The past year has seen a renewed appreciation of the outdoor spaces around us, together with the need for fresh air and exercise. This makes the improvement and introduction of the Glastonbury Way deeply relevant and a valuable addition to the town’s walking spaces.
Funded through the Town Deal Fund, the Glastonbury Way has been developed to include places of pilgrimage, all the notable parts of our countryside and key parts of our town centre. Comprising a walk of approximately seven and a half miles, the route has been created using the existing long-standing rights of way that have been used for centuries. Green lanes and permissive paths have been included in the route as well as the High Street and primary roads of the town centre.
Representatives of the Glastonbury Conservation Society and the Pilgrim Reception of Glaston Centre with local Councillors have collaborated on this project, bringing together a wide range of skills and unlimited enthusiasm for this special walk.
The route can be followed as a walk for serious rambling, for more gentle exercise, as part of a pilgrimage or to explore parts of the town both known and unknown to you.
Once the Glastonbury Information Centre can reopen, and we are free to move around the town again as resident, visitor, or pilgrim, the Glastonbury Way will be launched in its full and glorious form.
To help you find your way, and to find all the sites of pilgrimage, a map leaflet is being printed, and The Glastonbury Way App will soon be available to turn your smart phone into your own personal guide. New bespoke benches are being strategically placed for resting with a view, fifteen interpretation boards will be placed throughout the route so you can read about the history, myth, landscape, spirituality and legend of Glastonbury and the surrounding countryside. All text is in large print and the boards are positioned to be readable by people of all ages and heights.
We want as many people as possible to enjoy the Way. The working group for the project has dedicated time, thought and funding to improving the route to make it as accessible as possible within the limitations of the existing terrain. Stiles have been replaced with kissing gates; stone tracks laid where previously there was deep mud. Although the physical access will be greatly improved, the hills of Glastonbury and the off-road nature of much of the Glastonbury Way means that wheelchair access remains a challenge on some of the route.
From the beginning of this project, we would like to have done more on accessibility and have done as much as was feasible within the funds and the short timescale available. We are aware that more still needs to be done to improve accessibility for different groups of people still not catered for sufficiently.
To that end, we are planning identification of routes with greater accessibility and to produce a map with the most accessible public spaces, and most accessible routes.
The working group encourages everyone to discover and explore the Glastonbury Way.
We hope you enjoy learning more of the history, myth, landscape, spirituality, and legend here in this green and pleasant land.
Find the Glastonbury Way on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheGlastonburyWay
See the British Pilgrimage Trust website for maps for your smartphone.