Things to do in Glastonbury & Somerset

There is so much to do in the local area that you’ll be spoilt for choice!

THINGS TO DO

Cycling

The SusTrans Route 3 is the Long distance National Cycle Network route connecting Land’s End in Cornwall to Bristol. Middlewick is a stop along the way.

We are also a great base for the annual Tour of Wessex which takes place on the last bank holiday weekend in May.

There are many cycle routes in the area, see Where to Cycle in Somerset and Sustrans website for more ideas. For young children, the paths along the Avalon Marshes are a nice safe place to learn how to cycle.

THINGS TO DO

Bird Watching

With the Avalon Marshes on our doorstep here in Glastonbury, there is the perfect opportunity to catch the Murmurations of Avalon. Every Winter here in Glastonbury, you can find one of the UK’s most spectacular displays from the thousands of starlings which come here to roost.  

THINGS TO DO

Horse Riding

There are several places to choose from – some of the closest being…

Wellow Trecking Centre Nr Bath 01225 834376

Divocky Riding School Nr Shepton Mallet 01749 880233

Ebborlands Riding Centre Nr Wells 01749 672550

Quantock Trekking Nr Taunton 01823 431 713

THINGS TO DO

Attractions within Walking Distance

GLASTONBURY TOR

The Tor is a leisurely 20 minute walk from us and then a little climb to reach the top, but well worth it for the fantastic views. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, sunrise and sunset are even more spectacular.

Tor is an ancient word for hill and this hill is considered by many to be one of the most sacred sites in Britain.

GLASTONBURY TOWN

Glastonbury is a name you hear almost every day. Many people connect it to the world-famous Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, but this is only a relatively recent addition to the colourful history of Glastonbury and the surrounding land. The less we tell you, the more the surprise will be when you visit Glastonbury. The town is unique, and a mecca for many people from all around the world. A walk (around 25 minutes) into town around the Tor is a must-experience while staying at Middlewick.

GOG & MAGOG

Gog and Magog are 2 ancient oak trees. They are the last 2 remaining oaks of what is believed to have originally been a Druidic avenue that ran up the base of Glastonbury Tor. The row of trees were cut down in 1906 to clear way for farmland. When the trees were cut down they were said to have measured eleven feet in diameter and had more than 2,000 season rings. Today the trees have become a place of pilgrimage for people and it is customary for visitors to leave offerings to the trees. They are located adjacent to our property, just a 5 minute stroll from the complex. Past the E-den’s and across the back field.

CHALICE WELL & GARDENS

Chalice Well & Gardens
Chalice Well is one of Britain’s most ancient wells, nestling in the Vale of Avalon between the Tor and Chalice Hill. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and orchards it is a living sanctuary where you can experience the quiet healing of this sacred place. For over two thousand years this has been a place where people have gathered to drink the waters and find solace, peace and inspiration.

Many legends are attributed to this ancient well where the waters flow ceaselessly at a steady rate and temperature that never varies. The most famous legend is that the water, rich with iron deposits, represents the blood of Christ miraculously springing froth from the ground when Joseph of Arimathea buried or washed the cup used at the Last Supper.

The Chalice Well Gardens can be reached from us by walking up and over the Tor, or around the tor on surrounding footpaths. It is a 40 minute walk to reach the stunning gardens and we definitely recommend it.

GLASTONBURY ABBEY

Glastonbury Abbey is hidden away in the centre of this ancient market Town are the awe-inspiring ruins of what was one of the largest and richest Abbey’s in England. Set amongst 36 acres of beautiful Somerset parkland and ponds, to tempt the nature lover in all of us. In the spring see thousands of snowdrops and crocus, followed later by daffodils, bluebells and then masses of Wildflowers and native grasses; and in autumn the colours of hundreds of trees.

The Abbey ruins are magnificent, spend an afternoon wandering through the remains of this ancient building, filled with history, legend, and myth…

In the 7th Century, the first stone Christian church was built on the site of Glastonbury Abbey, the base of which forms the west end of the nave. In the 10th Century the Abbot of Glastonbury, St. Dunstan, enlarged the church. By 1086, when the Domesday Book was commissioned to provide records and census of life in England, by this time Glastonbury Abbey was the richest monastery in the country before a major fire in 1184 destroyed the buildings.

It was rebuilt by the 14th century and it became one of the most powerful monasteries in England. The abbey also controlled large amounts of surrounding land and was instrumental in major drainage projects on the Somerset Levels.

The abbey was destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII of England and the last Abbot, Richard Whiting Glastonbury Torr in 1539.

WEARYALL HILL

Wearyall Hill is a long narrow ridge to the south west of Glastonbury. On the hill is the site of the original Holy Thorn. This was said to have blossomed from the staff of Joseph of Armithea, whom legend says had visited Glastonbury. He arrived, weary (hence Wearyall Hill), planted his staff in the ground and it immediately blossomed. The tree was seen as sacred, blossoming at Christmas and Easter, marking the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Over recent years the Thorn has been victim to repeated vandalism and was cut down. A new cutting has been planted, so go and give it some healing energy. Before this, each year a sprig of thorn was cut, by the local Anglican vicar and the eldest child from St John’s School, and sent to the Queen. Many other examples of the thorn grow throughout Glastonbury including those on the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey, St Johns Church, and Chalice Well.

