Glastonbury Festival.…the alternatives

It’s got to be Glasto!

Come the third week in June, hundreds of music lovers will be flocking to Worthy Farm in Somerset.  There’s always a great line up at the Glastonbury festival and it’s a memorable occasion to be a part of.

But, if you’re gigged out while you’re there, or you didn’t get a ticket and you’re still wanting to be around the festival location, here’s our alternative guide to what to do in the area.

Walk/run/crawl up Glastonbury Tor

Rising over 500ft from the surrounding Somerset Levels, this will certainly get your heart pumping, but the views from the top are certainly worth the effort.  The iconic Tor can be seen for miles around and sometimes, with a low lying mist, it appears to be transformed into an island, popping up through a tranquil sea.  It’s one of the most spiritual places in the country and has been for over 1000 years – it’s also possibly the site of the Holy Grail and the Avalon of Arthurian legend.

Eat cake & learn to bake

Glastonbury is central to the baking empire of Burns The Bread!  Maybe not a name to inspire confidence in your baker, but this is a mecca of all things perfection in the bread and pastry line.  Having won awards for Baker of the Year, Young Baker of the Year, plus an MBE for the considerable amount of charitable work his bakery sustains, Bob Burns and his team are worth a visit.  Of their 6 shops, 2 are in Glastonbury, selling the most delicious of pastries, cakes and an astonishing array of bread.  They now have their own bread making school and for a full day, this charming baker will guide you, until you leave at the end of the day with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and skills that you can really put into practice.

Going underground

Incredibly, man was living in and around these caves at Wookey Hole 50,000 years ago.  Archaeologists have discovered the bones of ancient mammoths, with some bears & rhinos thrown in for good measure. Since the early 1900’s visitors have gradually been discovering the caves and now you can explore these stunningly beautiful underground chambers without fear of being chased by a bear!

New for 2017 is recently opened chamber 20, taking you deeper into the biggest caving network in the UK. This new chamber was previously only accessible to divers and has been made possible by a £2 million investment to blast through 1000 tonnes of rock creating a tunnel to the biggest chamber in the system.  You’ll get to see its stunning rock formations and spectacular underground lake.  If all this inspires the inner adventurer in you, there’s also a new caving experience for the brave, involving 3 hours of abseiling, caving & crawling around the caving network with a guide.

Shop, shop, shop

There’s never, not a time for some retail therapy, is there?  So skip along to Clarke’s village factory outlet where you’ll enjoy some great bargains from dozens of top name brands.  It’s built beside the site of the Clarke’s shoe factory and there’s a very interesting museum showing the history of this Quaker business that’s still going strong.

It’s only a 20 drive from Glastonbury festival, so you could pop over for a few hours or make a day of it.  There are plenty of restaurants on site to choose from, amusements for children and loads of parking!

 

Glastonbury and the Somerset Levels are a fascinating area to visit and even if you can’t pull yourself away from the music at Worthy Farm, maybe think about extending your trip or coming back another time.  You’ll be well rewarded.