Guest Author - Lauren D´Silva
With its unique history, mythology & geography, Glastonbury UK has developed as a thriving centre for the New Age. Here is the biggest concentration of New Age boutiques, crystal shops & esoteric bookshops you're ever likely to find. Would you like a tour?
From High Street we’ll start by entering The Glastonbury Experience. Here you'll find the Brigit Healing Centre, the Goddess Temple and some great retail shops. My favourite is Star Child. Your olfactory senses will be delighted, and possibly slightly overwhelmed, by the range of loose incenses and oils on offer. Next walk through the pretty, crystal-studded, archway into Stone Age; a very beautiful & classy crystal shop. A cup of tea sitting outside the Blue Note café in the Courtyard doing some peaceful people watching is recommended next.
Back out on High Street there are so many New Age shops to visit. Yin Yang has remarkable crystal jewellery, including the amazing Shankari range- I just like looking! I greatly enjoy the Glastonbury bookshops; cross the road for The Speaking Tree, which sells discounted New Age books. I picked up Brian Weiss ‘Messages from the Masters’ there for half price this time. I also particularly like Growing Needs, which is just around the corner on Magdalene Street.
If your olfactory senses have recovered from Star Child you might like to visit S’Amuser, just across the road from Growing Needs. This lovely shop sells specially mixed perfumes, just for you. It is quite an experience to sit at the counter sniffing a range of different scents to come up with a unique bouquet. A friend of mine that normally detests perfumes is a convert as she has finally found a scent she likes that suits her skin. You’ll need to set aside plenty of time to play here!
After all that exertion you’ll need more refreshments. For lunch I’d visit the Rainbow’s End café on High Street for fabulous salads, soups & great cakes. In good weather you can sit out in their magical little courtyard. Alternatively you could eat at Café Galatea a few doors away, but I tend to save this as my evening treat. This is a popular venue, so it is worth booking a table. They serve a range of well presented vegetarian food, specialising in tortillas, nachos and enchiladas.
On my most recent visit I stayed one night at Berachah, conveniently sited at the foot of the Tor on Well House Lane, right by the Chalice Well Gardens. Run by Jan Billings, a silk artist and colour therapist, this house has a lovely spiritual feel and history. Rooms are comfortable, colour themed and decorated with Jan’s wall hangings. The house was built on the original site of Dion Fortune’s Temple within the Chalice Orchard and its name is derived from the Sufi ‘Beraka’ meaning ‘point of blessing’. Breakfast is self service & relaxed. You are sure to meet some interesting guests during your stay here!
My second night was spent at Parsnips B&B on the corner of Bere Lane & Chilkwell Street, backing onto the Abbey grounds. This very comfortable B&B offers a lovely warm welcome & you get a very full & luxurious breakfast, which will last you most of the day!
Read on here to find out about the features of Glastonbury that have made it such an important centre of the New Age.