Wearyall Hill is just 10 minute’s walk from the centre of Glastonbury.

Just walk down Magdalene Street south to meet the A361 road and then turn right along the A361 towards Street. Cross to the southern side of the road and when the houses finish, you will see the footpath slanting up the hill.

THINGS TO DO

Attractions within 15 minutes of The Middlewick

WITHIN 15 MINUTES

Wells

Wells City – The smallest City in England, dominated by the Cathedral.

The Bishops Palace – Moated Bishop’s palace dating from 13c

Wells Cathedral – Impressive 12th Century Cathedral complete with associated buildings.

WITHIN 15 MINUTES

Street

Greenbank Swimming Pool Following the wishes of Alice Clark, Greenbank Pool was commissioned by her nephew Bancroft Clark to provide swimming facilities to the residents of Street, particularly to women and children, as men were inclined to swim naked in the River Brue! Since opening on the 30th of April 1937, over four and a half million people have come and enjoyed Greenbank Pool and the pool welcomes many new customers each year.

Clarks Village
Discount village with over 90 outlet stores, restaurants and cafes, plus plenty to entertain the whole family.

Hecks Cider The Hecks family have been making traditional Somerset farmhouse cider in street for 6 generations, since 1840.

WITHIN 15 MINUTES

Nearby Nature Reserves

Ebbor Gorge
Woodland walk with excellent spring flowers, summer butterflies and autumn colour. Limestone outcrops and towering cliffs surround the gorge itself.

RSPB Ham Wall Wetlands
Home to water voles, otters, bitterns, and kingfishers. October–January sees huge starling roosts dancing in the sky.

Avalon Marshes Shapwick Heath
A major wetland nature reserve (400ha) of the Somerset Levels and Moors. The reserve is a haven for wildlife and a monument to the history and culture of Neolithic man, who came to this area 6000 years ago and made this their tribal homeland.

Westhay Moor
On a bright, crisp day Westhay Moor is a beautiful place to explore with its shimmering lakes and reed beds, birds singing and signs of spring all around.

Kings Castle Wood
The ancient iron age hill fort reserve of King’s Castle Wood is a peaceful haven packed with wildflowers in spring and summer and just a walk away from the beautiful historic city of Wells, the smallest city in England.

THINGS TO DO

Attractions within 45 minutes of The Middlewick

Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (A.O.N.B)
The Mendip Hills – 30 minutes to 1 hour from Middlewick- go meandering around this vast area of outstanding natural beauty. Cheddar Gorge, Ebbor Gorge, Wookey Hole and much more are all in this beautiful area with spectacular views. Click here for more details…

Cheddar Showcaves & Gorge
30 minutes – Cliff walk and illuminated caves – great family day out. Click here for more details…

Cheddar Cheese tour
30 minutes – visit the the only cheesemakers left in Cheddar. You can watch the various stages as they transform their rich, local milk into award-winning authentic Cheddar Cheese every day of the week throughout the year. Click here for more details…

Wookey Hole Caves
20 minutes – Large and beautifully lit cave complex.
Click here for more details…

Fleet Air Arm Museum
30 minutes – Europe’s largest naval aviation collection. Click here for more details…

THINGS TO DO

Other Ideas within 45 minutes or so

Burnham on Sea
15 miles away and a beautiful drive through the Somerset Levels. The beach there is spectacular and great to walk dogs on. There are nature reserves to be visited along the way or stop in at Wedmore for lunch at the Swan at Wedmore or the George at Wedmore Pub for some great food.

Royal Bath & West showground
20 minutes – Founded in 1777 The Royal Bath & West of England Society is a Somerset-based registered charity that aims to encourage agriculture, the arts, and commerce. The Society owns the Royal Bath & West Showground, a 240-acre site near Shepton Mallet, which is home to a series of world-class shows and events in Somerset throughout the year.

Lytes Cary Manor
30 minutes – former home of medieval herbalist Henry Lyte; here visitors can learn about his famous 16th-century plant directory, Lytes Herbal.

King John’s Hunting Lodge
35 minutes – this early Tudor timber-framed wool merchant’s house (circa 1500) provides a fascinating insight into local history.

Haynes Motor Museum
35 minutes – the UK’s largest exhibition of the greatest cars from around the world. A living and working museum, with over 400 amazing cars and bikes from nostalgic classics of the 50s and 60s glorious Bentleys and Rolls Royces to exciting supercars like the Jaguar XJ220.

Aerospace Bristol
Concorde’s final landing spot and where much of it was built. Visit Aerospace Bristol and enjoy a hands-on family flight through aviation history. Discover airplanes, helicopters, space rockets, and satellites.

Stourhead
45 minutes – World-famous 18th-century landscape garden, its magnificent lake shimmering with reflections of classical temples, mystical grottoes, and rare and exotic trees.

Stembridge Tower Mill
30 minutes – built in 1822, this is the last remaining thatched windmill in England.

City of Bath
OK, just over 45 minutes and perhaps an hour but definitely worth a visit – a World Heritage City with Roman baths, amazing architecture, and excellent boutiques, bric-a-brac, and tea shops.

Bristol City
1 hour – visit the world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge designed by revered Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Exmoor National Park
Two-thirds of this beautiful national park are in Somerset. Beautiful scenery and wildlife abound. A full day out from Middlewick but well worth the effort. Our favourite places are Dulverton and Dunster.