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Trip to Shaftesbury, Wells & Glastonbury Jan 2017

Gold Hill

The first part of our weekend away took us first to the Town of Shaftesbury in Dorset. After a nice breakfast at Boycott farm in Stowe we set off with lovely weather to suit. Shaftesbury sits 215m above sea level and it is the only hill top settlement in Dorset . The views from various points are breath taking and the town overlooks the Blackmore Vale, a valley that runs through Dorset, Wiltshire & somerset. The town has a connection to Alfred the great who set up a Abbey in 888 but was destroyed in The Dissolution of 1539. The town is full of old Inns (where we had a pint yet again !) and some lovely old buildings align the streets. The Towns most famous site is Gold Hill a very steep Cobbled street that was made famous for the 1970’s Hovis advert by Ridley Scott, I was trying to take some serious pictures but I had Gail humming that bloody tune throughout. If your ever down that way make sure you stop off and have a look about the old Town its worth a visit.

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Glastonbury Tor
A stop in the hippy town of Glastonbury and a cold long walk up to the top of Glastonbury tor to see the sunset over the countryside. Glastonbury is a town in Somerset and is famous for the Tor that sits above the town & also the festival and supposed connection to King Arthur . The Town lies in the Mendip hills and evidence from Timber trackways shows that it has been inhabited since neolithic times. Hippies are abundant in this town and it also seems like the Beggars capital city as you walk around the shops, these all sell crystal balls, charms , dream catchers and other such crap. I have to saywefound the place had gone downhill from our last visit over 10 years ago, so we headed up towards the Tor. The Tor is a short but steep walk from the town and on top you will find the roofless St Michaels Tower a grade II listed building that is managed by the national trust. Several buildings were constructed on the summit during the Saxon and early medieval periods; they have been interpreted as an early church and monks' hermitage. The head of a wheel cross dating from the 10th or 11th century has been recovered. The original wooden church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1275, and the stone Church of St Michael built on the site in the 14th century. The site is surrounded by Myth and Spirituality with everything from the Holy Grail to old King Arthur himself. Perhaps I’m getting old or it was the bitting cold but the place does feel mystical as the sun set under the sky, who can tell !!


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Bishops Palace
For the Second day of the trip we decided to visit the city of Wells a place we have visited before and enjoyed. Wells is the smallest city in England and lies in the Mendip hills in Somerset. Wells is named from three wells dedicated to Saint Andrew, one in the market place and two within the grounds of the Bishop's Palace and cathedral.[6] A small Roman settlement surrounded them, which grew in importance and size under the Anglo-Saxons when King Ine of Wessex founded a minster church there in 704. Take a while to enjoy walking around the grounds of the Bishops palace and see the swans that swim in the Moat, the bishop of Bath and Wells certainly lived well thats for sure. The Cathedral itself is worthy of a visit and dates from 1176 to 1490 and is free to enter however a donation helps to maintain the place and is gratefully received . I have visited many a Cathedral and must say thats this one ticks all the boxes if you like taking pictures, one of the best features within the Cathedral is the old clock. The Wells cathedral clock is the Second oldest clock in the world, the original movement was moved to the Science Museum and still works to this day. The clock dates from 1386 and it is a Astronomical clock, every 15 mins the clock chimes so make sure you don’t miss it. Make sure you have a walk around the Vicars close which claimed to be the oldest residential street in England completed in 1430 its like walking within a Harry Potter set. A nice pint was had in one of the local inns and no doubt a place we shall visit again hopefully.