Greenacre Place, Touring Caravan Park and Holiday Cottage, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset

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Where to go and what to do in Somerset - Glastonbury

Glastonbury today is a centre for religious tourism and pilgrimage. Strains of mysticism and paganism co-exist, not always easily, with followers of its Christian heritage. As with many towns of similar size, the centre is not as thriving as it once was but Glastonbury supports a remarkable number of pagan or Alternative shops, often featuring magical items prominently among their wares. The outskirts of the town boast a DIY shop and the slow redevelopment of a former sheepskin and slipper factory site, once owned by Morlands. Although the redevelopment has been slow, clearance of the site has begun with a dramatic change to its appearance.

The ruins of the abbey are open to visitors; the abbey had a violent end during the Dissolution and the buildings were progressively destroyed as their stones were removed for use in local building work. The remains of the Abbot's Kitchen (a grade I listed building) and the Lady Chapel are particularly well-preserved. Not far away is situated the Somerset Rural Life Museum, which includes the restored Abbey Barn. Other points of interest include St. John's Church, the Chalice Well, and the historic George and Pilgrims Inn, built to accommodate visitors to the Abbey.

The walk up the Tor to the distinctive tower at the summit (the partially restored remains of an old church) is rewarded by vistas of the Mid-Somerset area including the Levels, drained marshland. From there, 150m above sea level, it is easy to appreciate how Glastonbury was once an island and, in the winter, the surrounding moors are often flooded, giving that appearance once more.


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