219km (136 miles) SW of London; 42km (26 miles) S of Bristol; 9.5km (6 miles) SW of Wells
Glastonbury may be one of the oldest inhabited sites in Britain. Excavations have revealed Iron Age lakeside villages on its periphery (some of the discoveries that were dug up can be seen in a little museum on High St.). After the destruction of its once-great abbey, the town lost prestige; today it is just a market town with a rich history. The ancient gatehouse entry to the abbey is a museum, and its principal exhibit is a scale model of the abbey and its community buildings as they stood in 1539, at the time of the Dissolution.
Where Arthurian myth once held sway, now exists a subculture of mystics, spiritualists, and hippies, all drawn to the kooky legends whirling around the town. Glastonbury is England's New Age center, where Christian spirituality blends with druidic beliefs. The average visitor arrives just to see the ruins and the monuments, but the streets are often filled with people trying to track down Jesus, if not Arthur and Lancelot.