Glastonbury and the area around it (Avalon) has been rich in ancient folklore, religious legends and mystical mysteries since long before its ground-breaking music festival made it world famous. Jesus, no less, is said to have visited the area, six miles south of Wells, and King Arthur might be buried here. Let’s not forget the Holy Grail, which may have also this way passed.
Legend also has it that Glastonbury Abbey was the first Christian sanctuary in Britain and was established, or at least visited, by Joseph of Arimathea. Many believe that the thorn tree that can be seen in its grounds was originally his staff. What’s more certain is that a Celtic monastery was founded here in the fifth century and, some 500 years later, Glastonbury Abbey was greatest and richest abbey in the country. Tragically, the monastery was destroyed by fire in 1184. What’s left is now Grade II listed and set in open parkland with a duck pond. It makes a great spot for picnics and is an oasis of quiet in the centre of town.
Tel: 01458 832 267. www.glastonburyabbey.com