"Magical Avalon" Glastonbury by robine
Glastonbury Travel Guide: 139 reviews and 438 photos
We've just returned from an excellent weekend. I decided that we should take full advantage of what may turn out to be the last warm and sunny w/e of the late summer, and booked us into a medieval inn in Glastonbury. The town was splendid. Hanging baskets of flowers from virtually every building; the lovely and tranquil ruins of the Abbey; an excellent 15th C parish church; and,the place having been taken over by New Age folk, cauldrons and potions and broomsticks (really!) on sale everywhere.
There are, of course, lots of legends connecting the Vale of Avalon with Joseph of Arimathea (the great-uncle of Jesus, said to have brought his great-nephew there - ("And did those feet, in ancient time ..."), and to have planted a staff which turned into a still-flowering thorn-tree, and buried the Holy Grail near a holy well). And we saw in the Abbey the alleged grave site of King Arthur and Guinevere.
We also visited the Chalice Well (the "Grail site"), a very peaceful garden, and collected some of its waters. Then we climbed the Tor, a steep and tall pyramidical hill visible for miles around, topped by a 14th century church tower. Wonderful views!
Then, on our way back home, a stop in Wells, for its spectacular (even unique) Cathedral, with its second-oldest functioning clock in the world, and interesting 13th C. Bishop's Palace, protected by moat and walls, and swans who ring a bell when they want to be fed.. Altogether, very enjoyable.
We stayed in the "George and Pilgrims", excellently located in the centre of town. The hotel offered no great luxury, and was over-priced at £75, but I certainly don't regret the experience of staying in the wattle and daub former guest house of the Abbey, which has been putting up pilgrims for the last 540 years! It was also good to eat West Country pasties, washed down with cider.
Since returning, I've learnt from a website that the hotel is supposed to be one of the most haunted buildings in England! We saw nothing untoward, though.
- Pros:King Arthur, and the Holy Grail (maybe)
- Cons:Not accessible by train
- In a nutshell:History, myth and magic
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