Places to Visit

Places to Visit

Our Places to Visit – History and Heritage and Places to Visit – Landscape pages have other suggestions.

Nature Reserves

Great Crested Grebes PerformingIn the last 50 years wildlife has thrived as abandoned peat workings have been restored to new wetland habitats, many of which are now designated as National Nature Reserves. At the heart of the reserves is the Avalon Marshes Centre.

 

Glastonbury Tor

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Glastonbury Tor sits at the centre of the Isle of Avalon and looks out over the Avalon Marshes. It is a short walk from the centre of Glastonbury and has panoramic views of the surrounding area, which are particularly atmospheric at sunrise, sunset and on misty mornings. The remains of St Michael’s Church stand at the top. Managed by the National Trust the Tor is one of the best known features of South West England. Open 7 days a week. Free entry.

Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury AbbeyGlastonbury Abbey was one of England’s earliest, most important  and wealthiest abbeys, helping to shape the Avalon Marshes as they are today. There are impressive remains, fascinating heritage and 36 acres of parkland to explore. Located in the centre of the town, the abbey attracts visitors from all over the world and of all ages.

 

Somerset Rural Life Museum

Rural Life Museum & TorLocated in Glastonbury the museum is based at what was one of the area’s principal dairy farms. It includes the magnificent 14th century Abbey Barn, one of only four surviving barns which belonged to Glastonbury Abbey. The museum tells the story of Victorian domestic life, the farming year and local crafts and industries.

 

The Museum of Somerset

Museum of Somerset - Great HallThe important archaeology and history of the Avalon Marshes is reflected in the displays at the refurbished Museum of Somerset in Taunton.  Here you will see the Iron Age dugout canoe found at Shapwick,  objects from the Shapwick Hoard and the Jade axe head from the Sweet Track.

 

Glastonbury Lake Village Museum

Painting of Glastonbury lake VillageGlastonbury Lake Village has been described as the country’s best preserved prehistoric village. Excavated and recorded in the early 20th century, its story is told at the museum at the Tribunal in Glastonbury. It has a vast collection of fascinating finds on display, such as  decorated hair combs, brooches and beads.

 

The Shoe Museum

Colourful ShoesThe leather trade of Glastonbury and Street was inextricably linked to the agricultural wealth of the Avalon Marshes and the Polden Hills.  The most famous of these companies, Clarks Shoes,  was established in Street in 1825 and is still going strong. The town is home to the Shoe Museum which tells both the story of Clarks Shoes and of the shoe itself.

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Photo credits:
Great Crested Grebes – Lynne Newton
Tor – Old Oaks Touring Park
Glastonbury Abbey – Glastonbury abbey
Rural Life Museum and Museum of Somerset – South West Heritage Trust
Glastonbury lake Village – Amédée Forestier
Shoes – The Shoe Museum