This was our first stay at the Premier Inn in Glastonbury after our last disastrous stay a year ago at another hotel chain. The hotel is newly built and was only completed a few months ago.
Parking The car park outside was more than large enough to take all the hotel guests' vehicles as well as the restaurant next door and I noticed there was CCTV covering some parts of it.
Reception There were automatic doors which let you into the reception area. The reception area had an open desk instead of the usual bar type counter and a there were small number of seats in an adjacent area. There was also a machine which dispensed snacks and drinks in the reception area though 80p for a packet of crisps seemed expensive. The staff on the reception were pleasant, informative, efficient and quickly issued cards for the doors and lights.
The building To gain access to the main part of the building requires a card which helps security. The is a lift or stairs to the upper floors. We were on the second floor in room 221 which is almost the farthest room from the lift, which cuts down on the amount of people passing the room. The odd numbered rooms face the road and even numbered rooms the rear car park.
The room The room was approximately 9m by 4m including the en suite, the single window was triple glazed but did not open. There were a number of mirrors and a sufficient number of lights. There was a central open unit to hang your clothes, a number of shelves and one drawer. A family of four, staying for week would probably need more space for their clothes. Besides a double bed there was a bed settee, a dining room type chair & a moveable table. There was a kettle, a small amount of coffee/tea makings, a hairdryer and a small digital TV. There were two additional pillows also provided.
The en suite The en suite was a reasonable size, well lit, with shampoo/body and soap dispensers. The bath was a reason size and the water supply had a excellent pressure and filled the bath quickly and could be changed to the shower. Two bath towels, one hand towel and a bath mat were provided.
Summary Though the room faced the road the noise was not too obtrusive. The ventilation for the en suite and the air conditioning made a noise and this could keep you awake if they were left on. There was plenty of information provided regarding the room facilities, fire alarm procedure and the restaurant next door. All in all this was a good value deal, the room suited our needs, there was plenty of free parking and a restaurant next. The area was not the most scenic but unless you are looking out of the window this is not going to worry you. Would we return to this hotel again, that would be a resounding yes.
Glastonbury backpackers is situated in the market square next to the Crown pub, you can’t miss it as it has bright blue walls. Next door (as mentioned) is the Crown pub, which has a lively atmosphere, there’s only one bar that is ran & owned by the backpackers next door. There are public toilets & two TV screens showing sport & the England game which was screened in July 2006.
Checking into your room or dormitory isn’t until 4.30pm, if you ask politely they will store your bag for you so that you don’t have to lug it around. It costs £46 for a weekend, with a £5 deposit for your room key, which you will get back at the end of your stay. The hostel isn’t really wheelchair friendly, as you have to go up stairs. The kitchen is on the first floor and has a TV with comfortable sofa, there’s also a dining table, fridge, toaster, cooker but no grill.
Each of the rooms are named after colours, I was in the Big Orange room. Each of the dormitories is single sex, although you can have a single room which costs extra. The beds were strikingly comfortable with lined provided, there’s also a bathroom with a shower.
The hostel is self-catering, there’s a Morrisons about 5 minutes walk away or a Somerfields nearby, although there’s more choice at Morrisons & they have a bargain shelf. In the evenings when the doors close you will be given a door pass which never changes, which is a bit worrying as this means anybody could probably get in. There’s Internet access in the front bar although I would never get a meal at backpackers, as they are too expensive for my liking.
The evenings are noisy with the pub next door, but it closes at midnight, nearby is another pub which has a karaoke on Sundays. Backpackers are good because you never know whom you are going to meet, & I will be staying there again.
You can get a good view of the street from the Big Orange room, althrough I did think two members of staff acted like they were at Fawlty Towers.
The Old oaks is set in acres of unspoilt countryside at the foot of the Tor, the footpath leading to the Tor runs in between the camping fields. The camping pitches in the Camping paddock where we stayed were huge, with fences and landscaped gardens between each pitch. The showerblocks & toilets were very clean offering a range of private bathrooms, showers & cubicles with washbasin - there was even a bathroom with a bath available for a small charge via reception!! There were ample washing up facilities, laundry room and freezers for re-cooling the ice packs.
There is a fishing lake on the site - a very peaceful area & great for a stroll in the evening.
The owners were very friendly offering internet access at reception together with a small shop selling groceries and alcohol.
The price in peak season was 15 GBP per night per tent.
Adult only park, providing the ultimate in peace & quiet!!
The ancient Oak trees Gog & Magog are in the camping grounds.
The Angels place is on the Avalon Estate just outside of Glastonbury, easily missed because it looks like an ordinary house. There’s a front garden with gravel and shiny stones, & a sign hanging over the door which says ‘Angels Place’. The landlady is very welcoming and has a friendly dog, she is a healer and charges for her services (£30 a piece). Inside it is very nice with wind chimes etc, there are three rooms upstairs each named after angels. I stayed in the Raphael room which has two beds with the window overlooking the back garden. There’s no TV in the room but you have tea and coffee making facilities. There’s a shared bathroom with shower & bath (although no mat). Town is about 30 minutes walk away, but you can get a bus, as there’s a stop just along the road.
