Glastonbury Begins to Reopen After Lockdown

After three months of lockdown during the Covid 19 crisis, Glastonbury Town’s ‘non-essential’ shops were finally able to open their doors again today. I took a walk down the temporarily pedestrianized High Street to get some photos for you. There was a lovely atmosphere and it’s made me feel really excited for Glastonbury’s future.

My experience of lockdown wasn’t too bad at all, I’m really blessed, I even took the opportunity to publish a Normal For Glastonbury eBook, but today I spoke to more people in an hour on the High Street than I have in the last three months, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy human face to face contact. I feel more energized than I have in weeks this evening, like my batteries have been recharged. I can’t wait for the Town to be able to welcome visitors from further afield properly and safely again soon.

The High Street is closed to vehicles from the very top to just before the car park past the Abbey entrance in Magdalene Street. There were stewards manning the road closures, I noticed a few vehicles being allowed in – a builders van, a delivery truck, a taxi, it felt like things were being handled sensibly and people were behaving respectfully. The car parks are free for the duration of the social distancing measures I believe. More details are available on the Town Council website. Social distancing and hygiene measures were in evidence in every shop I went in, but it wasn’t oppressive or uncomfortable, it just felt respectful and kind.

Burns the Bread Social Distancing

Burns the Bread have been serving from the doorway for the last few weeks. I happen to know this lady doesn’t like her photograph taken, but she said she didn’t mind so much now she has a mask on. Guess there has to be some advantages!

Dilliway and Dilliway Glastonbury

Dilliway & Dilliway have taken the opportunity to spruce up the shop and rearrange it to facilitate social distancing.

Naqshistore Social Distancing Glastonbury

Naqshistore‘s customers were very pleased to see them reopen! It smells lovely in this shop, a real feast for the senses

Portal Glastonbury

Portal opened their doors a week before lockdown, only to have to close them again, so they were very happy to be able to welcome customers.

Kev Pearson Social Distancing

Kev Pearson has social distancing sussed, with a redesign that means you can easily see his wonderful gallery of photographs.

Mocha berry Social Distancing Glastonbury

The Mocha Berry are offering takeaway for customers to enjoy outside of the cafe. I took the opportunity to ask Ali for a soya latte as I have missed her special smiling face 😂😂😂

Dicketts Glastonbury Social Distancing

Dicketts are ready for customers for gifts, art supplies and stationery. I love their range of rude greetings cards.

Fairyland Aromatics are still keeping Glastonbury Colourful, it was lovely to go into their beautiful shop today.

Bicycles!

I’m a keen cyclist and I am loving the explosion of cycling in and around the town. Cyclists are allowed to use the pedestrianized area, I saw a tandem, electric bikes, bikes leaned up against shops, people doing their shopping on their bikes, families on bikes. I had a lovely chat with a Glastonbury local who had just been shopping in Sew Over the Moon, whose electric bicycle I was admiring. There are plans afoot to improve facilities in and around Glastonbury for cyclists, plus a very exciting plan for cycle paths, I’ll put a post together about these when I get more details.

Earthfare have been open throughout lockdown, with limits on numbers of people in the shop and social distancing measures in place. The Shaw Trust charity shop is open (I hear the RSPCA one was too, but I didn’t make it down there). Honestly, I cannot wait to get in there and get some bargains, I didn’t realise I was such an avid consumer until I was denied my regular fix of charity shop browsing.

Accessible Glastonbury?

It looked like there were less sandwich boards than usual, which I’m sure will be a blessing for wheelchair users. I’m interested to see how pedestrianization and social distancing works out for people with mobility issues. I’d been in the process of writing a piece on Accessible Glastonbury before the lockdown and had been disappointed to realise how inaccessible Glastonbury is.

Social Distancing Glastonbury

I’m hoping that the temporary measures being bought in to enable social distancing are accompanied by permanent measures that improve access to the Town for all. More news when I get it on this.

The benches haven’t found their way back onto the High Street yet.

New Normal For Glastonbury?

A couple of jokers asked me if I was renaming the blog ‘The New Normal For Glastonbury’. I certainly hope this virus is bought under control soon, I don’t want social distancing to become the ‘new normal’. I’ve missed hugging my friends (though the crisis has provided a useful opportunity to set firm boundaries with some people in town!) I’m missing parties, festivals and buskers – it did occur to me that in any normal situation the town would have marked such an important day with a street fair, music, a procession, a speech by the Mayor and the Town Crier’s shout.

Elestial Crystal Shop Glastonbury

When Will We be Welcoming Visitors?

Things still feel a little strange, the shops may be reopening but there is still a feeling that we don’t know the rules or the risks just yet and some are understandably concerned that an influx of visitors too soon may see a surge in cases locally. We’ve been very fortunate, Mendip, our local authority area, has seen very few cases and apparently there have been no deaths in Glastonbury (although I personally know several people in the town who have been very ill for a very long period with the virus).

I recognized most of the people in the town today, it didn’t appear to me that there were many visitors just yet, though I did chat to a couple of smiley chaps who’d come from Langport (only 13 miles away!) I got the feeling that we are just finding our feet, seeing how the pedestrianization and social distancing measures work, ready to properly start welcoming visitors from further afield once the accommodation providers are able to open up again. Looks like this will be July 4th at the earliest, probably starting with campsites and self contained accommodation, again I’ll do my best to keep you informed.

Not all of the shops are open, I think it will be a gradual process. The Goddess and the Green Man will be re-opening on Friday July 3rd, while the Heart of the Tribe Gallery have pushed their launch forward to later in the Summer.

Mandie Glastonbury Pedestrianization

I enjoyed seeing Mandie today, her great leggings reminded me that there are other clothing options besides pyjamas.

