A guide to hidden Glastonbury

Underground bars, quiet ATMs - everything you've wanted to find...


Photographer:Peter Corkhill

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Laura Foster, Daniel Fahey, Anne-Marie Douglas, Chris Swindells | 16 June 2011

We’re not trying to ruin all the surprises and this isn’t all that’s on offer. Neither is it a large red arrow pointing out all the magical secrets of Worthy Farm - that would give it all away. Instead these are suggestions of past wonderment and covert gems nestled around the site that you can try and find for yourself.

We also want to know the special places you know about that we should discover too. Leave your suggestions in the comments box.

The flushing toilets
The holy grail of Glastonbury, a shinny-ish ceramic crapper. The best ones are located near the farm, right at the top of the Big Ground field, but there are some others in the far reaches of the site if you know where to find them.

The Rabbit Hole
Lewis Carroll's personal reasons for writing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland might in hindsight seem morally dubious but it remains, along with the sequel, a true classic tale of childhood innocence, fantasy and self-discovery. Okay we're not making Carroll's case any better. You can, for a riddle, join the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat for an exclusive party through the Rabbit Hole. It's something literally worth crawling on your hands and knees for - if only to discover the world of unexplained wonders on the other side.

The Small World Stage
An unpretentious acoustic cafe in a harmonious corner of the Green Futures field, it takes in waifs and strays under it's solar powered wings for a chai tea and warm acoustic hug or, if you're lucky, the odd open mic slot.

The quietest (and safest) spot to make a withdrawal has to be by the control and emergency services centre at the top of the Big Ground. Under the shadow of the Worthy FM offices it gets lost far from the chaos of the late night site so it's a great place to trouble the bank account and test the balance.

Underground piano bar
This is Michael Eavis’ favourite spot at Glastonbury. Nestled near the top of the site, the infamous speakeasy that’s dug out of the ground can only fit around 30 people in it, be one of the lucky ones.

Village Disco
As the name suggests, this set-up near the railway lines is little more than a set of decks and a speaker or two. It’s slightly derailed and debauched too. Last year saw farmers and milkmaids rousing a hoedown with linked-armed country dancing, while wild-eyed punters swigged greedily from their carton of unlabelled scrumpy.

Member’s Only Bar
Not quite the Groucho, but this guerrilla (or gorilla if you entered last year) drinking hole is perhaps a little more fun. Hidden in the Unfairground, it’s mainly attended by all the performers in the area and goes on until all hours. But there are those extra member’s cards to be found too.

The Pale Blue Door
One thing you perhaps don’t expect at Glastonbury is an al la carte restaurant, but the Pale Blue Door is offering a three-course meal, fine wine and a gin and tonic too. You have to book early, and if things get a little frisky after a moonshine, you can even rent a room in the love hotel shack above the ramshackle eatery by the hour. Companions available.

A place to cool off
If, like 2009, it’s too hot to mosh over the weekend (here’s to hoping!) there is one very special place in Shangri-La that you can chill out. But don’t get too excited and blab! This small doorway has massive cooling fan but, and here’s the downside: there is only room for one.

Tea Parties
Each year, somewhere onsite (it changes), there is a tea party going on. It’s the works: tea, cake and plenty of good company as well. If you find it, don't stare, get involved.

The best butties
There is a special garden in the GreenFields that does the best egg butty and an actual mug of hot tea for nearly no money, it has benches and is adorned with flowers, but they’re the only clues we’re giving away for this little sanctuary.

Have you got something to add to hidden Glastonbury? Leave your little secrets in the comments box below…


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