Mysterious England

08/18/2016 02:26 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Throughout England, the countryside hides an amazing history that goes back literally thousands of years...to prehistoric times. Glastonbury -- a modest market town today -- has long had a holy aura. It was a religious site back in the Bronze Age (that's about 1500 BC). It's also considered the birthplace of Christianity in England, and the burial site of the legendary King Arthur.

Centuries before Christ, a hill -- called a tor -- marked Glastonbury. Seen by many as a Mother Goddess symbol, the Glastonbury Tor has, for thousands of years, attracted a variety of travelers and seekers.

A highlight for me was to sit atop this hill, look into the camera, and explain the tor's biblical connection: "For centuries, pilgrims have come here, to Glastonbury, on a quest for the legendary Holy Grail. You see, Joseph of Arimathea, who was an uncle of Christ, was a tin trader. And even back in biblical times, Britain was known as a rare place where tin could be mined. Considering that, Joseph could have sat right here -- with the chalice that Jesus drank out of at the Last Supper in his satchel."

Glastonbury was just one part of a wonderful whirlwind day of filming in this corner of England. These four photos capture our day of mysteries:

At Stonehenge, we kicked things off with some private time (as our filming permission required us to arrive very early). We were all alone in the stone circle before the masses hit.

As we were filming the Glastonbury Tor from a distance, all of the cows in the fields photobombed us.

Climbing the tor, we found a community of people expert at finding their god within.

And we capped our day visiting a hard apple cider farm run by my old drinking buddy, Roger Wilkins.


This is Day 86 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I'm reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Vienna, the Alps, the Low Countries, England, and beyond. Find more on my travel blog.

(This post originally appeared at blog.ricksteves.com/blog/mysterious-england.)