Visiting Glastonbury Tor

What to expect at Glastonbury Tor for visitors including history of the Tor

Glastonbury Tor
St Michael's chapel stands afoot the top of the Tor

Where is Glastonbury Tor and how to get there?

Tor is the Celtic name for a cone-shaped hill. So Glastonbury Tor is a hill in Glastonbury. The hill is one of the icons of Glastonbury and can be seen from afar. Most people visiting Glastonbury will find the time and effort to trudge up the hill.

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.

There is a Glastonbury Tor Bus that regularly plies between the main car park in front of Glastonbury Abbey to Glastonbury Tor. The bus goes over to the north side of the Tor, which requires less of a climb up to the Tor but the footpath is not very well made.

The Tor is owned and cared for by the National Trust and there is totally free access.

On this page we offer a map of the main sights of Glastonbury, including the White Spring, Wearyall Hill, Chalice well, Glastonbury Abbey and the Tor.

Glastonbury Tor history   Ley lines at Glastonbury Tor   Glastonbury map   Tour from London visiting Glastonbury  

Glastonbury Tor history

View from the top of Glastonbury Tor
View from the top of Glastonbury Tor
View from door at top of Glastonbury Tor
View from inside St Michael's chapel
National Trust sign at Glastonbury Tor
Glastonbury Tor is well signposted by National Trust

Somerset Levels - the Tor as an island

In ancient times, the Somerset levels were a shallow, marshy sea. Then, Glastonbury Tor was an island. Neolithic people in the region built platform villages linked by wooden causeways, arguably the first man-made roads.

At some point, no one knows exactly when, the Tor became a sacred site. Viewed close up, its slopes are subtly terraced, and some scholars speculate that it forms a remnant of a Neolithic labyrinth.

The Isle of Glass

The Celts called it Ynys Witrin, or the Isle of Glass, and believed it was a gateway to the underworld. Later legend has it that the Tor is the Island of Avalon, burial site of King Arthur.

Saint Michael's chapel

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.

The chapel is in itself evidence of the site's pre-Christian roots. It was a common practice to build churches on pagan worship sites both to cement the ascendancy of the new faith and to give the people a Christian gathering place at a familiar spot.

Such churches were often dedicated to Michael in his role as spiritual guardian.

Arthurian legends

In the 1960s excavations suggested that a sixth-century fortress or at least a stronghold stood on the site of the Tor, which for some supports another legend connected with the Tor, that it was the location of the stronghold belonging to 'Melwas', who is credited in one of the many Arthurian legends as the man who abducted 'Guinevere'.

There have over the centuries been offered many theories that the hill itself is/was hollow and that this in turn has led to the legends that it was the entrance to the underworld or the place of the 'Sleeping Lord'.

Ley lines at Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor hill, countryside, views
See the ancient landscape of Avalon

Dowsing methods have now traced many ley (power) lines in the earth that for centuries were known to folklore. These are natural geomagnetic lines in the earth.

One such ley line called 'The Michael line' is called that because most of the churches on it are dedicated to St Michael, protector of the faith.

'The Michael line' flows down from the Tor and then passes through the other major Glastonbury sites - Chalice Well,  Glastonbury Abbey and Wearyall Hill - spooky eh?

Map of main sights at Glastonbury

King Arthur's Realm day tour from London

Visiting Stonehenge, Glastonbury and Avebury

If you are a visitor from London and would like a really special day out to remember, there is one specialist guided small group tour, King Arthur's Realm.

This tour will take you into the hidden world of Avalon, a full day out covering many historical and spiritual sites, including Glastonbury as well as two other essential places of pilgrimage; Stonehenge and Avebury.

Out on Salisbury Plain you'll see the enigmatic World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. Here you'll witness up close the splendour of the magical stones, and discuss the possible theories behind Stonehenge's existence.

In Glastonbury you'll enjoy breathtaking views from the top of the famous Glastonbury Tor and discover secrets at the sacred Chalice Well (where the cup from the Last Supper was said to have been hidden in the First Century by Joseph Arimathea).

At Glastonbury Abbey you can and pay your respects to the grave of Arthur himself.

Finally, at Avebury you can walk the largest prehistoric stone circle in the world. Avebury is a magical place, with lots of ancient history with strong spiritual meaning for many people.

Expect a full day of druids, battles, magic and grail legends with your knowledgeable guide. Not to be missed.

More details of the King Arthur's Realm tour



Glastonbury Tor, Avebury and Stonehenge tour from London

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

Flexi adult from £174 Best rate adult from £156.60 Flexi child (3-15 years) from £154 Best rate child from £138.60

• 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



Stonehenge Morning Half Day Tour - from £65
Windsor Castle Windsor Morning & Afternoon Tours - from £70
Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (inc Lunch, no adm Roman Baths) - from £99
Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (no Lunch, inc adm Roman Baths) - from £92
Windsor, Stonehenge & Salisbury - from £85
Windsor & Bath Day Tour - from £85
Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (Small Group - Max 16 people) - from £156.60
Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge admission only) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - from £88
Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge & Baths adm) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - from £116
Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge & Jane Austen Centre) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - from £118
Stonehenge & Windsor (featuring extended time at Windsor) - from £85
Stonehenge & Avebury - from £114
Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - from £79
Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - from £128
Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury (Small Group) - from £156.60
Bath, Cotswolds, Stonehenge & Avebury (Small Group) - from £156.60


Beatles Liverpool Day Tour - £198
Day Trip to Paris - from £259
Day Trip to Edinburgh - from £225


2-day Windsor, Stonehenge, Bath & Oxford - from £349
3-day Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Bath & SW - from £275
5-day Peak District, Wales & Yorkshire- from £425
2-day private Stonehenge, Bath, Cotswolds & Oxford - from £650
Budget 3 days in Paris - from £289 (not currently available)
Luxury 2 & 3 days in Paris - from £399 (not currently available)
2-day Edinburgh - from £312
3-day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekend - from £379 (not currently available)
3-day Edinburgh & Scotland Anytime - from £999
6-12-day tours of Great Britain and Ireland - from £1425

Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.