Breakfast is served upon a trey in the rooms which is continental. There’s also a pub (The Wagon and Horses Inn - 01458 831614) just down the road which was once obviously in the countryside. There’s one bar and it was a bit quiet for my liking. Avalon Estate is very peaceful and well worth a visit, and you also have to be out of your room by 10.30am.
Lovely view over the backgarden and the hills in the distance.
The other day, I worked out that we've stayed in at least 10 different places in Glastonbury over the years:
- 3 campsites,
- 1 expensive 'historic' hotel (picture right)
- 1 'backpacker' place,
- 2 rooms over pubs,
- 1 strange new age community/guesthouse,
- 1 self-catering cottage
- and 1 great B&B (since closed)
Out of the ones still functioning, favourites are :
1) The Old Oaks Touring Park, a campsite up on Stoney Down, above the town.
This is a little way out of town - it took us about 30-35 minutes to stagger back to it from the pubs of Glastonbury one night. It has a lovely rural setting; the Tor very near by; some great walks; wonderful views over the Levels. Couldn't be cleaner or more organised: spotless showers and even a bath. There are areas for washing everything: dogs, tarpaulins, crockery! From £11 per night.
2) Glastonbury Backpackers
Exceptionally good value and on Glastonbury High Street, right in the heart of town. Prices: Dorm rooms from £12 per night, Twin /double rooms from £30 per night. We stayed in the 'double en suite' (£35), painted in bright colours, with funky fittings and a fuzzy TV. Quite scruffy and dog-eared (which I like), but clean, fun & excellent value. There's a bar with live music some nights; a little snack bar, good food with a few tables out on the street, and a snooker room with huge TV (to be avoided). Watch out: can be a lot of noise from all this - not to mention the revellers out back on a summer night. Book in advance at busy times.
3) The George and Pilgrim
We stayed in the cheapest room of this C15th establishment - and that particular room was a little bit dark and musty and, I think, haunted. (That room often seems to be free when all others are booked! We have made enquiries twice since, which established this fact and I wouldn't stay in that room again.) I think some of the other bedrooms are much nicer, though this is an old building and hard to keep up to C20th standards. The public rooms, such as the beautiful panelled bar, are the nicest; the magical picture of the stained glass window was taken in the bar. From £65 per night. Breakfast. Right on the High Steet.
4) And finally a group of self catering cottages, mostly barns, nicely converted.
Like many self-catering places this can be pricey at popular times of the year, with bargains off-peak. From £205 per week (2004 prices) for a small cottage for 2. There are some bigger places, accommodating 7 or 8 people and these are very good value. There's even a swimming pool. The best thing about it, for us, was the fantastic view over the sweeping countryside towards Wells. A way out of town - big advantage for those who want peace and quiet. The place is under new management, I think, since we visited, and offers riding/trekking too, so would be pleased to get an update from you if you have stayed recently.
5)The strange new age place? Well, I'll keep that story for another day....
The Glastonbury Backpacker's Hostel is right in the center of town and just a few steps away from the bus stop. It is situated in a 16th century coaching in and has a pub and small cafe attached to it. The Pax Lunch Sandwich Bar has some really good baguettes and other types of sandwiches at reasonable prices. It also has Internet access, although there are only two computers and it's rare to find them open. There?s a place to sit outside which is excellent for people watching. The Cafe Bar (or pub) serves pub grub during the day and is a hopping joint at night. They have a pool table and live music sometimes.
I stayed in an ensuite female dorm room that had 6 beds, although we were never full. The shower was pretty good and the water pressure decent. The common room was a little tattered around the edges and could have used an update, especially new couches, but there was always something fun going on in there. They have a deal with a local video rental place so there's always the chance of watching movies. I was there on Halloween and we rented some scary ones. The lounge has a pool table as well.
The kitchen was huge and nicely outfitted although there was no microwave. It was kept spotless and has a nice view over the town 'square' which is more of a circle.
Overall, although the hostel is kind of old and a little shabby, I had a great time staying there and would definitely return. The owner was a hoot and loved hanging out with the guests. You can find good deals for it on their website that you might not find anywhere else, too.
No hotels, hostels guesthouses. All you can go at Glastonbury is pitch a tent.
Choosing a place to pitch is very important, as hundreds of people learned in 2005 when their tents got washed away in a storm.
Best to avoid is camping on a steel hill or camping near the toilets or paths. Also, camping near the pyramid stage is not really advised unless you don't mind losing your privacy to thousands of people each morning.
The festival starts on friday morning but for a good camping spot get there on either wednesday night or early thursday morning where you'll have your pick of an empty field.
I'm reluctant to share my hot camping tip but I will do. If you want to be near the main stage and near to decent toilets, camp at the top of the fields facing the main stage near the cowsheds and cash machine. prime location as you are away from the main pathways but can see and hear what's going on at the Pyramid stage.
A very nice cottage sleeping 6 persons in 3 bedrooms. Situated on the grounds of Middlewick Farm. Well equiped.
Next to the cottage you'll find a great indoor pool. There is a large lawned garden for children to play on. The bridleways and public footpaths start right at the frontdoor, Very nice walking area.
Hot in the sunshine, damp and muddy in the rain. Get one with a porch for a better quality of living and attach flags or something identifiable for the inevitable night time disorientation!
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