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Glastonbury Abbey and Tor, United Kingdom

cover photo by Timk2  

Location added by Timk2

Rank : 8.0 (average on 1 votes)

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Coordinates : 51.145161, -2.698338 (Open in Google Maps)

Subjects : One thousand years before the millions now familiar with Glastonbury Festival (which is actually held at Pilton, a few kms east from Glastonbury itself), the area that became Glastonbury Abbey and its nearby hilltop, known locally as a Tor, was a major spiritual meeting point, steeped in Pagan folklore. From the 7th Century, Christianity became the religion and Glastonbury Abbey, which are now impressive ruins, is all that is left of one of the most powerful monasteries in the country, at the time.Folklore has it that King Arthur visited and the Holy Grail has a very strong connection with Glastonbury.The Tor, with its Tower is quite a climb but as the surrounding area is predominantly very flat (and is so near to zero metres above sea level - known as the Somerset Levels) that it floods badly every winter. The views are amazing.The town of Glastonbury itself is a lovely - if crowded during the summer, especially during the Music Festival nearby - typically west of England old place full of charm and cottages and so is very much worth starting your day out from here. No doubt there is plenty of flora and fauna to photograph also.

Recommended equipment : The Abbey is a paid visitor attraction so tripods are most probably not allowed but use gear that you'd normally use for large outdoor ruins - wideangle through to picking out architectural details.

Best months : The Abbey is open all year round but knowing the English weather, it's best to visit when it's not freezing and raining!The Tor is accessible at all times but the footpaths up can be very steep (muddy/slippery in winter) and the winds really can be very strong, so the above is applicable here too.But I would definitely avoid both during the peak summer months, for reasons of tourist congestion.

How to get there : Glastonbury is not easy to get to. It's impossible without a car and it's quite a long drive from the nearest big towns such as Bath. Best access looks to be from the M5 motorway south of Bristol, then the A39 from junction 23.When the Music Festival is running, the nearest railway station quite a large distance away at Castle Cary (on the London to Exeter line), I understand runs coaches for the revellers attending to get to the site, but which as I wrote earlier, is a few kms short of Glastonbury itself. When in Glastonbury, there is a pay carpark in the centre and the Abbey access is right in the centre and the Tor is within an easily walkable distance.

Visits : Glastonbury Abbey is open from 9.00 to 16.00 (winter), staying on until 20.00 in the summer months.Entrance is around £7 (5 Eu). http://www.glastonburyabbey.com/index.php?sid=aa6d2154b2fe214b4b205d7848a536b4 (Official website)The Tor and the Tower is under stewardship of the National Trust and is free to access but there are NO facilities at all, no toilets or refreshments.Wells Cathedral (20km?) could be visited also and is one of the finest of England's cathedrals.Cheddar Gorge and Caves likewise.

Notes :


Sunrise: 05:57, Sunset: 20:20

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Photos taken at Glastonbury Abbey and Tor

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The "Stairway" up to Glastonbury Tor
by Timk2
34 comments, 1913 views  [retina]
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by Timk2
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21 comments, 1818 views  [retina]
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