Historic Glastonbury Abbey and Cheddar Gorge - the home of cheddar cheese

Glastonbury Travel Blog

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Glastonbury Abbey

Mark this as a historic visit. The one thing I love about the UK trips is that I not only enjoy the fresh outdoors but also get a free and valuble history lesson in the process. Upto a few years ago, Glastonbury was where rock acts would stage concerts and I had a very hip musicy impression of the place. But no longer... due to shortage of time, the only place we could visit is the Abbey itself, we didn't get time to visit the Tor, but this was enriching enough.

Glastonbury is one of the oldest inhabited sites of Britain. Infact, it goes as back as the Iron Age. And after the Abbey was pulled down, the town was relegated to a state of "market town". But the most interesting thing about this town is how well the myths merge - you have the religious pilgrims coming in search of Jesus, the history buffs looking for Arthur and Lancelot, and the tourists coming to see the ruins in which once stood the magnificent community of Glastonbury.

There are so many legends associated with this place: Joseph, a saint of Christianity (to my knowledge, not the Joseph of "Mary and Joseph") is said to have arrived with the Holy Grail and buried it by the Tor of Glastonbury. Other legends insist that King Arthur and his wife (forgot the woman's name) were buried here. As I said, the "anti climax" of this is it's just ruins now. But the legend and the age of this town makes it and its residents proud enough of the town.

Our walk around the Abbey ruins was interesting. I must admit, it was *just* a bunch of ruins, although if you know the history behind it, it's very impressive. They had everything! Including the ruins of a community hall and a kitchen. The weather was excellent and sunny and kind of warm.

We finished the Abbey by about 3pm, and headed for a quick cuppa before heading to our final stop of the day.

Cheddar Gorge - the books don't really talk about this place that much, and despite the hype I've seen on some forums, I don't think it really impressed me that much. Or maybe I was just tired! Cheddar, the village and home of cheddar cheese lies on the foothills of the Cheddar Gorge within which lie the Cheddar Caves that have very old and impressive formations. I had two issues that day - for 1 thing, my dad was really looking forward to seeing the cheese factory. Their last tour however was at 4pm and we arrived at 420pm. So I guess that shot down that! He was rather disappointed.

The next is that for me, the town itself looked like a very cheap amusement park.

Kind of reminded me of the ones you saw in the 80s in the US. It has all these rock climbing attractions, a hideously coloured tourist bus, the works. It's so loud and garrish it kind of covers up the grandness of the natural gorge and the formations. Also, all tea rooms close by 5pm and the dinner rsnts open around 7pm. So if you were looking for a cup of tea in this gap, ummm.... keep looking! You're not going to get any!

So we got back into the car around 6pm and headed back to Bath. The drive back was a difficult one with lots of traffic and all, and we finally reached the B&B around 8pm. Got dinner packed from the same oily Bangladeshi rsnt we used the previous night, and had dinner in our bedroom. Slept around 11pm after I finished finalising the route for the next day - our drive back to London!

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Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey
The Tor
The Tor
View of Glastonbury as we drove ou…
View of Glastonbury as we drove o…
Cheddar Gorge Cheese company
Cheddar Gorge Cheese company
Name the flavour - you got it!
Name the flavour - you got it!
View of Cheddar Gorge
View of Cheddar Gorge
Glastonbury
photo by: Vikram