Glastonbury & Frome are two very independent and vibrant towns. Firstly Glastonbury, although famous for its festival, Glastonbury town is well worth a visit as its full of fun, vibrant, eccentric and colourful shops and residents who make it a truly unique and special place to visit. It boasts a myriad of independent shops selling all kinds of magical and spiritual offerings that will take hours to browse and absorb. Get your palm read or book in for some spiritual healing it’s all here for you to explore.
The fascinating story of the Glastonbury Lake Village can be viewed in the Tribunal, the 15th century merchant’s house in Glastonbury High Street, that also houses the Tourist Information Centre. Check the town’s website for what’s going on as they host a really interesting variety of music, theatre and workshops throughout the year.
The Rainbow’s End Cafe has been around for years and serves the most delicious vegetarian food, Gigi’s for something Italian or for brunch head into One Hundred Monkeys as it serves a delicious, seasonal and organic menu.
The famous Tor with St Michael’s tower at the top isn’t to be missed as the views from here are truly breathtaking – it’s a very steep climb but as you make your way up there are lots of benches you can sit on and take a moment to appreciate the views and get your breath back!
There’s bloody history here (the last Abbot of Glastonbury, Richard Whiting, was hanged, drawn and quartered for treason on this spot in 1539), legends galore (King Arthur and his knights lie inside the tor, awaiting a summons to emerge and save benighted Britain) and fantastic views across the Levels, especially during winter floods.
Gentler pursuits await you at the foot of the tor: a visit to the beautiful Chalice Well Gardens, where Joseph of Arimathea supposedly buried the Holy Grail; and a look round the fascinating Somerset Rural Life Museum, housed in the ancient abbey barn across the road.
The ancient ruins of Glastonbury Abbey in the centre of Glastonbury holds a fascinating history that dates back to 7th Century and is a must to learn about the fascinating local mysteries of the area.
Frome is a fiercely independent town with residents who pride themselves on keeping the big companies out and reclaiming their high streets to provide space for local and home grown community businesses. Showcasing such diversity is easily done with their regular local markets, high street stores, purpose made streets such as Catherine’s Hill and their art and cultural centres.
The cobbled streets of St Catherines used to be the main road into Frome when everything arrived by packhorse or wagon. Now the narrow streets feature artisan shops admired by Mary Portas. Here you will find something different: classic gifts, stylish clothes and accessories, ceramics, haberdashery, classy burlesque dresses, vintage clothes, florists, ironmongery and some great cafes and restaurants. Highlights include MC2 for telescopes and binoculars; Deadly is the Female for Fifties-style frocks and swimsuits; Make & Mend for fabulous vintage clothes; Millie Moon haberdashery for pretty fabrics and sewing workshops; Marmalade Yarns for every conceivable kind of wool; Crocker & Woods for coffee and art; and Sergeants Ironmongers for everything else. Every shop is a find. An artisanal market runs the length of the hill on the first Sunday of the month, April-October.
More like a monthly festival, there is a buzz in the air with music, street theatre, hands on activities and tasty street food. The event is divided into different sections including a flea market, new designers, crafts and vintage. Somerset Farmers’ Markets organises the centrally located 24 pitch ‘farmers’ market’ section around the Market Cross – just look out for the green and white striped canopies. A complete farmers’ market experience but with many additional hot food options for all day grazing.
Lots happens here, as this is the pulsing heart of Frome’s eclectic, creative community. This Not-for-profit venue in a restored building, hosting live entertainment plus markets and fairs. Its main aim is to promote and boost Frome’s social, cultural and economic life.
Not visiting on a market day, then visit the beautiful Archangel. Their menus change regularly according to the seasons to ensure they only use the freshest local produce. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with special menus for the ‘Little Angels’ plus a really good Sunday roast too. Look out for their summer event, Fun in the Sun starting from 6pm on Friday, all day Saturday & Sunday – entry is completely free. The barbeque will be fired up and smoking, the aroma of chargrilled meats filling the air, and the musical stylings of their live band creating a lively yet laidback atmosphere. The real ales and ciders they’re serving for the event are truly special and varied, and are sure to delight craft lovers and enthusiasts. Of course, if neither ale nor cider is your tipple, you can still drink from our regular ample wine, cocktail, spirit, and beer menus.
There is a thriving community of artists and Frome really does have an amazing collection of creative outlets such as the Black Swan Arts houses the Diva Cafe, Artisan Shops, SEED with its eclectic mix of products and various exhibitions. Merlin Theatre shows films, performances with dance and theatre workshops, Rook Lane is a space for art, architecture, performance and education. A unique arts centre housed in a restored 18th century chapel.