Let’s move to Glastonbury, Somerset

Who is left in town when the festival’s over?

What’s going for it? There is another Glastonbury, of course. A few miles west of this weekend’s temporary city of mud is the town of brick and stone. It’s a shame the two aren’t better acquainted. Revellers pass in tent-and-beer-packed cars or, if they’re coming by train, don’t even come close. Like the festival, the town itself is a vision of an alternative Britain, in which the shires are populated by people who don’t shop in Edinburgh Woollen Mill, but pop into the Psychic Piglet to check their chi. If hippies hadn’t arrived in the 60s, Glastonbury would be what all its neighbours are: handsome Somerset market towns with dreamy sculpted parish churches, ruined abbeys, tea shops, fantastic local festivals and Friday night pub brawls. But Glastonbury has always been a little apart from those places. The 60s new agers were tapping into legends that have long seeped into its stones. Did Joseph of Arimathea come here with the Holy Grail? Are Arthur and Guinevere buried here? Is this Avalon? Are faerie kings buried under the Tor or is it the ruler of the underworld? And why do hippies need so many crystals?

The case against You can have enough dreamcatchers: this isn’t a place for those not in touch with their yin and yang. Tourists can be a drag come July. Not terrifically well connected. Not terrifically cheap.

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