8 of the best things to do in Glastonbury

We have all heard about Glastonbury and its famous festival that takes place here each summer, but how many of us do know anything about this small town? I have visited Glastonbury this spring and I was surprised to find a charming little place with a very strong character and a lot of magic surrounding it.

The first thing I have to tell you is that the Glastonbury festival doesn’t really take place in the village but in a field near Pilton, a town almost 8 miles away.


Second, Glastonbury is a place like no other in the United Kingdom. Once you step into Glastonbury town you will feel and see that this is a place of pilgrimage and sanctuary where people come to search their inner peace. I have traveled a lot into spiritual countries, like Peru and India, and it was a bit strange to see this entire community transposed into a town in Somerset.


However, for such a tiny town, Glastonbury has a lot to offer and often a day trip won’t be enough to experience it all.


Where to stay in Glastonbury?

If you are on a budget, you can choose to stay at the local Travelodge or at the Premier Inn. Prices start at £40/night at the Travelodge (check the latest prices here) or at £50/night at the Premier Inn (check the latest prices here). My preference is Premier Inn, especially that sometimes they have promotions where you can book a double room for only £35 and they always guarantee a good night sleep because of the great comfy beds and isolated windows.

If you are looking for a more traditional countryside accommodation option, you can always choose Wessex Hotel (check the latest rates here).


1. Hike to the Glastonbury Tor

You can see the Tor of Glastonbury Town rising at the horizon miles before you are approaching the town, on the road. The Tor is a steep hill on top of which there is the roofless tower of St Michael. It is believed that the tower was part of a church that collapsed during an earthquake in 1275 but archeologists haven’t found yet many information about its history. The Tor is mentioned in the Celtic mythology, in the tales related to King Arthur. Legends also say that the Glastonbury Tor might be one of the possible locations of the Holy Grail and that it is supposed to be the gateway to the “Land of the Dead”, Avalon.


In the past, the Tor was actually an island, surrounded by a shallow sea. Mythology says that the Tor is actually the sacred island of Avalon, where King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are buried. It is not known when this place has become sacred.


It is quite a challenge to climb the 500 feet steep hill but once there, the panorama over Somerset is worth the effort. Inside the tower, when I was there, there was a woman singing and telling stories about the Tor. She wasn’t employed by anyone to do this, it was her own will to interact with tourists and tell them her version of the story.  The tower is very small and has two stone benches facing each other inside. There is no roof on top and it has a simple stone architecture, with a few windows on top through which the rays of light come in.


There is no admission fee to visit the Tor.


2. Visit the Chalice Well and Gardens in Glastonbury Town


The Gardens where the Chalice Well is nested are a place of both beauty and meditation. Because I was there in spring I got the chance to witness the trees heaped with white and pink flowers and the carpet of yellow daffodils along each side of the path. The garden is designed like a small labyrinth through which the spring water flows from the well down to the small fountains at the bottom. The atmosphere in the Gardens is very peaceful, mostly because people are keeping quiet in order not to disturb the ones who choose to meditate. The Chalice Well is at the high end of the Gardens. Visitors usually gather and sit around it, in silence.


The Chalice Well is believed to be holly because the water temperature never varies and it flows at a steady rate. Pilgrims believe that the water from the well represents the blood of Christ, as the Christian mythology marks this place the one where Joseph washed the cup used at the Last Supper in. The color of the water is reddish, because of the iron oxide deposits, fact which have led to naming the water The Red Spring.

The admission to the Gardens is £4.20 and it is open every day between 10AM-6PM in summer and 10AM – 4PM in winter.



3. Visit The White Spring

We have almost missed the White Spring if it wasn’t for our curiosity to check an old industrial building out, after we came back from a short hike. An open metal door leads down a pair of stairs into the darkness of an ex waterworks building’s basement. Once our eyes have adjusted to the darkness, we noticed that the entire space was filled with water coming from different directions, alongside shrines on which candles were burning giving a warm, orange light.