Pedestrianisation Social Distancing Glastonbury
Signs of the times

I always get asked what camera I use for the blog: all these shots were taken on a Huawei Mate P20 Pro Phone which I picked up secondhand from a local photographer, I’m absolutely delighted with it.

Enjoy this post? Buy the eBook ‘Normal For Glastonbury: Life in England’s Most Magical Town’

Join the We Are Normal For Glastonbury membership site, for exclusive content, a comprehensive guide to making the most of your visit to the town, a personalized membership certificate, discounts from Glastonbury businesses, a members’ forum and blog page where you can post your own writing and photos. You’ll also be supporting me to carry on writing about and photographing Glastonbury Town and its wonderful creative community. Membership is only £20 a year. Click here to find out more: We Are Normal For Glastonbury.

You can also subscribe to Normal For Glastonbury by email, ‘like’ the Normal for Glastonbury facebook page, share my blog and facebook posts (this is really important – it’s how I reach more readers!). See my Hire Me’ page if you’d like to pay me to help you with your own projects. Find out more about how to support this blog,

This post was not sponsored. Would you like to commission and sponsor me to write an article about what you do, for Normal For Glastonbury? You’d be reaching thousands of readers who love the Town. Please click here for more information.

24 thoughts on “Glastonbury Begins to Reopen After Lockdown”

    • Hi Louise, The Abbey started welcoming back locals with yearly membership cards on June 3rd. When I walked past today I thought there was a notice up saying you could pay £5 to get in, but i wasn’t paying much attention. I just looked on their website and they haven’t updated it. I think if you are coming from somewhere close by you should be able to get in there, but I wouldn’t recommend travelling to the town for the moment. I’ve heard nothing from Chalice Well yet as to when they will be opening. It’s frustrating as even though I’m in the town I don’t get to hear much!

      Reply
    • I can’t wait to be free to travel from Wales when we are allowed Cross the boarder and come back to Glastonbury and my granddaughter is especially excited. To be free to climb The Tor and enjoy all the shops and be enchanted by Glastonbury magic.

      Reply
  1. Hi
    Do you know whether the herb stall which is part of the Tuesday market will be re opening soon?
    Thanks!
    Jo

    Reply
  2. Great stuff; this is all excellent (at least so far!). For as long as I can remember there has been discussion in Glastonbury over pedestrianising the High Street, or at least part of it. I visited a squat in the Assembly Rooms about fifty years ago which was itself a protest against the demolition of the Rooms so that a delivery road could be built in order to facilitate shutting the High Street to traffic, and the controversy has continued ever since. I feel there’s no question that a pedestrianised High Street would enhance and benefit the town enormously (despite raising other issues), and it’s my hope this might just be a way into that idea as permanent. You’re right about the Abbey, I believe it’s still members only, there’s a one-way system and the Abbot’s Kitchen has yet, as far as I know, to open at all; and the Chalice Well are undergoing a little restructuring (I think nothing terribly dramatic as far as the public are concerned), most of which is still under discussion, but almost certainly won’t be open for a few weeks yet. Looking forward to that drink with you some time soon! XX

    Reply
  3. Very encoraging to see, best of luck to all the business and shop owners after such a difficult time. Hope to return to this special place in future when the time is right.

    Reply
  4. Ive been eager to hear when Glastonbury will be returning to normality! I live in london but visit regularly- its a second home!! i usually camp at paddington farm – any idea when the campsites will be up and running abain? i think 4th july….:-)

    Reply
    • I’m not sure about Paddington Farm specifically, but I think there campsites are generally planning to open as soon as the government give the go-ahead. I’ll share information on the Facebook page when I see it.

      Reply
    • I’m not sure about Paddington Farm specifically, but I think there campsites are generally planning to open as soon as the government give the go-ahead. I’ll share information on the Facebook page when I see it.

      Reply
  5. Thank you for keeping us updated. Very helpful for those of us who are shielding and are not allowed to check things out for ourselves yet.

    Reply
  6. Apart for the Post Office being shut where I needed to buy a birthday card for someone, none of the places closed have affected me at all. The places I use are the food shops and they have been open all along, plus I sometimes use Proper Job, and likewise that has not been a problem. It has made me realise just how useless all these colourful alternative shops are. They are for tourists – not the locals. Even the food in the Co op is becoming orientated to the weird freaks we have visit us rather than the normal food we are accustomed to. I do miss the Truckle of Cheese though and once there was an excellent surplus shop at the top of the high street. It is now some charity shop of no relevance at all. I tend to shop online far more now.

    Reply
    • Though of course it’s the tourists (tut tut, now, Andrew; they’re “pilgrims”) that keep Glastonbury so vibrantly alive; and I’m not really sure what the “normal” food “we” are accustomed to might be, to be honest, as I tend to see Earthfare as vendors of normal food. It seems a shame that you apparently don’t enjoy a regular gentle wander around the Abbey Grounds or Chalice Well Gardens (season tickets are remarkably cheap for both) or watching the antics of the “weird freaks” whilst sipping a glass of wine or beer in our friendly pubs, enjoy some of the excellent live music in our various venues or the deliciously cool quietness of our churches and chapels, themselves rich with history and myth. Glastonbury shops themselves are generally staffed and run by charming people, too, so come on, Andrew, why not take a deep breath and support your town with a smile and a couple of quid usefully spent here and there? If we happen to meet I promise to buy you a drink!

      Reply
  7. Hi do you live at Glastonbury when it’s not on? And do you get free tickets because you live their? Do you have to get permission from the farmer as I would like to live there? Do you live in caravans or can you put up a bender or wigwam? Also I heard that soy latte has a high estrogen content an will this stop me from getting impregnated, how many can you drink each day if I wanted to have a baby in the near future.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: