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.

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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.

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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

What’s Normal for Glastonbury?

Glastonbury High St Broomsticks

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.

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Tourist Disinformation – A Bit of a Rant

Surely there aren’t two Glastonbury towns in England?

The local Tourist Information office likes to pretend that Glastonbury is a small market town with an historic abbey in it. They don’t like to acknowledge that most of Glastonbury’s tourists come here for the weirdness, Glastonbury Tor, crystal and magic shops, vegetarian cafes, etc. In fact they avoid mentioning any of this wherever possible. They don’t like putting posters up for local events that are at all alternative. Or advertising local B&Bs that might cater to anyone looking for anything quirky and original.

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