What’s so special about the Town on the Ley Lines?
Glastonbury. A word which conjures up the most iconic of images: a mammoth music festival frequented by celebrities in their version of ‘tents’, the goddess-like Tor guarding the ancient isle of Avalon, crystals and incense, faeries and steampunk top hats, mud and wellies…
Why then doesn’t this very unique place feature more often in fiction?
It’s something I pondered long and hard before writing my debut novel, ‘Oh! What a Pavlova’, and I still don’t have an answer. Yet this truly one-off destination has so much to offer the literary and film world (go on Paramount Pictures… you know you want to!). And that’s why I just had to give it a starring role in my book. In fact, I don’t think there could be a better backdrop to a story.
So without further ado, I present to you MY 5 Best Things about Glastonbury. And yes, I am qualified… I did live there… for a rather long time!
1: Glastonbury is… quirky
You’ll be hard pushed to find another melting pot of so many different walks of life. Glasto is one of those few places in the UK that everyone feels they own a little piece of. It just is. From locals (townies) to those escaping city life, tourists to hippies, festival-goers to the famous, and goddesses to pagans.
2: Glastonbury is… magical
Myths and legends abound here. Forget J.K Rowling and the Harry Potter studio tour. In Glastonbury every twist and turn reveals the mystical and the unexpected. Be it the wonder that is the Tor (and the never-ending hearsay as to why she was built), Arthur’s burial site, the story of the Holy Thorn, the tale of the spiritual trees, Gog and Magog… or indeed the treasure troves that are the Harry Potter-esque shops (the kind of places where you truly do feel like you are in a potion shop with witches and wizards), Glastonbury will blow your mind.
3: Glastonbury is… full of contrast
One moment you are approaching this iced gem that is Somerset’s jewel in the crown via The Levels and the pale fringed, willowy banks of the River Brue, and the next you are witnessing Ed Sheeran busking impromptu outside the gates of St John’s church in the High Street. Another moment you are eating fish and chips in undoubtedly THE BEST fish and chip shop in the world, and half an hour later you can be at The Chalice Well, reveling in its holy water and wonder.
4: Glastonbury is… freedom
Nobody bats an eyelid here, quite frankly, if you feel the need to dress up as your favourite comic book super hero and strut your stuff far and wide. Glastonbury takes liberty to a whole new level. Which could also be why she and her outskirts attracts Nick Cage, Johnny Depp – and the ilk – in their quest for a life incognito.
5: Glastonbury is… inspirational
Forget St. Ives or any of the other eponymous centres for art and excellence. This little epicentre in the West Country is the real cauldron for creativity! Why? Because just about any scenario you can conjure up would be plausible here, making it a piece of the Rainbow’s End Cafe’s luscious carrot cake for you to pen that story/write those song lyrics/unleash that poem locked within.
What’s YOUR best thing about Glastonbury?