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Cheddar

Limestone. Water. 1.2 million years. Those are the Somerset ingredients that produced Cheddar Gorge, a world-famous site which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This stunning natural landscape 3 miles long and 122 metres deep was eroded by running water and is England’s largest gorge. It has drawn human gasps of amazement for thousands of years. Indeed here you can learn more about ‘Cheddar Man’ who lived In the caves 10,000 years ago. His skeleton was discovered in the caves in 1903 and is one of many secrets yielded by this enchanting part of Somerset.      

The intricate complex of underground caves was also formed by water that diverted from the main gorge. The result of this is that today, visitors can walk, cycle or drive along the public road through Cheddar Gorge for free.

Explore Cheddar Gorge caves
Cool. Damp. Atmospheric. Gough’s Cave and Cox’s Cave are both accessible, where visitors can experience the inspiration behind Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers by Tolkein. Since the excavation in 1890, Gough’s Cave has gained an international reputation for its historical and geological significance and is the site of the largest underground river system in Britain. Many visitors learn more by taking a guided tour through the impressive caves and visiting the Museum of Prehistory.

As well as remarkable stalactites and prehistoric ancestors, Cheddar Gorge and Caves is an international centre for caving and rock climbing. Tuition is available for all abilities of climber from experienced tutors. For thrill seekers there are other organised activities such as Black Cat Free Fall and escape rooms where you test your brain power and race against the clock as you try and escape from some sticky situations.

The caves are open daily with adult admission £16.95, child £12.70 and under 5 free.

Walking Routes around Cheddar Gorge and the reservoir
With such stunning free access scenery, it’s no surprise that Cheddar Gorge and the surrounding Mendip Hills boast superb walking routes. A moderate 4 mile (6.4km) National Trust route circumvents the main gorge giving the chance to experience varied plants and wildlife, as well as inspiring views of Somerset. This dog friendly walk will last approximately 1 hour 40 minutes.

The nearby reservoir allows an easy 2 mile (3.4km) walk. It is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its wintering waterfowl populations. As well as birdwatching, the reservoir is popular for sailing, angling and windsurfing.

Exciting Viewpoints
Jacob’s Ladder is a superb place to get a bird’s eye view of Cheddar Gorge. It takes 274 steps to get to the top. You’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the Mendips and beyond. For those in a hurry, the climb can be achieved in ten minutes, slower participants should plan for around thirty minutes.

A new experience launches this year – Beyond the View is virtual tour via a state-of-the-art 270-degree screen which will make viewers feel as if they are flying through the Gorge! The journey starts in Cheddar village and finishes by climbing the 450ft to the top. Beyond the View opens on Saturday 12th August. Entry is included with a Cheddar Gorge & Caves Explorer Ticket and the showing lasts 15 minutes.

The National Trust at Cheddar Gorge
One of the two landowners that encompass Cheddar Gorge is the National Trust. The limestone grasslands are important habitats for many animals (including a herd of feral goats!) and rare plants including The Cheddar Pink which grows nowhere else. The National Trust undertakes vital work for the protection of Cheddar Gorge, in particular controlling scrubs and trees that smother the important landscape and ecosystem.

The National Trust has introduced a new festival to the top of Cheddar Gorge from 22-24 June. Welcoming campers and day visitors alike, this event is a carnival of outdoor adventure, entertainment, inspiration and fantastic local food and drink.
The pop-up campsite looks right through the jaws of the gorge towards the Somerset coast, and activities include trail running, mountain biking, climbing, caving, walking, archery, food foraging, campfire cooking, star gazing and much more. 
There will be live music across the three days. Bands range from local folk duo the Drystones to Bristol-based ska/funk 7-piece Crinkle Cuts. Speakers include Dave Cornthwaite and Anna McNuff.

Visitors can learn more at the National Trust Information Centre in the village at the lower end of the Gorge.

