay for parking unless you're a paid-up member of the RSPB.


Contact Details

 

Address: Ham Wall RSPB, Meare, Ashcott, Glastonbury, BA6 9SX

Telephone: 01458 860494

Website: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/ham-wall/


 

 

8) Glastonbury Treasure Trail


 
 
 
 
 
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Looking for a fun and unique way to explore the streets, shops, and attractions of Glastonbury? Look no further than the glimmering Glastonbury Treasure Trail!

A self-guided treasure hunt that takes you on a 2.75 circular loop around town, this activity is perfect for families, groups of friends, or anyone who is looking to enjoy some good old fashioned outdoor fun and exploration.

With clues hidden along the trail and the chance to win real treasure at the end, this glimmering adventure is sure to be an experience you won't soon forget. So what are you waiting for? Head out today and discover the wonders that Glastonbury has in store!‚Äč


Contact Details

 

Address: Multiple Locations across Glastonbury

Telephone: N/a

Website (to purchase the Trail map for £9.99): https://www.treasuretrails.co.uk/products/things-to-do-glastonbury-somerset


 

 

9) Shopping on Glastonbury High Street or in its Markets


 
 
 
 
 
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If you're looking for an eclectic and unique shopping experience, Glastonbury is the place to be. With a wide range of shops and markets offering everything from crystals and Somerset witchcraft supplies to fine local produce and artisan crafts, this town's charming high street has something for everyone.

Whether you're strolling along glistening cobblestone streets or browsing through one of the many vibrant markets held in town, you'll be able to shop till you drop!

We highly recommend you visit the Glastonbury Country Market, held at the Town Hall every Tuesday morning, where you'll find some of Somerset's finest products alongside some delicious refreshments.


Contact Details

 

Address: Multiple retail locations across Glastonbury

Telephone: N/a

Website: https://www.visitsomerset.co.uk/shopping-in-glastonbury


 

 

10) Walking the Glastonbury Way


 
 
 
 
 
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If you're looking for the ultimate outdoor adventure, look no further than the Glastonbury Way. This 7.5 mile circular loop starts at the Glastonbury Information Centre and takes you through some beautiful Somerset countryside - a must-do for any family or group who love hiking, Arthurian legends, nature at its finest as well as stunning views.

With newly paved paths, scenic panoramas of rolling hills and farmland, informative interpretation boards, and plenty of local history to discover as you go, the Glastonbury Way truly has it all.

The walk was designed to allow people to either complete it in one go or take it head on in sections. Head out today and experience one of Somerset's most amazing natural treasures.


Contact Details

 

Address: The Glastonbury Way starts from Glastonbury Information Centre, 1 Magdalene Street, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9EW

Telephone: 01458 333144

Website: https://glastonburyinformationcentre.co.uk/


 

 

There's no shortage of fun things to do with your family when it comes to visiting and spending time in Glastonbury. So why not head down and take some time to enjoy all that it has to offer!

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