Glastonbury is a world famous town in the heart of Somerset, steeped in myth and legend, full of natural beauty and lending its name to the nearby festival.
If you are planning a visit here’s a list of the town’s major ‘must-see’ attractions as well as some of the less well-known, but equally brilliant things you should do while you are here.
Whether you are a local visitor or travelling from afar, Glastonbury will have something to surprise, delight and possibly amuse you. We’ve also included some essential attractions from the village of Street, a very short distance from the town of Glastonbury as many visitors may want to combine activities from both places during your visit.
READ MORE: 11 places to go on a rainy day in Somerset
If you have a recommendation of your favourite place to visit in Somerset, share it with other readers and read their tips in the comments thread for this article.
1. Glastonbury Tor
It’s the town’s famous iconic landmark which is known around the world and has been a spiritual magnet for centuries, for both Pagans and Christians.
The Tor is mentioned in Celtic Mythology, particularly in myths linked to King Arthur, and has several other enduring mythological and spiritual associations.
The walk, although not for the faint-hearted, is well worth the effort when you reach the spectacular St Michael’s Tower and can enjoy the stunning 360-degree views.
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2. Glastonbury Abbey
This is a unique visitor attraction combining history, spirit and legend and since medieval times has held the legend that it is the burial place of King Arthur.
This beautiful abbey, now ruins, was founded in the 8th century, enlarged in the 10 th century, and then destroyed by a major fire in 1184. However it was rebuilt and by the 14th century was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England.
(Image: Wells Journal)
With legends abound, Glastonbury was said to be home to the earliest Christian foundation in Britain linked to Joseph of Arimathea. But the alleged tomb of the fabled King Arthur said to be on the abbey site is a popular draw for visitors with myth and magic running through its core.
3. The Chalice Well
An ancient well flowing with healing waters is a place where visitors can have time out and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful site.
This natural spring is surrounded by beautiful gardens and orchards and is situated at the foot of Glastonbury Tor. It is owned and managed by the Chalice Well Trust.
Visitors can still drink the water today which is believed to possess healing properties. The water flows through the garden and there is a small pool where you can paddle or bathe in the waters.
4. The Red Brick Building
Coming right up to date, this is a fabulous local facility buzzing with live events, community groups and classes (Covid depending).
Situated between Glastonbury and Street it is an exciting industrial style building which was formerly a sheepskin tannery.
The Red Brick Building on the A39 Street Road in Glastonbury
(Image: Mendip District Council)
It is a multi-purpose centre which hosts a vibrant mix of live music events, exhibitions, workshops, community events and youth activities ranging from yoga and jazz to art and photography exhibitions.
5. The Old Tannery Restaurant and Bar
This venue enjoys great ratings on TripAdvisor and Google. Situated on the ground floor of the Red Brick Building it is a relaxed and informal venue which prides itself on supporting and championing many local producers and suppliers, thereby contributing to the local economy.
With fresh and seasonal menus across breakfast, lunch and dinner, their bar also stocks a large range of exquisite cocktails and drinks.
6. Clarks Village
If you are after some retail therapy then look no further than Clarks Village in neighbouring Street which is home to a wealth of shopping outlet shops representing 90 different coveted brands.
Set in beautifully landscaped grounds it is a bargain hunter’s paradise with many items typically at 60 per cent off the RRP. There is also an adventure playpark for 2-14 yr olds and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and grab & go kiosks to take a quick break.
Clarks Village also host numerous events throughout the year, and this summer the children can take part in the Super Summer Hero Quest from July 23 to August 31 which is a superhero augmented reality trail.
Visitors can download a unique event app, find the 15 “artefacts” around the centre and scan the QR codes to bring to life your favourite fictional champions including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Thor, Iron Man and many more.
7. Greenbank Pool, Street
With the summer weather well and truly upon us many people would be hoping to dip their toes into the hugely popular Greenbank Outdoor Swimming Pool in Street, however the pandemic has meant it is to remain closed for the 2021 season.
An extensive upgrading and maintenance project is underway to update the 80-year-old pool which has been a family favourite for decades, so for those wanting an outdoor swim you will have to wait until 2022.
Greenbank Pool in Street
Instead you can try the Strode Swimming and Fitness Centre on Strode Road in Street which has two swimming pools, all the latest gym and fitness equipment and an extensive list of group exercise classes including yoga and Pilates.
8. Coffee Zero
Go for a CBD Coffee at Glastonbury – For those wanting a bit of a “kick” to their morning coffee they can now sit down and enjoy a CBD oil infused coffee at a new café in the town.
Customers at Coffee Zero on the High Street can now upgrade their drink to a CBD-infused version for just £1.50 extra.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabis plant extract which some believe can help conditions ranging from anxiety and depression to arthritis and heart disease.