We walked towards the back of the building and found a big stone pool into which the water was flowing from a hole in the wall above it. I had a chat with the woman at the entrance, a volunteer, and she told me about the mysticism of the spring. It is believed that the spring is “alive” and sometimes “moody”, but also pilgrims believe that it has the power to heal souls. She said that many people come to the spring with an object belonging to a memory that left a scar in their souls and that they want to let go of. They set the object on one of the shrines, lit a candle, drink a sip of water and pray to heal their souls. And then, they just let go. With a smile on her face, she recalled how many people leave the White Spring with hope in their eyes.

The entrance to the White Spring is free and mobile phones/cameras are not allowed.


4.  Visit the The Glastonbury Experience Courtyard

No matter if you are into witchy stuff or not, you have to visit the Glastonbury Experience Courtyard. Once you enter the narrow corridor, you are stepping out from our world and enter one full of magic and spirituality. The shops here are selling different stones, crystals, candles, potions, cauldrons, even brooms! In the main courtyard there is a beautiful coffee shop guarded by the white statue of a lady with her dog. Upstairs, you will find the The Glastonbury Goddess Temple which unfortunately was just closing down when we arrived there.


Stepping further, though an uneven white passage, with crystals embedded in the walls, we found the Library of Avalon with its mighty dragon guarding it. This is the only public access esoteric library in the country, housing a collection of over 15000 books.


You will also find in the Courtyard shamans and tarot readers, and you can even take part in a Mystery School if you fancy.


The access to the Experience Courtyard is free.


5. Shopping in Glastonbury Town

If you are always looking for quirky things to buy, Glastonbury Town is the perfect place to do it. Every shop is unique here, each with it’s own personality. The sellers are very friendly and helpful, laid back and happy. The shopping experience here is more like the one in an Indian market or a Turkish bazaar. The clothes are colorful and unique and the variety of different witchery products and crystals is amazing.


I had to buy something so I ended up with a blue toy devil. 🙂



6. Hike in Glastonbury 

England is such a beautiful country with a lot of hiking trails, and Glastonbury has it’s own 3 miles circular walk around the town, starting from the Tor. The walk is pretty easy but muddy if it rained recently. There are a couple of steeper hills to climb which offer beautiful view of the area when you reach the top.


Even if the weather was good when I was there, I did find parts of the path challenging due to the slippery mud. I would recommend you to bring some food with you and enjoy an ad-hoc picnic in the company of lambs.


7. Have tea and cakes at cute cafes in Glastonbury Town

You can’t leave Glastonbury without having a home made cake and a cup of tea in one of the quirky cafes along side the High Street. Because the town is such a spiritual place, most of the cafes will have organic cakes and healthy lunch options. We chose to sit down and relax after the walk at Cafe Zero, where we almost took a nap upstairs, on their comfy couches. We had raspberry cake and a good old pot of English tea with milk.



8. Walk around and enjoy Glastonbury town

We did not only stick to the centre of Glastonbury but explored the side streets also. We found beautiful houses with colorful gardens in front. We also found adorable crooked houses, where no wall was the same as the other, but which contribute to the atmosphere of the place. There is something unique to discover at every corner and here, houses seem to have their own personality.




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Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.


  1. The place is really beautiful and I like that you can do a lot of walking here, it’s always so relaxing to be able to walk around the neighborhood and just enjoy the lovely sights. I wouldn’t mind staying here and just get away from all the stress in the city!

  2. Joanna,

    Glastonbury is like frozen in time, isn’t it? When I think about UK, there are two things that comes to mind – the modern city of London and the castles of the middle ages (is that right)? This town is closer to the ancient than the modern.

    Architecturally, it is so beautiful. Beyond the town itself, the fields must be prettier than what the photos show. Of all the places you have featured, I super like Cuba and now this place.

  3. The photos and the culture seems like it came out of a good old movie or even a fairy tale. 🙂 Ever heard of Howl’s Moving Castle? It’s a lot like that. I love your previous post on the art of Shoreditch but Glastonbury, UK is the paradise for dreamers and lovers of the middle ages like me. <3 Magnificent!

  4. That photo of Glastonbury Tor looks astounding. I’d love to check that place out if I get the chance! The architecture of the houses looks awesome too. They’re so photogenic. I’d surely enjoy taking a stroll around the town with my camera.

  5. I went to Glastonbury years ago and remember it as being one street full of ethnic and New Age shops. It sounds much better than I remember, it must have improved greatly, you have made me want to go back!

  6. Glastonbury looks like a lovely town! I would definitely climb the Glastonbury Tor. It indeed looks like quite a challenge. But at same time a beautiful walk with nice views. I love your pictures. And shopping i always great. Love the chocaholic sign :).

  7. This is such a lovely place. Thank you for touring me this. I love the shops by the way and the fields. Oh I want to run to them right now.

  8. I love Glastonbury and it’s not far from where I live really. My favourite thing is the Frost Fayre in December each year. I can’t believe I’ve never ventured in to the Glastonbury Experience Courtyard though. I definitely will on my next visit having read this post!

  9. I have something for medieval things and this is super crazy! All what I like is there, super beautiful, unique and beautiful.

    What an amazing place I want to be at the Glastonbury Tor just chilling for a while 🙂

  10. This is why I love travel blogs – they encourage you to look at places differently to how you otherwise would! I didn’t really know anything about Glastonbury other than the festival, but it looks like a really cute town with lots of history and things to do outdoors. Love the chocoholics parking too haha 🙂
    lily kate x

  11. Glastonbury sounds like such a beautiful place to visit, so much to do and so quint too. I would love to visit one day and experience all this myself

  12. Isn’t Glastonbury beautiful, the chalice well and gardens has been on my bucket list for a long time so I am glad that someone else appreciates its beauty!

  13. Glastonbury looks perfect for anyone who is into fantasy, like me! I would love to visit the library with the dragon outside. I don’t believe in magic, but I enjoy reading about it so I’d like the little shops too. The pictures are very charming!

  14. Glastonbury seems to have a strange mystical aura that you have captured so vividly in your pictures. I am particularly fascinated by the Tor. Reading your post and looking at the pictures brought back old memories of the book King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

  15. I need to visit the United Kingdom… (finally!!! ) The Glastonbury Tor looks like a very nice place for photo shooting. It looks like a very nice place to explore.
    Need to try the English tea with milk. ;-)) Thanks for sharing these all tips with us!

  16. Visiting England is still in my bucket list. My sister-in-law has been inviting us ever since she was granted citizenship. I often tell her that I like it better her because I can’t survive just seeing greens and old castles. But seeing your photos of Glastonbury somehow changed my mind. It’s so beautiful and serene.

  17. This is actually the first time I’m hearing of Glastonbury but what a nice town! I love little, off the beaten path places like this. So quaint and lovely.

  18. I actually have never heard of this festival that takes place here every year, so I am happy to read that first paragraph in your post! I think I would really enjoy the Chalice Well and Gardens!

  19. I really had now idea what is there to see in Glastonbury until I read your post. The place is so beautiful and is rich with history and culture as well. I would love to see that library in person!

  20. Glastonbury seems so lovely! Would love to travel there. My favourite thing is to walk around the city and explore it with my family/friends.

  21. It’s so nice to see UK comes with different beautiful places and this 8 things to do in Glastonbury is definitely a good guide!

  22. this is actually my first time to hear about Glastonbury but based on the pictures you show, this is absolutely a kind of place that you can easily fall in love with… the grassland looks really relaxing as it seems like very unspoiled compare to those common tourist destination

  23. Great post Joanna. I didn’t realise there were so many things to do in Glastonbury. It looks like you’d need at least a week to take in everything you’ve mentioned. The Library of Avalon, dragons and shamans sounds fascinating. This is definitely a place I’d put on my list for my next visit to the UK.

