A Fool’s Journey to Glastonbury

Rumpel in Glastonbury Town

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 Horizon’s sauna watching a guy hanging upside down in a tree playing the guitar and singing Jolene. (This really happened see this YouTube video )

Read more

Real Faeries, some Goths, and a bloke in armour

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

Tor’s Tour of the Tor – Glastonbury Legends

Tor on Wearyall Hill, Glastonbury.
Tor on Wearyall Hill, Glastonbury.

Wearyall Hill

November the 1st, a cold snap in the air and the mists of Avalon lay thickly around as we climbed Wearyall Hill to the remains of the Holy Thorn. Tor Webster had invited me along to check out ‘Tor’s Tour of the Tor’. I was accompanying a lady from San Francisco who was on Tor’s week long guided tour. Tor is such a great Glastonbury character that I knew there would be material for the blog, and besides, he’d promised me a free lunch.

Read more

The Rifleman’s Arms – A Proper Glastonbury Pub

Exterior. The Rifleman's Arms, Glastonbury. Photo by Vicki Steward

The Rifleman’s Arms in Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury, is a proper pub. It’s the pub I measure all other pubs against, if there’s a Platonic Ideal of Pubs then the Rifle’s, as it is affectionately known, is it.  I first drank in there when I came to the town for the 8.8.88 Free Festival on the Tor, and when I moved to Glastonbury in 1993 it became my ‘local’. The pub has buckets of atmosphere with its dimly lit, low ceilinged 16th Century front bar, stone mullioned window frames, old wooden tables and roaring log fires in Winter.

Read more

Glastonbury Town Medieval Pilgrims Map

Glastonbury Town Medieval Map

While rummaging in Daisy May’s secondhand shop I was very excited to find a dusty old vellum scroll secreted under some old mattresses, upon unrolling it I discovered it to be an ancient map of Glastonbury, which bore an uncommon resemblance to my own ‘Glastonbury Town Tourist Map’. It’s remarkable to see how little the … Read more