When I visit a new place I like to meet the locals, people whose families have lived there for generations, know every field by name, and can tell you the gossip from 1934 as if it was yesterday. If you want to meet some ‘proper’ locals on your visit to Somerset then I’d highly recommend Roger Wilkins Cider Barn at Lands End Farm in Mudgely, just a few miles from Glastonbury across the Somerset Levels.
Every so often it’s nice to get out of Glastonbury and explore. I can’t quite believe I’m suggesting this, but Shepton Mallet is really worth a visit. I popped over there last week to visit my friends Dimitris and James who are running the pop-up ‘Art Bank Cafe’ in the old HSBC bank, which also houses the ‘Rubbish Art Project’
Don’t tell everybody, but I think I’ve found a magical portal on the Somerset Levels. On a Sunday afternoon, at the beginning of Summer, I went out alone for a long cycle ride, intending to see a bit of nature and get fit. I got as far as Ham Wall Nature Reserve, only a couple of … Read more
A Tranquil Oasis in the Heart of the Somerset Countryside. James and Tara White got in touch to ask me to write about Old Oaks Touring and Glamping Park. I was curious, although the Park is at the foot of the Tor and less than 2.5 miles from Glastonbury Town centre, I had never visited. While … Read more
Glastonbury Fairy Community in Shock over New Legislation Fairies were known to the Victorians as elusive creatures, rapidly retreating to their home under Glastonbury Tor when spied by the curious. Apart from abducting the occasional sleeping swain or newborn babe, they shunned human company altogether. In recent years, the fey folk have abandoned their reclusive … Read more
Glastonbury High Street has a Magical Cocktail Bar – in Isabella May’s Foodie Fiction Writer Isabella May was brought up in Glastonbury, she now lives in Spain but sets some of her fiction in her old Somerset hometown. I came across her novels ‘The Cocktail Bar’ and ‘Oh! What a Pavlova’ whilst browsing Glastonbury authors … Read more
I recently received an email from Normal For Glastonbury reader David Taplin, he’s been visiting the town since he was a young hippy in the seventies. He’ll shortly be moving back this way – to Street this time. He sent me a fascinating and funny account of his time here and agreed to me sharing … Read more
I thought you’d enjoy a video and some photos of the magnificent May Day 2018 Celebrations in Glastonbury Town. The sun shone, there was ceremony, music and dancing, hugs and a picnic. Please share! Click on the photos to see larger versions. If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog please subscribe by email, ‘like’ the Normal for Glastonbury facebook page and contribute … Read more
I’d spent the afternoon in the Covenstead witchcraft-themed Bed and Breakfast in the delightful company of newly-wed Spiritualist mediums Jan and Ian, who I wrote about in my last post Mediums on Honeymoon in Glastonbury’s Pagan Bed & Breakfast . I assumed the rest of my day would be rather more prosaic as my next stop was Morrisons. After … Read more
I’m sat in bed with my morning coffee trying to think what to write about next for the blog, I’m about to go off on holiday for a week so I really want to get a post out beforehand. The pressure isn’t helping me to get inspired. I’d like an outside perspective on the town, … Read more
Perhaps I’m just a hipster in denial (except for my lack of a beard) but I love reclamation yards. They’re like charity shops for people with big houses and access to a flatbed truck. There is something thrilling about wandering around looking at all this stuff that used to have another life, and could now be … Read more
I love snow. We hardly ever seem to get it in Glastonbury, so when we do it’s even more special. I think the snow clouds tend to dump their load over the Mendips before they rarely get here. No matter how old I am I still get that ‘No School Today!’ elation when I open … Read more
Glastonbury based charity Children’s World has been bringing fun into the lives of children of all abilities since 1981. Virtually anyone who has grown up in the town since then will tell you how much they loved their yearly festivals and workshops. Children’s World is like the whole town’s wacky but kindly uncle. The sort … Read more
In this post I’d like to take you a little farther afield than Glastonbury (25.4 miles away to be exact), to a holy well in the Quantocks and the story of its restoration. It’s a tale of one woman’s passion, of romance and community. Glastonbury seems to attract people who are passionate about things. One … Read more
St Margaret’s Chapel and Almshouses – A Quiet Spot in Glastonbury Lots of people come to Glastonbury for the events and gatherings, when the town becomes even more vibrant and colourful and a wonderful place to meet up with old and new friends. Sometimes it can all get a bit noisy and overwhelming, as you … Read more
In November 2017 Bruce from Unique Publications posted a piece on his blog about a proposed plan to build a major road, bypassing Glastonbury, very close to the Tor. I would like to quote the points Bruce made which I feel are most revealing of the likely impact this would have on our town: “In … Read more
Saturday 13th January saw the launch of Glastonbury’s first Body Art event in the Assembly Rooms. Organised by The Facepainting Company’s Mel Broom and Glastonbury local Stephen Duross, the event was a fantastic success in every sense of the word. The theme ‘Myths, Legends and Mythical Creatures’ is perfect for a town which frequently hosts … Read more
Christmas is a time of little rituals, some public, others particular to individual families. Now we see most of them as traditions – giving gifts, feasting, bringing greenery and light into our homes at this the darkest time of the year. It seems likely that they all originated as rituals to celebrate the return of … Read more
Most of England woke up to a Winter Wonderland today – carpeted in a blanket of snow and ground to a halt. Glastonbury saw strong wind, torrential rain, and then some wet stuff that was not really rain, hail or snow but came down as a sort of drizzly slush and melted immediately upon landing. The 6 year … Read more