  24. This is really a great introduction to what Glastonbury can be seen rather than just. the festival. It looks peaceful, and the scenery of Glastonbury Tor and the surrounds is breathtaking!

  25. This was a great read! I learned so much I had not know about this magical place. Yes, I had heard about Glastonbury but not in too much detail and did not realise what a great experience one could actually have there. Now, it is definitely a place I want to see.

  26. I’ve never been but its defintiely something I’d love to see. I went to a similar place on Saturday but in Essex that had a castle on top of a hill too. So cute 🙂


  27. Dear Joanna,
    This place looks liking coming out from some fairy tale book. Someone should sponsor me to Glastonbury. Europe is fascinating anyways. Hmm..Holy well for cleaner soul..sounds easy. And, mostly the witchy store is the most intriguing.
    Have missed some time with myself. Would love to walk with nature..Your blog post speaks!

  28. I totally agree! Glastonbury is like no other place in the UK. Looking through the pictures, I’m loving the old world feel of the place. I think places nowadays are too modernized and it’s always a pleasant to find these places that somehow defied modernization.

  29. I was going to say that indeed the town must be magical to find a sunny day in the UK, but as the post was going by it all came back to the England I remember and love hehehe. This town seems indeed very very nice. I have never heard of the festival there, sorry, but the town seems quite cute. I think that the Chalice Well and Gardens part of your post was my favourite, though I am missing a picture from the white spring (google maybe, I read no cameras there!). Anyway, thanks for discovering this little town to me =)

  30. good story and well crafted photos! That well reminds me of something… its like it has a secret of giving you more youth in your life, hahaaha such a fantasy 🙂

  31. I would love to visit Glastonbury someday and hike along its trails. And maybe look for a stable where I could rent a horse so I could go riding across those lovely meadows. Bucket listed!

  32. I love this! This guide has made me fallen in love with this town, your beautiful pictures and commentary make me want to hop on the next plane there! Definetly going on my bucket list!

  33. Thank you for posting about Glastonbury! I will be visiting the United Kingdom in the fall and really wanted to find places to see/visit.

  34. The view looks very relaxing! Also the photo of the tower looks like from the Game of Thrones specifically the Tower of Joy. hhehe.

  35. Your pictures are so good! I think the first thing I’d do is climb the Glastonbury Tor and pretend that I’m an actress on Game of Thrones defending my fort 😛

  36. OMG. Glastonbury is seriously beautiful!! The place looks so picturesque and peaceful. The Glastonbury Tor and Garden kinda gives me Lord Of The Ring Feels… I guess it’s the greens? Haha. Anyways, thank you for sharing. I’m putting this on my bucketlist <3

  37. I’ve only been to Glastonbury once. That was two years ago and I was volunteering in a coffee stand in exchange for free entrance and camping on the festival 🙂 I haven’t been back since then but I really hope to one day. I wanted to visit Glastonbury itself but with the big amount of festival visitors I decided to do that at another moment in the year when things got quiet again. It looks beautiful there and I’m quite drawn to it’s mysteries and legends! Thanks to your article I know now where to go and what to visit whenever my road leads me to England again 🙂

  38. I love how your pictures seem to capture the daily essence and not just some sightseeing. Great way to really feel like you’re getting to know the place.

  39. I had heard of Glastonbury before, its a few hours from Manchester. I was thinking of planning a trip for my grad party. This is the perfect place to go to. Hope I have enough in a months time to book the tickets and arrange for accommodation. 🙂

  40. Actually no, I don’t think we’re all heard of Glastonbury and its festival (I have no clue), so it’s a good thing you’re writing about it. You make the city look rather charming.

  41. I would love to visit the UK some day. This looks like it would be an amazing place to start for a first visit!

  42. I always say that the British countryside is always so recognizable! there’s something about the houses and the buildings and the greenery that scream UK. Glastonbury really does look like a place where you can find your inner peace. So calm and pretty! Your photos are amazing!

