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The weather forecast yesterday afternoon indicated that there should be two hours when I could get out for a walk without getting drenched, so I grasped the opportunity with both legs – while covering the rest of me with a waterproof just in case. To the bottom of my road first, where I was not surprised to find that the nearest bit of the Somerset Levels (technically Somerset Moors here) due south was waterlogged, as it frequently is at this season.P1170602Up Cinnamon Lane to the very busy National Freight Route A 361, east-west at this point, crossing which involves taking your life in your hands.  But there is no alternative if one wants to walk up or – as I did yesterday – around  Glastonbury Tor.P1170608 P1170609In essence my walk was to be a clockwise circumnavigation of the Tor, which is 158 metres at its highest (plus tower), and Stone Down Hill.   The waterlogged fields were at about 5 metres above sea level, and my walk took me to about 50 metres maximum.  Higher ground was to my right and lower to the left.

In Wellhouse Lane this is to be seen on the side of one of the few houses there.P1170615Off left onto Lypyatt Lane, with a right and backward glance to the Tor and its tower, the only remaining part of the 14th century St Michael’s Church, of which the rest was demolished at the Dissolution of the monasteries in 1539.  (An earlier, wooden, church was destroyed in an earthquake in the 1275.)  Read more here.

From which you can see that there is an 'easy' and a hard way up the Tor

From which you can see that there is an easy and a hard way up the Tor


Lypyatt Lane

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A glimpse of the tower of St John's Church

A glimpse to my left of the tower of St John’s Church


Part of the town of Glastonbury

and more of the town of Glastonbury


On the bank to my right

Bushy Coombe to my left

Bushey Combe


Occasionally the low-lying sun came out, giving splendid effects, straight ahead of me this time


But mainly the weather was gloomy

No doubt a badger track

No doubt a badger track up the bank


To my left is now pretty well due north, towards Wells

Rain coming from the Mendip Hills? It turned out to be hanging cloud.

Rain coming in from the Mendip Hills? Fortunately it turned out just to be hanging cloud.

P1170696My walk next took me through Paddington Farm which is a working organic farm providing free educational facilities, especially for disadvantaged children.P1170699 P1170702 P1170703

I left farm tracks at this pint for soggy fields.

Once past the buildings, I left farm tracks for very soggy fields.

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The last stile

The last stile


Kissing gates from now on - thank you Mendip District Council

Kissing gates from now on – thank you Mendip District Council



... and Magog

… and Magog


The two small cottages are called Gog and Magog too.

The two small cottages are called Gog and Magog too.

Norwood Park Farm is now a dairy farm. The house is Grade II listed, and was built in 1457 for the privacy and sport of the Abbots of Glastonbury. They had it alright, abbots, in those days.P1170733

The top of the Tor peers over Stone Down

The top of the Tor peers over Stone Down Hill

West Pennard

West Pennard over to my left


I’m drawing nearer to the Tor again

Unfortunately, 6 minutes of this circuit involve walking back along the aforementioned noisy and busy A361, at the point at which it goes alongside Millfield’s Preparatory School. Needless to say, traffic does not respect the 40 and 50 mph speed limits. P1170740

P1170752 P1170753The children have a bridge they can use to cross the road, but this is not accessible to the general public as far as I know, and once more I took my life in my hands.P1170755 P1170757Once over I was able to look back to my right for a further view of the Tor, and then I noticed, not for the first time, that spring seems to be well advanced. (Or winter never really came, though there’s plenty of time yet.)P1170758 P1170759 P1170760Over to my left, to the south, as I embarked on the last few minutes of my walk, I could see the Polden Hills, the lowest range in Somerset. P1170767And of course, the Tor was still to my right.Those last few minutes of my walk were pleasantly prolonged as coming in the other direction was my friend Neill, custodian of the Glastonbury Antiquarian Society’s website.   He entertained me with an account of the earliest local excavations of the Tor, by one John Skinner, in the early 19th century.  Extracts from Skinner’s Journal here.P1170770While we chatted it started, and stopped, fine drizzling.P1170773When I set off again, a yellow helicopter circled for a minute or two,P1170777I passed a huge bonfire,

Two men were standing by...

Two men were standing by…

and I took a final look at the Tor between two of my neighbours’ houses.  It started raining shortly afterwards as night fell.P1170791