When we flew from Malaga to Bristol we had a few days without any decent internet connection, so several stories are still waiting to go to air …. this one amongst them. I know you don’t mind looking back almost a month to the rainy morning we walked up Glastonbury Tor. It was a bit of a shock to come from the heat of southern Spain to cold and rainy England, so we dressed in multiple layers, with our goretex over the top, and set off with helpful instructions from our B&B hostess.
We drove along narrow hedged roads, through picturesque stone and thatch villages, and found the car park in Glastonbury marked for the Tor walk. I had to study each British coin I put into the meter, having no idea yet which was which. Then we followed discrete signage to find the track. If it had not been raining I would have taken many more photos!
As it was I quickly slipped the camera out of its bulky case, sheltered it with my body, snapped and tucked it away again. As soon as we started on the path dog walkers became apparent. There are no pics of them. Old and young, with dogs of various sizes and shapes, passed by, nodding a friendly greeting. Some had their brollies, others their jackets, all had boots, and I was wishing for a pair of wellies too.
The Tor did seem far away, but we had all morning. Fields on either side of the track glistened with rain, cows munching stolidly gave us a passing glance, horses in their blankets did not even bother. We passed through a gate, stepping carefully to avoid puddles, then another, and a stile. Here we found an informative notice directing us on towards the historic monument. It gives you the picture!Through this gate we entered a beautiful sheep field, where ewes and lambs sought shelter beneath overhanging trees, or curled themselves into neat little shapes in the grass looking just a little plaintive.
It was worth risking rain on the camera!
Next we met a man coming down the Tor with a Golden Labrador retriever, looking for his other dog who had bounded off into the trees. He advised us to avoid treading on the timber edges of steps set into the grass, saying they were particularly slippery. Later when we were coming down we met him coming up again, still searching for the dog, calling loudly, and looking rather exasperated!
St Michael’s Tower stands on top of the Tor, which is 158m high and offers magnificent views of the Somerset Levels, Dorset, Wiltshire and Wales (in fine weather). Remains of buildings on the site stretch back to the Saxon and early medieval period, when legend links the Tor known as Ynys Wydryn with King Arthur and Avalon. At this time the plain was flooded, with the Tor becoming an island at high tide. I was reading an Arthurian saga, Legacy at the time, so all this was very interesting. Was this the mysterious Island of Avalon?
A howling wind contrived to freeze us completely on the top, so we huddled in the lee of the tower before setting off down the slope once more. We were both wondering if a cafe would be open by now, where we could find something warm and sustaining!
We met another clutch of dog walkers, yummy mummies who had dropped their children at school and set off together for the walk up and down the Tor with their pooches, as they do most mornings. They complained that there were not as many of them this morning, but then perhaps the rain had put some off. I began to realise that locals walked up the Tor the same way we walk on our beach every day, but their climb was definitely more aerobic than our gentle seaside stroll.
It seemed the weather was clearing, but not for long, the camera was soon tucked away again. A quick reconnoitre of the town revealed a very strong New Age community, reflected even in the labyrinth constructed in the church grounds.
I am sure I could have found some very special things in these fascinating shops, but I was simply not shopping.
We retreated to the cafe, all whole foods, local, free-trade, and delicious, I even tried a hot apple juice drink that was perfect for the rainy morning. Having quite a drive ahead of us we found the loos out the back, then skipped off to the car park and went south to meet Gilly!
This walk is for RestlessJo, so pop over and add your walk, or take another warmer walk with someone else, after all it is Monday! Click on the logo to learn more.
37 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday Walk : Glastonbury Tor”
Looks like it was an interesting walk…bit damp though.
our jackets were dripping but we stayed dry inside 🙂
Fab fotos of beautiful Britain!
The damp walk is what is mostly experienced by the locals isn’t it? I have heard that it rains quite a bit in that part of the world. You managed to take some beautiful pictures in spite of the rain.
thanks Colline, the locals all had the right footwear, they are used to it!
Very beautiful and tranquil! Love the photos of the castle, sheep, and church!
