Glastonbury Abbey Guide

Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset

Glastonbury Abbey is located in the famous and ancient market town of Glastonbury. While the festival here is world renowned the Abbey ruins here are a hidden gem offering visitors with an inspiring sight at a place full brimming with history and heritage. Dating back many centuries to Saxon times the ruins of the Abbey offer visitors the chance to see a grand heritage site with a rich and interesting history.

Attractions


Glastonbury Abbey is located in Somerset and although it is not as well known to tourists as the festival is, the site offers fans of heritage attractions with an enjoyable day out. There are many visitors that come to the Abbey from around the world, to see the ruins of what was at one time probably the greatest Abbey in England. The Abbey is set in peaceful and idyllic surroundings of the Somerset countryside in 36 acres of parkland.

For visitors, there are costumed guides from March to October that recount the many interesting stories, tales and legends of the Abbey. During the spring and in winter the park is witness to a range of wonderful flora including daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops. The autumn is a time when visitors can see a range of colours on the trees in the park.

The name Glastonbury evokes thoughts of legends and myths; the legend according to some is that King Arthur is buried here! In the Middle Ages the Abbey was the richest in England and they built an Inn which is still around all those years later.

Ancient Myth proclaims that Avalon, where the sea met the land became the meeting place of the dead. Becoming the point where they passed to another level of existence. The Tor is said to have been the home of Gwyn ap Nudd, the Lord of the Underworld and a place where the fairy folk lived.

The Abbey Gatehouse provides entrance to the Abbey that was first built in the 14th century and restored in the 19th century. There is a museum close by that shows visitors what life during the middle ages would have been like here. The first building visitors will see here is St Mary's Chapel, notable for its renowned architectural details and design.

The Abbot's Kitchen is probably the best known area of the Abbey with its unusual shape; it was originally part of the Abbot's House. On the grounds are the supposed burial places for both King Arthur and Queen Guinivere, it was here it is claimed monks founds bones beneath an engraved stone back in the 12th century.

The ruins of the great church and the Lady Chapel are Grade I listed buildings emphasising their historical, architectural and religious importance. The grounds of the Abbey give visitors a sense of peace and tranquilly and along with the range of attractions Glastonbury and the surroundings areas have to offer mean this is a place well worth visiting for tourists.


How to Get There


The site is accessible by both car and public transport.

By Car:

The distance from London is approx 110 miles with a journey time of approx 2 hours 10 minutes.

Directions:

From the M5: Exit at Junction 23 and follow the signs to Glastonbury.

From the M4: Exit the M4 at junction 18 (A46) and follow the signs to Bath. Then take the A367 towards Shepton Mallet and finally the A361 to Glastonbury.

From the M3: Exit the M3 at Junction 8 (A303), drive until the B3151 (with signs to Glastonbury) and follow the signs to Glastonbury.

Parking is available at St Dunstan's car park close to the Abbey, there are a number of other car parks in the area and close to the town. The car parks are pay and display and drivers should check the instructions carefully.

By Train:

The closest train station to Glastonbury is Castle Cary, the station is on the London Paddington to Plymouth line. From the station visitors can get a taxi to the abbey.

Alternative routes include going to Bristol Temple Meads, Bath and Taunton stations where public buses are available to take you close to the site.

By Bus:

First Group provides visitors with local bus services to Glastonbury. The route number 376 from Bristol and the number 29 from Taunton provide access for visitors to the site.

Contact Details


Glastonbury Abbey
The Abbey Gatehouse
Magdalene Street
Glastonbury
Somerset
BA6 9EL

Telephone: +44 (0)1458 832267

Fax: +44 (0)1458 836117

email: info@glastonburyabbey.com

Website: Glastonbury Abbey

Facilities & Information


Opening Times:

Open every day except Christmas Day

Mon to Sun: 09.30/10.00 to 16.30/18.00 approx (varies depending on time of year, in general the longer opening hours are for summer and the shorter ones for winter).

Note: Last entry is half an hour before closing time.

There are a range of opening times for the house, safari park and other attractions depending on the time of year, it is best to fully check timings before you go.


Further Information:

Admission Prices:

Adult: £5 approx, Children: £3 approx, Concessions: £4.50 approx, Family Ticket: £15 approx

Note: The passport ticket allows visitors to come again to see any of the attractions they may have missed on one trip (each attraction can be seen once only), allowing more flexibility.


Facilities:

Visitors can picnic within the surrounding park (but not within the confines of the Abbey Church).

From the start of May until the end of September there is an outdoor Cafe where visitors can enjoy drinks and refreshments both hot and cold, ice creams, cakes and snacks such as sandwiches.

There is wheelchair access for the majority of the site.

Map



View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: Glastonbury Abbey Map

Tips & Other Considerations


There may be some variations on the opening hours depending on the time of year and other factors. It is wise to double check before going to ensure the attraction you wish to see is open and avoid disappointment.

Always remain alert, vigilant and aware of your belongings at all times. Keep valuables i.e. your wallet/purse hidden away from public view. If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to the Abbey ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Check the traffic information & updates before travelling.

If you are travelling by public transport, check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time.




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