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The Famous Somerset Cider Bus at the Glastonbury Festival

Emma is a UK-based writer. She highly recommends the Glastonbury Festival, as well as its famous cider.

The famous Somerset Cider Bus at the Glastonbury Festival

The famous Somerset Cider Bus at the Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury Festival

The Glastonbury Festival is a famous musical festival in Somerset, England. It is situated on Worthy Farm, Pilton, owned by Micheal Eavis and near to Glastonbury itself. It is a festival associated with hippies and free love.

Glastonbury Festival is held at the end of June, usually after the summer solstice where revellers would go to nearby Stonehenge to see the sunset at the ancient stone circle before heading to the site.

The festival has been running since 1970 with the first held the day after the death of Jimi Hendrix. It is well known for its pyramid stage, strange ley lines, 'A' list headliners and the Somerset Cider Bus.

Famous pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival

Famous pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival

Somerset Cider

England’s West Country is famous for many things, including cream teas and scrumpy. Burrow Farm, situated in Somerset (in the West Country) is where the orchards for growing apples are for selling at the iconic cider bus.

Burrow Hill cider and cider brandy are distilled at the cider house on Burrow Farm. Visitors can even take a day out to go on the orchard trail to see the different varieties of apples used in the Somerset cider.

The farm has been producing cider for 150 years but is now run by Julian Temperley (father of the famous fashion designer Alice Temperley).

Julian Temperley has also been running the cider bus at Glastonbury since it began back in 1970. It started as a marquee before Julian Temperley acquired a double-decker bus from the Taunton cricket club in 1990. This bright blue bus is now where the famous cider bus cider is sold at Glastonbury Festival. It is always situated opposite the pyramid stage and hundreds of festival-goers enjoy the cider and hot spiced cider over the Glastonbury weekend.

Burrow Hill Cider

The Burrow Hill cider sold from casks at the cider bus is a light sweet tasting cider rather than sharp. It is medium dry, earthy, palatable and refreshing on a summer’s day.

The cider bus also sells a hot and spicy mulled cider, which is warming in the cool evening when you are outdoors at the festival. It is perfect before heading to your tent at night, or if you are unfortunate to be out in the wind and rain (typical for Glastonbury).

There is something about the cider from the cider bus and the atmosphere at the festival which makes it special. The hot and spiced version is comforting with hints of sweetness and cinnamon.

Other Burrow Hill Cider

The cider is available to buy all year round and can be purchased in bottles. For those who are not cider lovers, it is still worth a try.

The hot and spicy variety can be made in the comfort of your own, as the mulling sachets can be purchased from the farm’s website.

Enjoy the mulled cider with friends out in the garden on a cool summer’s evening or as an alternative to mulled wine at Christmas time.

So Why Is the Cider Bus So Famous?

It could be that the big blue bus is located so close to the pyramid stage, for folks to gather to and hang out with a cup of cider. It is a very social area, with plenty of seating for people who don’t know each other to get talking.

It could be famous for being a landmark of Glastonbury. Like the tents and stages that are there year after year, the cider bus is a place regular visitors rely on to be there.

Or maybe it’s the unique taste of the cider and the alternative spiced version. Light, refreshing and oaky, or sweet and warming.

Fermented cider

Fermented cider

Other Ciders to Try

  • Cider Brandy: The cider brandy is released each year on apple day, which is October 16. The brandy is sold as three-year-old, five-year-old, ten-year-old or fifteen-year-old. As the brandy matures the taste becomes mellow.
  • The Champagne of Cider: For a fermented sparkling cider, open the Stoke Red or Kingston Black for a special occasion.
  • After Dinner: Or for an apple aperitif, try this mix of the Kingston Black juice and the cider brandy. It is also recommended to try as a ‘Pimms’ by mixing with lemonade, mint, strawberries and Bramley apple juice.

Verdict of Burrow Hill Cider

If you are lucky enough to have got yourself a Glastonbury ticket, don’t shy away from the cider bus. The cider and the hot and spicy cider are both worthy of a try.

If you cannot go then why not order some or even visit the farm itself? Of course always drink sensibly (especially if it’s a hot day at Glastonbury) and decide for yourself.