I really enjoyed the English countryside, rain and all, such classical views 🙂
I really enjoyed this walk in the rain, and the misty feel of the photos. With your photos and words, you make every place you go seem worth visiting.
thanks Meg … are you feeling any better? I am, and we even had a slow walk along the beach in bright hot sunshine … trying to sort out our phone which has been put for a month apparently, and won’t be back until 18th July!!! Luckily we have internet 🙂
Christine, I enjoyed this walk with you and the sheep, the way one does the movies – that damp cold English weather just doesn’t appeal right now! 🙂
It would have been crazy full up there this weekend! Lovely to see pics of Glasto through your eyes, I must pay a visit this summer. I don’t remember the climb being too far but I guess I was younger then 🙂 Apparently the south west average annual rainfall is about 800mm – well worth it for our lush green landscape, even if I do prefer hot sunshine!
just looked up ours .. 951mm … but we get really big dumps of rain, like days of rain, then dry and sunny for ages …
Stating the obvious, it looks so beautifully English 🙂
England can be so ugly in the builtup areas, but oh so beautiful in the classic old villages and lanes 🙂
conosco questa zona e devo dire che l’hai magnificamente rappresentata nelle tue favolose immagini!
I know this area and I have to say that you have magnificently represented in your fabulous pictures!
thanks so much Ventis, glad you have been there too, I would have liked to take better pictures but your appreciation encourages me!
A very commendable effort in the rain and cold. I think you would have found me curled up with the sheep or hiding in the cafe. 😀 I haven’t read Mary Stewart for years but what a great choice for your travels.
A friend recommended her books to me, and it seemed meant to be that I read as I travelled through her landscapes, those far-off times sometimes appearing like tempting ghosts on the green hills …
It’s great to be able to match reading with travel. Well, I say it is great but I am only imagining it must be because I rarely manage to be that coordinated when I travel.
it seemed to happen accidentally Gallivanta … I was surprised how it fitted!
Bless you, darlin- I’m right at home here! Thank you so much 🙂
Having said that, I’ve never yet been to Glastonbury so thanks for dragging me along, grumbling in the rain.
It’s sunny here today, and I’m off out with my merry band in a few minutes. So happy you’ve recovered enough to post this.
hope you enjoyed your walk in the sun Jo!
I did! Fitting them in around Wimbledon this week (and you know what that means 🙂 the wet stuff!)
one more thing Jo, have you linked your logo to your rules page? I did it on my site but you could do it too then when others use it people can click through to your site … for example I think this is what Jake does …
I can beleive that the tor was once naturally moated given the awful winter of floods that Somerset had this year. For an in and out with the camera walk you caught the feel of the place without the droves of New Agers – fortunate indeed.
good point Laura, we were quite early too, but I guess the wet weather kept other visitors away … unlike last weekend or whenever the big festival was held!
Enjoyed the amble through such idyllic English countryside Christine, rain and all. The shot of the sheltering sheep looks like a post card 🙂
Hope you are completely recovered from the Paris flu.
Hi Madhu, yes thanks, we were both out and about today and feeling almost up to strength … fine sunny weather here is a big help! Thanks for your appreciation of the sheep shot, they are picturesque little things aren’t they?
What a lovely walk with you this afternoon. I have never been to Glastonbury Tor so it was nice to see it through your eyes. I guess it is a bit mad around that area today as everyone makes their way home from the festival. (BTW the logo doesn’t link to Jo’s rules)
Glad you are feeling much better!
thanks for the tip about Jo’s logo … I have fixed that now but should let Jo know to link it to her page … we had such a short time in England but managed to see some wonderful places!
Interesting and beautiful despite the weather! It was a lovely walk…and I’m not feeling the dampness 🙂
your footwear was up to the job then Tiny! 😉
The sheep seem to be enjoying their rambles too, despite the weather!
they must be used to it!
What a lovely atmospheric walk…..the weather is changeable this time of year….but that’s what gives us those lush green fields 🙂
ciao amica Cristina, ti avevo detto che sarei tornata a guardare i post che mi erano rimasti indietro, lo so che non risponderai al pc, ma forse da lassù mi puoi vedere e sorridi
ti voglio bene, cara