  43. UK! Actually I’m gonna visit UK next year to celebrate my 19th birthday! Can’t wait to visit this too soon! Awesome photos by the way

  44. When I read the post title “8 Things To Do In Glastonbury” I first thought, “other than the festival?” So I love that your opening sentence addresses this point exactly. It is a great festival, but also looks like an amazing town as well! I will need to explore further the next time I am in the area! Thank you for opening up my eyes 🙂

  45. For a good part of my adolescence and who am I kidding, adult hood!… I was obsessed with Arthurian history, I read so many books about Avalon & Arthur’s court. I so so so want to visit Glastonbury, especially to climb to the Tor and the White Spring.

  46. Small town make such great destinations, especially when they are packed with so much to do. That garden sounds so pretty. I bet I could spend hours there!

  47. Glastonbury looks so fascinating and intriguing like to visit one has to walk back in time. Chalice Well and Gardens looks so tranquil and peaceful and the shopping quirky things in Glastonbury Experience Courtyard should be kind of experience.

  48. Glastonbury is definitely fascinating. Interesting that the festival doesn’t actually take place there. I can picture myself walking around the village. It certainly looks like a lovely town.

  49. Glastonbury looks like a perfect relaxing getaway in your post and trusts me, I didn’t know that it’s so beautiful! Have put it on my bucket list!

  50. For all I know it’s a town with the music festival and so thanks. It’s nice to know what to see and do in Glastonbury besides going to the music festival!

  51. Chocaholic parking only … hahahaha that is so hilarious! And what?! Those toys locked in a telephone booth!!!!
    Thank you for discovering Glastonbury to me! This is definitely my type of place: it looks authentic, there not many tourists and a lot of unique locations for shootings.

  52. Glastonbury – I had never heard of this place before. So this post was a perfect introduction for me of this beautiful little place. This sounds so different from most of UK’s quaint little villages. Enjoyed reading this a lot

  53. Wow…that is a fun place indeed. Myths of King Arthur and the Chalice well are good enough for me to head there. Add to that the bonus of lovely springs and good food. A very well written article with lovely pics – thanks for sharing this.

  54. Indeed, besides the festival, the name Glastonbury didn’t tell me much. However, after reading your post I can see it has major charm and is definitely worth a visit. I’m just going to go and add this to my never-ending travel wishlist :).

  55. I actually haven’t heard about glastonbury but it looks like a nice place. all these vintage-ish pictures makes me want to pack my bags and go. Adding up the festival, im sure this is vacation to remember. 😀

  56. I am in love…damn that place looks as magicalas I always thought it would be…so on my list now…I love places where you still can feel the old history and fairy tales lingering =)

  57. We went to Glastonbury earlier this year and I still need to write my blog post about it. It’s funny when we said we were going to Glastonbury all people could think of was the festival. But there is so much more to see. Our favourite however was the cathedral

  58. If only I can visit this place. Too bad, I’m on the other side of the world. But definitely will keep this in mind, who knows! hehe And thank you for featuring this, at least even just thru your site, I was able to “envision” visiting it. 🙂

  59. I have always associated Glastonbury with the festival and until you mentioned it, I had never thought of the town itself. How crazy that the festival is 8 miles away, and that there is so much more to the town. Such an interesting post!

  60. I think that you forgot Glastonbury Music Festival!!!
    Despite the mud and having to wear wellies I had another wonderful weekend at the festival, in 2016.
    I saw sixteen bands in three days. These included ELO, MUSE, COLDPLAY and ADELE plus many more all who were just as good in their own setting. Eight main venues and twice as many smaller ones. My recommendation is explore and see bands and artists on the smaller stands that you may never of heard of ( many are superb and I have never seen a bad one) saving the big locations for the bands you just must see. Of course it is camping and very basic but with 180,000 people sharing the facilities it is like you expect.

    1. I didn’t forget the festival, I did mention it. But the festival actually takes place 8 miles away and I was showing what else it is to do in Glastonbury besides it. I would actually have loved to take part this year, to see Adele and Coldplay but unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to get a ticket 🙂

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