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Visiting Glastonbury

About Glastonbury Abbey, Tor and how to get there

Glastonbury High Street
Glastonbury High Street

Glastonbury is a quirky, unique place to visit, three hours' drive west from London. Glastonbury is a compact town where everything worth seeing is within walking distance and it can easily occupy a full day of anybody's time.

One of the refreshing aspects of Glastonbury is that it is not over commercialised and very few large coaches visit. It is possible however, to take a small group tour from London to Glastonbury, combining with Stonehenge and Avebury.

Most memorable though will be the 'new age', mystic shops and the hippy like characters who have made Glastonbury their home.

It is a mystic, myth and legend backdrop that weaves its way through everything you will visit and see at Glastonbury. So we recommend you first read our Glastonbury Myths and Legends page which if read will give you a great advantage in making sense of getting the most out of a visit to Glastonbury.

OK, you've finished reading the Myths and Legends page? Lets carry on then.

The two big draws in terms of numbers of visitors are Glastonbury Abbey and Glastonbury Tor.

Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey

One of Glastonbury's claims is that it is perhaps the earliest Christian place in Britain. The Abbey which is in the centre of town is now a ruin, but a visit is still worthwhile - especially if you take advantage of one of the costumed tours that is included in your ticket price.

There is also a good exhibition/museum which will provide a formal briefing/background to Glastonbury.

Glastonbury Abbey was established as a Benedictine monastery during the years 670 to 678 AD. Prior to that time, it had existed, for many years, as a Celtic religious centre. According to legend, 2000 years ago Joseph of Arimathea (Christ's uncle) is supposed to have brought the young Jesus here.

 

 

Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor
Take the pilgrimage up the long steps to the top of Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor is just to the East of the town of Glastonbury. A 10-minute walk from the High Street and Abbey (well signposted) will take you past Chalice Well to the foot of the Tor.

It is then a slog up a paved pathway up the south side of the Tor to the top. The tower on the Tor is all that remains of a fourteenth-century chapel dedicated to Saint Michael, a replacement for an earlier church destroyed by an earthquake in 1275.

No visit to Glastonbury is complete without a visit to Glastonbury Tor, preferably after you have familiarised yourself with the myths and legends around this mystical place.

 

Chalice Well, White Spring & Wearyall Hill

White Spring, Glastonbury
White Spring, Glastonbury

Once you have become enthralled by the myths and legends that weave around the Glastonbury landscape you will want to visit these three locations in Glastonbury that are at the heart of them.

Chalice Well, White Spring & Wearyall Hill - more details

Map of main sights at Glastonbury

Glastonbury by public transport

The first thing to say is that a day trip to Glastonbury from London is not really realistic by public transport.

You need really to overnight and make it a 2 or 3 day trip, perhaps combining Bath into your itinerary.

Glastonbury by rail from London

The quickest but most expensive option is by train from London's Paddington Station to Castle Cary, approximately 1½ hours. It is then a fairly lengthy and expensive taxi (best pre booked) of about 25 minutes to Glastonbury.

If you do only have a day, then your best option from London is probably a small group day tour combining Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Avebury. Though note you will only get about 2 hours at most in Glastonbury.

A cheaper but slower train option from London is to catch a train from Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads. From close to the station you can get a bus to Glastonbury on its way to Street. Note the bus takes 90 minutes to perform this journey and the train from London takes the best part of two hours.

Glastonbury by bus from London

The cheapest option between London and Glastonbury is National Express or Berrys coaches that take 3 to 4 hours to do the journey direct.

Normally there is only one service a day for both companies, leaving London in the evening and Glastonbury early morning. National Express run from Victoria Coach Station in London, Berrys from Hammersmith Bus Station.

National Express also operate very frequently between London and Bristol from where you can get a local bus to Glastonbury taking around 90 minutes.

The Bristol - London service normally operates with a stop at London Heathrow Airport and there are services to Gatwick Airport as well.

National Express tickets & timetables

 

Trainline

TRAIN TICKETS

Woman in a train

Book in advance and save money on your train journey

• UK buses • Eurostar • Virgin trains

King Arthur's Realm day tour from London

Visiting Stonehenge, Glastonbury and Avebury

First stop is Stonehenge, before progressing to Glastonbury about lunch time. A chance to march up Glastonbury Tor, visit the sacred Chalice Well and visit Glastonbury Abbey with the grave of Arthur himself. On the way back to London a stop is made at Avebury.

More details of the King Arthur's Realm tour

avebury

SMALL GROUP STONEHENGE, GLASTONBURY & AVEBURY

Glastonbury Tor, Avebury and Stonehenge tour from London

Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury Small Group guided day tour from London

• Adult from £154 • Child (3-15 years) from £134

• Small group day trip - maximum 16 people per tour • Admission to Stonehenge, Glastonbury Abbey & Avebury Stone Circle • Beat the crowds at Stonehenge - go there first! • Professional guide • Photo stop at Glastonbury Tor and entry to Chalice Well Gardens


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