A long-weekend in Somerset and Wiltshire
Collected by Chris Ciolli , AFAR Local Expert
Only a few hours from London, visit Somerset and Wiltshire. Here rolling green farmland is scattered with stone circles, ancient monuments and holy wells. Quaint old towns in Glastonbury and Wells reveal witchy shops, medieval streets and historic churches.
Magdalene St, Glastonbury BA6 9EL, UK
Wander the lush green grounds at Glastonbury Abbey. Tradition holds that this was Britain's first Christian abbey, visited by St. Patrick himself, and the final resting place for King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. Guided tours with
Chalice Well Trust, 85-89 Chilkwell St, Glastonbury BA6 8DD, UK
Follow the path of red-tinged iron-rich waters through the peaceful gardens at Chalice Well, one of the most ancient wells in Britain. Sip some of the well's legendary healing waters at the Lion's Head or sign up for a guided meditation or a...
The Courtyard, 2-4 High St, Glastonbury BA6 9DU, UK
In this charming shop in Glastonbury's popular courtyard shopping area, browse mystically themed jewelry and art, and the shop's specialty, crystal pocket angels. They'll even make a one-off design just for you or someone you care about.
2-4 High St, Glastonbury BA6 9DU, UK
Take off your shoes, and take a a quiet moment to reflect, meditate or pray in this temple dedicated to the goddess. There are books, cards, and incense for sale to support the temple, which is staffed by volunteer guardians called Melissas....
High St, Glastonbury BA6 9DR, UK
Find your way to the center of the classical seven circuit grass labyrinth built in 2007 to celebrate three hundred years from the official town charter of Glastonbury. While you're in the area, have a look inside the Church of St. John the...
Glastonbury BA6 8BG, UK
Make your way to the top of this prominent peak for sweeping views of Glastonbury and surrounding areas. Theories abound about the still-visible terracing along the hill--some claim it must have been a maze built for ritual or spiritual purposes....
52 High St, Glastonbury BA6 9DY, UK
Sit down for a foamy coffee with a freshly made pastry, or fill up on seasonal local and international fare made from locally-sourced organic ingredients. Vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options are available as well as ethically sourced meat...
Glastonbury BA6, UK
Hacked down by vandals in 2010, Glastonbury's Holy Thorn has a 2,000 year religious heritage---it's believed to have been brought to Glastonbury by Joseph of Arimathea who legend has it traveled to Wearyall Hill after Christ was crucified. Once...
Wells BA5, UK
Take a turn around Well's iconic cathedral before heading inside to scope out one of the best collections of 14th century stained glass in Europe, and the Wells Clock, the second oldest clock mechanism in Britain. Don't miss the unique octagonal...
2-4 High St, Glastonbury BA6 9DU, UK
Relax with a book or a magazine and learn about wide-ranging topics in the areas of mysticism, neopaganism, and more in the library's public reading room, housed in an ancient building formerly known as the Bridget Chapel. The dragon out front is...
Avebury, Marlborough SN8 1RE, UK
Lace up your best walking shoes--you'll need them at Avebury. This Neolithic henge and stone circle is so massive that it encompasses the village of Avebury and surrounding farmland. While locals destroyed many of the standing stones for religious...
86A High St, Glastonbury BA6 9DZ, UK
Have a look around in one of the quirkiest chocolate shops you'll ever visit. In this shop, the chocolatier is known as an alchemical artist, and the focus is on raw chocolate as a healing substance. The shop also sells cakes, medicinal mushrooms,...
Beau St, Bath BA1 1QY, UK
Recently making its grand debut in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath, England, The Gainsborough Bath Spa is the only hotel in all of the UK to house a natural thermal spa. Built in the 1800's and with a rich history, this gorgeous Leading...