For most of my life, the famous Glastonbury Festival has been THE music festival of my dreams. No other festival has captured my imagination and excitement as much; I’ve watched countless videos of epic performances by Radiohead, singing along to Elbow and Oasis, to name a few.
And that was as much as I knew about Glastonbury. Until last year.
My sister suggested that I visit Glastonbury when I was backpacking through South England. Something told me to heed that advice, despite me not knowing much beyond the point that there was some sort of spring and something called the Tor on a hill somewhere in town.
Three visits and a year later, Glastonbury has turned into one of my favourite places on earth. I have come to discover how truly magickal it is and met people who have spoken to my heart – wanderers, creators, yogis, dancers, Priests and Priestesses.
It’s easy to be captivated by the tales and legends that abound in Glastonbury once you set your eyes upon the Tor
There is a sense of mystery and mysticism when it comes to this ancient Avalonian land. After all, this is said to be the very place King Arthur and his Knights came to in search of the legendary Holy Grail. It is also said to be the very place King Arthur and Queen Guivenere were buried. All mere stories, of course. But who doesn’t love stories?
So, it’s not surprising that a lot of what you discover in Glastonbury are tied back to these very tales, alongside tales of faeries, Lady of Glastonbury, King of The Faeries or Lord of The Wild Wood (depending on who you ask), Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathea.
This is a place very much part of the Pagan and Christian world. And so it was fascinating learning how these two practices existed (and still exists) and thrived in a small town. It almost seemed like there was always something to see or discover, something that caught your soul.
You can’t miss the Market Cross as you walk down the High Street
A landmark that is Grade II-listed and constructed back in the late 19th-century. This is where you’ll be able to just chill and take a break in between all the shopping (or healing) you’ve just done.
The Church of St. John the Baptist
It’s a beautiful Anglican parish church that deserves a visit. Once you step inside, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been transported back in time where life was much simpler. The church also has lovely grounds for the public to sit and enjoy their meals on a lovely summer’s day or even walk mindfully along a labyrinth.
Glastonbury Abbey may be in ruins now, but there is no denying its stunning grounds
Standing amongst so much history can only get you imagining how it must have been like as a Christian pilgrim seeing this impressive structure for the first time. The massive grounds are filled with stunning trees, an apple orchard and even a duck pond. Lots of space for solitude and contemplation, with some delicious scones and tea to accompany you after.
The serene Chalice Well Gardens is one for those who cherish their peace with a side dose of stunning nature
This World Peace Garden is famous for the holy Red Spring, said to represent the feminine energy. Its waters are high in iron, hence the reddish hue of the stones. One little sip is all you need to complete your prayers and meditation.
The Wellhead is the heart of Chalice Well Gardens
Here you can sit around the well to bask in its energy in meditation. The wrought-iron cover is a Vesica Piscis symbol that represents the union of heaven and earth and has become synonymous with Chalice Well.
Wearyall Hill is said to be the spot where Joseph of Arimathea arrived from Jerusalem with the Holy Grail
As he looked upon the Tor in the distance, he wearily put his staff down on the ground. And from there, sprouted the legendary Thorn Tree. In this photo, a Thorn tree that was sadly hacked down in the dead of night, is adorned with pagan offerings and spells.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of St. Margaret’s Chapel
Once entered, its serenity and energies will lift you instantly. The chapel and its corresponding almhouses were built in 1444 where it was initially used as a hospital and a place for the poor. It now stands in honour of Mary Magdalene and Lady Margaret of Scotland (who donated money to build Magdalene almhouses in England).
The stunning Goddess Hall
The Goddess Hall is an exquisite space that you are bound to fall in love with the moment you step inside. It is filled with gorgeous paintings of Goddesses and altars. It’s easy to see how you can get into the spirit of the feminine energies here when you’re attending classes such as Kundalini Yoga and Sacred Dance.
The mighty St. Michael’s Tor, also known as the legendary Isle of Avalon (yes, the Avalon of King Arthur’s legend)
It was originally a stone church built in the 14th century to replace the wooden church that was destroyed in an earthquake. Only the roofless tower remains and this is where locals and visitors alike hike up to for stunning views of Somerset and a spot of meditation and prayers.
The way to Avalon Orchard, at the foot of the Tor
No surprise that Avalon is very much affiliated with apples, hence all the wonderful cider coming out of Somerset. A beautiful spot to just sit amongst trees to rest, meditate and while away your time.
St. Michael’s Tor from the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey
No matter where you walk about Glastonbury, this magickal structure’s presence is well and truly felt. It’s no wonder that everyone hikes up to the Tor everyday, if only to connect with the energies it brings forth within us.
Glastonbury is one of those places that you can never truly explain to anyone. Some may see it as odd and full of strange traditions, some may see it as their soul space and some may just want to just visit the Abbey and eat some scones.
It doesn’t matter what you decide to do and how you would like to embrace Glastonbury because you can’t deny its beauty and charm, with a dose of magick on the side. If you choose to believe in it.