Outside of festival season, most travelers opt to visit Glastonbury on a day trip from London. Day tours can be combined with other southwest England attractions such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge, Cheddar Gorge, or the Avebury stone circle. Glastonbury’s star attraction is medieval Glastonbury Abbey, founded in the seventh century and allegedly the burial site of King Arthur. Additional highlights include the 525-foot-high (160-meter-high) sacred hill of Glastonbury Tor, home to the ruins of St. Michael’s Church; the ancient Chalice Well; and the fascinating Somerset Rural Life Museum.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Glastonbury is easy to get around on foot, and most attractions are within easy walking distance.
Glastonbury is a great place to shop with numerous independent boutiques, artisan workshops, and art galleries.
Active types won’t want to miss the hike to the top of Glastonbury Tor—a trek of about 1 hour 45 minutes with spectacular views over the countryside.
How to Get There
Glastonbury is located in Somerset in southwest England, approximately 130 miles (209 kilometers) west of London, a 3.5-hour drive. Trains from London Paddington run to Bristol, from where you can take a bus to Glastonbury (a total journey time of up to four hours). National Express have daily buses from London to Glastonbury (around four hours). To visit on a day trip, rent a car or join a tour.
When to Get There
Held most years, the Glastonbury Festival usually takes place at the end of June and draws huge crowds—if you’re not attending the festival, it’s best to avoid visiting at this time. There’s plenty going on in town all year round, especially during the summer months and over Christmas. Time your visit for a Tuesday to attend the town’s popular markets.
One of the world’s most legendary music festivals, the Glastonbury Festival was founded by Michael Eavis in 1970 and fast became one of England’s most important cultural events. The five-day festival features bands and artists from a wide range of genres, as well as theater, dance, comedy, and other performing arts, and various areas devoted to alternative and hippie culture. Up to 200,000 revelers attend the festival, and headliners have included Paul McCartney, Beyoncé, Foo Fighters, the Rolling Stones, and Kanye West.
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