Friday, 28 June 2013

Glastonbury - 4 Top Tips from a Local

It's that time of year again, kids. The cagoules are sold out, Points West have their news story of the year and if you want to get to Evercreech this week, it's going to take at least forty minutes. That's right, Glastonbury Festival is upon us.

I've grown up with the festival being a part of my consciousness. It's just something that happens around here. I turned up to one of my GCSE exams to find that only three of us had arrived - where were the others? Yep, you guessed it, they'd been gurning away to the Arctic Monkeys all weekend. With the festival just down the road, it's something of a rite of passage for any Somerset teen. So, from this Somerset chap to you, here are four things you need to know.

1. Don't go to Glastonbury. 

If you actually go to the beautiful town of Glastonbury, you're going to be a few miles from your destination. Glastonbury Festival is held on Worthy Farm, which is actually in Pilton. Pilton is a completely separate place, and you should remember it. Local people get incredibly annoyed when people don't know the difference. In that same vein, if a local is talking about going to Pilton, it's very unlikely that they're going to visit the Church. Calling Glastonbury Festival simply 'Pilton' is likely to do you favours with any locals you might meet.

2. The real celebs are nowhere near Pilton. 

Babington House - a bit like stumbling into
Brideshead Revisited... or so Bentley says.
One of the things that I think makes the festival so successful, is it's ability to pull in celebrity festival goers. From Kate Moss to Emma Watson, the festival is one of the places to see and be seen. However, don't be duped into thinking that these people are actually likely to be staying on site. The surrounding area has a great array of boutique hotels and celeb friendly hidey holes. One of which - Babington House - I regularly trespass the grounds of when walking my dog Bentley. Whilst Kate Moss might have a trailer in the VIP area, she'll more likely be holed up at Babington House for the weekend.

3. Visit Frome on your way back. 

Catherine Hill in Frome.

 Now, I suppose I'm biased, but it would be such a shame if, when visiting Pilton, you didn't see some of the amazing things the local area has to offer. There's no point in trying to get on and off site during the weekend, but it will be worth your while visiting Frome on your return journey, partly because it's lovely, and partly because you'll duck most of the return traffic. Frome has become famous for Catherine Hill, the largely independent shopping area loved by Pearl Lowe among others - but don't let that put you off. Frome is surely worth a look for any festival goer.


4. Men from Shepton Mallet love Glastonbury Festival.

You might think that for people living in the nearby town of Shepton Mallet might hate Glastonbury Festival for all the congestion it causes on local roads. You'd be wrong. A lot of them love it for exactly that reason, at what other time of the year can Shepton's men get away with giving arduously lengthy travel instructions for avoiding traffic holdups?
Some choice travel morsels I've been given are "Which end are you coming in? Cannard's Grave? It's best avoided if you want to be home by Christmas." and the ever helpful "No. Beardly Batch will be hell until at least Tuesday." Glastonbury Weekend is when Sheptonians truly come into their own.

So, remember those four things and you won't go far wrong. Of course, whilst it is only a few minutes down the road, I'll be spending the weekend watching Saturday Kitchen and crocheting. That makes me one happy camper.

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