After launching the product in April this year, the owners say they are considering offering CBD ice-cream if the demand is there.
9. RSPB Ham Wall Nature Reserve
For those wanting to get back to nature then take a visit to the RSPB Ham Wall Nature Reserve which is just 4km west of Glastonbury on the Somerset Levels.
Teeming with wildlife, with rare species like water voles and otters to magnificent birds like bitterns and kingfishers, visitors will enjoy some stunning scenery across the marshes towards Glastonbury Tor.
Although some of the areas may be closed to the public due to Covid restrictions there are numerous secluded pathways, nature trails and viewing points along with a play area, refreshments and toilet facilities.
10. Glastonbury Treasure trail
If you want a family-orientated activity for a few hours to keep the kids occupied while learning more about Glastonbury then have a go at The Glastonbury Treasure Trail.
The trail route will take around 2.5 hours to complete and invite you to solve clues set on existing buildings, statues and monuments to find the location of the “long lost treasure”.
The Goddess Parade on Glastonbury High Street in 2017
The trail can be instantly downloaded from the Treasure Trails website or sent to you in the post and the fun starts at the Glastonbury Tourist Information Centre on the High Street. Get the Glastonbury Treasure Trail from the Treasure Trails website.
11. Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza
The Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza will be making a glittering return on Saturday September 4 for its 25th anniversary with a headline performance from Van Morrison.
Also performing in the Abbey’s historic surroundings will be The Staves and the Glastonbury Male Voice Choir, and the evening will conclude in traditional fashion with a spectacular fireworks display.
The Extravaganza will be held in accordance with current Government guidelines at the time of the event and overnight options are also available at the camp site at the foot of Glastonbury Tor.
The Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza is put on by the Glastombury Festival Organisers as a thank you to locals and first started in 1996
12. Strode Theatre
The theatre in neighbouring Street is gearing up to start live performances once more with the relaxation of social distancing guidelines.
Strode Theatre encompasses two venues – a 343 seat theatre and a 64-seat studio – which is part of the Strode College campus and also has its own bar.
There is a varied programme of live shows, films and live screenings by satellite and the foyer is home to changing exhibitions of work by local and regional artists.
13. The Glastonbury Pilgrimage Walk
The walk from Wells Cathedral to Glastonbury Abbey is a wonderful way to see two historic Somerset landmarks and combine them with a beautiful scenic walk between the two towns.
The 8-mile route takes you from Wells to the foot of Glastonbury Tor via a mixture of waymarked footpaths and quiet country lanes, along flat paths until a small climb at the end.
From Wells Cathedral you can pick up the Monarch’s Way and follow it south towards Launcherley. Head west along the Long Drove before turning south to head through the countryside at the western outskirts of Glastonbury, passing the Abbey before climbing to the famous Tor for far-reaching views across the area.
14. Glastonbury Festival
No list of things to do in and around Glastonbury would be complete without mention of the world famous festival. As any local will point out the festival is not in Glastonbury, and is in fact held near the village of Pilton, about six miles to the east of Glastonbury.
The festival’s nearest town is actually Shepton Mallet, but when Michael Eavis decided to rename his Pilton Festival he wisely incorporated the more distant town with its mystical overtones. Regardless of the geography if someone asks if you have been to Glastonbury, they are most likely talking about the festival and for good reason.
It’s a mainstay of British popular culture and one of the country’s best known summer events.
View over the tipi field at Glastonbury Festival
(Image: 2010 Claire Greenway)
This international music festival, which takes place in the last week of June, was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020 but was cancelled for two years due to the national lockdown.
Held at Worthy Farm in Pilton, the last festival held in 2019 attracted over 200,000 visitors who enjoyed five days of music, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other arts.
Fingers crossed that the 2022 Glastonbury Festival will be one to remember!
15. Glastonbury’s High Street
The high street is a major tourist attraction for its wealth of speciality and gift shops. Spiritual, colourful, zany, weird and wonderful seems to sum up the majority of shops which offer everything from books, clothing and crystals to incense, musical instruments and many more mystical and mysterious items.
(Image: Jason Bryant)
The High Street is the venue for a number of spectacular parades – you may see a Goddess Parade or a Zombie Walk, and in the autumn, Glastonbury Carnival.
16. The unexpected
And finally…. many people visit Glastonbury to “find or see something random”. The town has its own tongue-in-cheek website called
Normalforglastonbury.uk which is a humorous and informative look at life in the town.
Renowned for its vibrant residents, many of whom lead colourful lifestyles, it has been dubbed “The Oddest Town in England” and many are lured by its laid-back and tolerant approach to the unconventional.