Travel Notes | Glastonbury, UK

Outside of Glastonbury Festival, not many even know about the actual town that sits 37km south of Bristol and has been inhabited since at least the Neolithic times, over 12,000 years ago. sure as hell didn't, and then one day in summer I found myself here.

Nowadays, outside the swelling of almost 300,000 visitors as they descend for the festival in the summer, the town remains oddly serene and hasn't yet consumed itself with greed. The New Age community thrives and has somehow kept the development sharks at bay, with ancient buildings scattered through the town intact and numerous small boutique shops, all independently owned, all still thriving. Glastonbury's character and genuine feel has remained the same. This is the kind of town Noosa should have become.

For what it is, Glastonbury is the Byron Bay of the northern hemisphere, without the posers. Walking down the main high street, the place is filled with candle shops, herbal healers, crystal vendors, sword smiths and apothecaries boasting to cure all and any ailments, numerous bookshops all specialising in the occult, and even the supermarkets here are independently owned, not a single chainstore or franchise in sight. How they managed to keep the likes of Costa and Starbucks away is an impressive feat in itself, but the ever-booming tourist industry keeps the place alive year-round.

Wherever you turn in this town, you'll find honey mead is sold just about everywhere. Grab a bottle and head to the Tor for sunset. No matter the time of year, the weird stillness on top of the hill that overlooks the town and the surrounding Somerset landscape, is worth a visit. On top of the Tor, sits an early Christian church ruin; St Michael's Tower. Which was no doubt built on top of a previous Pagan site, as neolithic tools were found on the Tor and it was just the Christian thing to do back in the day, forcibly remove, or kill, all prior religions and beliefs.

Then, once you've finished off the mead, seen the sunset, and probably pretty drunk at this point, find your way down from the Tor in the pitch black, you'll come across a well. Fill the empty mead bottle up from the White Spring, a so-called healing spring that flows through the Tor and out of a well, and you won't have a hangover the next day.