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West Country Itinerary days 6-9 Print E-mail

Cothay Manor - Chalice Well Gardens - Glastonbury Tor - Glastonbury Abbey - Roman Baths at Bath - Wells Cathedral - Lacock 


Day Six

After a leisurely breakfast, we say our goodbyes to Cornwall and leave Boscastle to drive to Glastonbury, place of pilgrimage, myth and legend.  On our way to Glastonbury, we will spend a few hours visiting the stunningly beautiful Cothay Manor regarded as the finest small medieval manor house in England where we will have lunch and enjoy a private guided tour of the house as well as exploring its beautiful gardens.  We will have the afternoon free in Glastonbury.

Day Seven

Our guest guide for the day will be Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at Bristol University and a leading international authority on the Arthurian myths and ancient and medieval paganism and magic.  Ronald will take us to the legendary Glastonbury Tor, the romantic ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, the beautiful Chalice Well Gardens and fascinate us with tales of history, myth and magic

Glastonbury Tor is a conical hill with the medieval tower of St Michael on its summit.  With its mysterious terraces, the Tor is associated with many myths and legends. Some believe it is an entrance to the Land of the Faeries.  Walking to the top of the Tor allows for wonderful views over the town of Glastonbury and across the Summerland Meadows. The Abbey in Glastonbury is the site of one of the greatest monasteries in Britain dissolved during the reign of Henry VIII.  Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea obtained the Holy Grail of the Last Supper and brought it to Glastonbury burying it near the Tor on Chalice Hill.  Another legend says that the monastery is the burial site of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere.

Located at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, the Chalice Well is believed to be one of the oldest continuously used holy wells in Britain.  Located in the most beautiful and tranquil gardens, the Well is actually a spring whose waters rise up in a stone shaft believed to be over 800 years old. The symbol on the Well’s cover represents the union of heaven and earth, spirit and matter, conscious and unconscious, masculine and feminine

In the early evening, a ritual with guided meditation will be held in the Chalice Well Gardens.

Day Eight

We will get an early start and travel to Bath to visit the Roman Baths, one of the most impressive Roman sites anywhere. Sacred to the ancient Celtic people, the hot springs were dedicated to the Goddess Sulis and, following the Roman occupation, the Romans built a temple around the springs dedicating it to their Goddess, Minerva. The site also contains a wonderful museum. There will be time to see other places in Bath including the magnificent Bath Abbey, the famous Royal Crescent of Georgian houses, its beautiful parks and gardens and lovely shopping streets. You may even wish to bathe in the hot spring waters at the newly completed Thermae Bath Spa.

Before returning to Glastonbury, we will stop at the lovely town of Wells which takes its name from the many wells and springs in the area.  Wells Cathedral is one of the most beautiful in England and we will time our visit to coincide with the Evensong ceremony, an uplifting experience for those who may wish to attend.  The Cathedral is adjacent to the 800 year old Bishop's Palace complete with moat and swans and certainly worth a visit.  It is also nearby the Vicar's Close which is regarded as one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe.

Day Nine

You will have most of the day free to explore Glastonbury. You may wish to visit the Temple of the Goddess or the Temple of the White Spring for some quiet time or see the Lake Village Museum which has a wonderful collection of exhibits excavated from an ancient Celtic village close to Glastonbury. The town also has an extensive variety of independent shops selling everything from crystals to clothing, from books to handcrafted jewellery with an emphasis on “new age”, witchy and Celtic.

We will leave Glastonbury late afternoon to drive to Marlborough in Wiltshire where we will spend the next three nights.  A lovely market town, Marlborough received its Royal Charter from the King in 1204 and is only a short drive to Avebury.  On our way to Marlborough from Glastonbury, we will spend some time in Lacock, a beautiful medieval village.  

   

 

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Glastonbury Tor

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Chalice Well Gardens

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Roman Baths

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Wells Cathedral

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Green Dragon Pub - Marlborough

For many more images of these
lovely places, see Photo Gallery