Frost Fayre is advertised as being when “Glastonbury’s Community comes together to Celebrate Peace and Goodwill to All at this Festive Time of the Year”. I’d say the organizers achieved this aim admirably this year, with sleigh bells on in fact. There is such a lovely, friendly atmosphere in town, so many visitors and so … Read more
Every weekend seems to be a celebration of something in Glastonbury – a Celtic fire festival, an Earth Mysteries Conference, a Hindu God’s birthday or the opening of another crystal shop. Many of these events see people spilling out onto the streets, and cluttering up the pavements in a generally colourful, often loud, sometimes freeform, … Read more
Samhain, the Celtic New Year, when the veil between the Worlds is thin, in Glastonbury it is the time for honouring our departed ancestors and loved ones. This is achieved through a public ritual of dressing up, dancing, drumming, and processing from Glastonbury’s Market Cross led by two huge dragons, one red one white, all … Read more
I recently published a post on the Normal For Glastonbury Facebook page about two Somerset Live articles on Glastonbury Market. The first on June 14th was titled “This is what is wrong with the Tuesday market in Glastonbury”, it appears to have since been deleted, the next (see it here), only a month later on … Read more
Glastonbury Festival always brings a few visitors to the town, many of them are crew and performers stopping by for a few days before heading off to their next event. It can be quite shocking coming back to the ‘real world’ after spending a week or more at Somerset’s most surreal and frenetic camping trip. Glastonbury Town acts like a decompression chamber, it’s got roads, supermarkets and flushing toilets, but no one’s likely to get too concerned if you’re still wearing a sarong and flip-flops and talking about the weird afternoon you’d had in Lost Horizons sauna watching a guy hanging upside down in a tree playing the guitar and singing Jolene. (This really happened see this YouTube video )
At least once a year I have the ‘Glastonbury Festival Dream’. It’s always incredibly vivid and I can generally recall it in detail after I wake up. Although the dream takes many forms it always has the same theme – I either can’t get to, or can’t get into, the festival. I’ve dreamt that I … Read more
I do my best to have my finger on Glastonbury’s pulse, especially when we gather together to celebrate the Celtic festivals to mark the times of transition between the seasons. But, even in Avalon, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned, I end up out of kilter, dislocated from the community. I missed Beltane … Read more
If you were young in the 1980’s, you might remember articles in teen magazines where they came across people in the street, who had their own unique style, photographed them and asked where they got their clothes. I had a secret dream that I would be spotted in my dull Midlands hometown, recognised as an … Read more
Early March and Glastonbury town centre is heaving – it’s the weekend of the Spring Faery Ball. I’m sat outside the Mocha Berry and I spy a dog wearing wings and a red tutu. Carl informs me that ‘the vicar’ (actually Diana, the Church of England’s ‘Avalon Pioneer Minister’) is in the Assembly Rooms wearing … Read more
I love living in Glastonbury, it may only be a small Somerset town but it’s got a rich and long history, a vibrant and colourful community (with many oddballs and eccentrics) numerous myths and stories of magic, King Arthur, early Christianity, plus it gave its name to one of the best music festivals in the … Read more
A couple of weeks ago I was making my way up the High Street on an exceedingly gray morning when I saw this in front of me: This chalk mandala, both beautiful and ephemeral, cheered me up considerably. I snapped a quick photo, and posted it up on the Normal For Glastonbury Facebook Page. Thanks to … Read more
My thoughts after chatting to Morgana I was feeling a bit overwhelmed after launching my blog – within 24 hours my first post ‘What’s Normal for Glastonbury?’ had been viewed by over a 1000 people, and reached 2000 within 48 hours. I was getting incredibly enthusiastic feedback on Facebook, friends were sharing it with their … Read more
What Glastonbury offers those who move here, or visit at length or frequently, from more anonymous towns all over the UK (and increasingly from all over the world), is an opportunity for reinvention. While ordinariness seems to be something to be striven for in other places here it is scorned. I don’t think there are many here who would describe themselves as say “Just a housewife”, here they become witches, artists, mystics, workshop leaders, Reiki masters, poets, permaculture gardeners, teachers, even bloggers. A hobby or a passion becomes a vocation.
Some people get confused when I say I live in Glastonbury, they associate the name purely with the Glastonbury Festival and don’t know that the town exists. Sometimes they ask ˜But I thought the festival wasn’t on yet? This is particularly odd when you are talking to them in December. They assume we all live … Read more
It’s an oft heard complaint that you can’t buy anything useful in Glastonbury. This is of course nonsense. What could be more functional than a mirror ball Ganesha? Who needs underwear when you can simply don a very long cloak? As Kim said to me earlier “I don’t actually want a cauldron, but it’s nice to know I could just pop into the High St and buy one if I did”.
I hope you find this Tourist Map informative and useful on your trip to Glastonbury Town.
I love Glastonbury, I’ve been visiting since the 8th of August 1988 (8/8/88 of course) and have lived here since July 1993. I’ve tried moving away, even emigrating, but I’ve been pulled back repeatedly – by the Glastonbury rubber band effect as it’s locally known. Glastonbury is an endlessly fascinating parade of engaging characters, mythology and history, interesting shops, and great musicians. Except on my less positive days when it’s shabby, shambolic and full of nutters trying to blag a quid.
Here’s a guest post from Glastonbury based writer and multimedia artist Matt Witt from www.wakeupscreaming.com Glastonbury is a place where I find great inspiration; it is to be credited, at least in part, for the conception of Wake up screaming, an online arts magazine that explores the links between creativity and self-development. I have lived … Read more