The news that campsites were reopening after lockdown brought me much joy!
Since having my rusty-yet-trusty campervan for over a year I’ve barely been out in it.
The trip down to the south-west was much anticipated.
My travel companion and inspiration for the location was the fabulous Lynn Beattie – otherwise known as Mrs MummPenny. We first met at Standon Calling festival, and earlier this year we spent a happy few months collaborating on a complete rebrand and overhaul of her money saving website.
Our plans for the weekend were to discuss our future business plans alongside a healthy dose of much needed R&R …all while soaking up the rich, mythological ambience of some of Somerset’s most sacred sites.
We arrived just in time to check in to the campsite on Friday night, though it was already dark. Settling into the Isle of Avalon touring park was easy, with a few G&T’s – but not so many that we weren’t able to rise with the sun the next day for our exploration of the many quirky crystal, witchcraft, herbalist, apothecary and oddity shops.
The morning flew by in a whizz of window shopping and popping into various traders – (accompanied of course, by a busker on a didgeridoo) but we were only really warming up – and my stomach was telling me it was already time for food.
A very tasty vegan brunch at ‘Hundred Monkeys‘ was perfect fuel for the afternoon’s plan of a walk up the famous Glastonbury Tor, but not before we each had our Tarot read in Abbey Mews.
Good cards for us both, with positive news around an upcoming move related to work for me – 🧐 and plenty of advice around taking time to look after myself and ‘Slow Down‘ and ‘Be Here Now‘. None of which was surprising, but all of which was very welcome and delivered enthusiastically by the curious Shona – who went on to try to give us somewhat complicated directions to find a Dragon’s Egg on the Tor hill. I think she lost us at this point – but we both had fun and got plenty from it!
It turned out that Shona’s main advice was applicable immediately, while heading up the 158m to the Tor summit. Not about the Dragon’s egg – but about taking our time. It was pretty steep – but made so much easier with a steady pace – and that gave the benefit of enjoying the view some more! Thankfully my plantar fasciitis (foot ouchies) didn’t cause me too much bother – and the pilgrimage was anything but grim!
A strong but warm late summer wind whipped around us all the way up, (making for some seriously silly selfies) and whistled through the remains of the church that stands on the top. The 360° views that await you are astonishing and more than worth the climb. We sat for a while, and simply soaked it all in.
The descent was a doddle and broken up by brief and brilliant conversation with the quirky Christa Fox as we stopped to buy from her display-on-a-bench of her greeting cards for sale with her own gorgeous artwork.
An interesting narrative began to unfold around her experience of emotional empathy with Guinevere – which would have gone on longer, but we had a table booked at the George & Pilgrim – the oldest purpose built (and supposedly haunted) inn in the southwest.
After what could easily be considered a few too many carbs, we eventually bimbled home with bulging bellies for a Saturday night of snoozy campsite rest as leaves fell gently on the roof of the van.
There were a few weirdly spooky moments of the evening, involving candlelight, and an owl and a pussycat – but some of what happens on a campervan adventure, must stay on a campervan adventure – (and is actually far too odd to explain)!!
We rose early, well rested and ready for a few more hours of pottering around the streets of Glastonbury and I’m glad we did. Sunday brunch (the “best vegan breakfast ever” according to the super chilled food server) was completely devoured in Café Sol.
While there, I bumped into a past connection from festival work many years ago. The very talented artist Ash had held a brilliant sacred geometry and mandala workshop at the Curious Yellow festival in Harlow, 2017 and we haven’t seen each other since, but his distinguishable dreadlocks and welcoming face were unmistakeable, and happily, he remembered me too. A beautifully soulful re-connection conversation followed which ended in unexpected and very touching donation to my upcoming skydive.
Lynn and I had just enough time left to squeeze a few more shops in, and the final one, Sons of Asgard was my personal favourite – possibly the most enchanting and inspiring of them all.
Before you even venture in to the shop, scented smoke drifts from their windowsill along The Gauntlet, a charming galley-like shopping thoroughfare which entices you in.
Prepare for your senses to soak up a smorgasbord of scents as you step through the door – and for the owners to willingly share their knowledge of magic with you!
From our shop visit today (and subsequent website & social media visits), I’m now looking forward to the upcoming Autumn Equinox even more – this coming Tuesday, 22nd September.
The equal day and night – as well as marking the middle of harvest – apparently signifies a point of balance along our inward journey. It presents an opportunity to look back on the past year, and also on life, while simultaneously planning for the future. In the rhythm of the year, it’s time rest and celebration in equal measure, where warm autumn days are followed by chilly nights. According to folklore it’s the time for finishing up old projects and plans and planting seeds for new enterprises or a change in lifestyle, and for celebration and balancing.
This couldn’t sound better to me, it strikes just the right chord for where I am in life… and what our weekend represented. I’m also planning take it as an opportunity to put up my first ever witches ball – a delicate glass sphere, filled with a variety of herbs, resins and crystals, which, when placed in an east-facing window honours a folk practice intended to protect you in your space.
Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t be more happy to focus on balancing, healing, protection, reflection and celebration after the last few years of hard times.
I’m now looking forward and all the more prepared for my next chapter, and am well and truly inspired by the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Somerset, after a simply magical weekend. 🧙🏼♀️
Thanks for the suggestion, awesome company, and further inspiration to come back to blogging once more, Lynn 🙂 x