More information about visiting Cheddar Gorge and Caves
The postcode for SAT NAV is BS27 3QF. As well as by driving, Cheddar Gorge and Caves are easily accessible by train and then public bus and also by bicycle as it is very near National Cycle Network Route 3.

Parking charges are £5 per day, £3 from 3pm-5pm. The funds raised contribute to the conservation of the Gorge. Overnight parking is not permitted. Dogs are welcome in the caves, the museum and the gorge.

Number of items:

Number of items: 16

  1. Cheddar Gorge & Caves

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    Cheddar Gorge & Caves

    Type

    Cave

    Cheddar

    Explore Britain’s biggest gorge, from the stunning stalactite caverns to the dramatic cliffs rising over 450ft. This world-famous site is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which reveals many...

  2. Escape Rooms at Cheddar

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    Escape Rooms at Cheddar

    Type

    Family Fun

    Cheddar

    Escape Rooms at Cheddar

    Cheddar Gorge & Caves have two Cheddar-themed escape rooms that will test your brain power as you race against the clock to try and escape. So what do you think, are you...

  3. Cheddar Petruth Paddocks

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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 505 reviews505 reviews

    Cheddar Petruth Paddocks

    Cheddar

    Cheddar Petruth Paddocks is a place where anyone can rock up and feel immediately at home. From the couple in their expensive new motor home to a bunch of young lads in a £29.99 tent from Aldi, from...

    Price

    Price from £20.00 per pitch (2 people) to £85.00 Per unit per night

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  4. Cheddar Gorge

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    Cheddar Gorge

    Type

    Outdoor Activity/Pursuit Centre

    Cheddar

    Visit Britain’s biggest gorge, take in the dramatic cliffs rising up 450ft and explore the stunning stalactite caverns below.

    Created by Ice age melt-waters over millions of years, this world...

  5. Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa

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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 1239 reviews1239 reviews

    Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa

    4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars Holiday, Touring & Camping Park

    Cheddar

    Nestled in the beautiful Mendip Hills, Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa is the perfect place to relax and...

    Price

    Price £185.00 Per unit per night

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  6. The Old Manor House B&B

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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 186 reviews186 reviews

    The Old Manor House B&B

    Cross, Axbridge

    This 400 year old ex Coaching Inn offers you the modern facilities you would expect whilst still...

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    Price from £79.00 to £170.00 Per room (breakfast included)

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  7. Gorge View Cottage

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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 31 reviews31 reviews

    Gorge View Cottage

    4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars Self Catering

    Cheddar

    Gorge View Cottage is an award-winning sustainable four-star self-catering holiday cottage for two,...

    Price

    Price from £320.00 to £480.00 Per unit per week

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  8. National Trust - King John's Hunting Lodge

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    National Trust - King John's Hunting Lodge

    Type

    Museum

    Axbridge

    This early Tudor timber-framed wool merchant's house (circa 1500) provides a fascinating insight...

  9. Encounter Walking Holidays

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    Encounter Walking Holidays

    Type

    Walking

    Somerset Walks and Walking Holidays

    The...

  10. King John’s Hunting Lodge

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    King John’s Hunting Lodge

    Type

    Museum

    Axbridge

    King John’s Hunting Lodge is a National Trust...

  11. Lavender & Co

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    Lavender & Co

    Type

    Garden

    Axbridge

    Lavender & Co is a single estate lavender field...

  12. The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company - Shop

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    The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company - Shop

    Type

    Food/Drink Producer

    Cheddar

    We are the only cheesemakers left in Cheddar and...

  13. Snaptrip

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    Snaptrip

    Our marketplace saves you time We partner with...

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    Price from £200.00 to £10,000.00 Per unit per week

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  14. Course Image

    Add Cheddar Crazy Golf to your Itinerary

    Cheddar Crazy Golf

    Type

    Mini Golf

    Cheddar

    Amazing large and landscaped 18-hole crazy golf...

  15. Stay In Somerset

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    Stay In Somerset

    Stay In Somerset is your go-to for Somerset...

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  16. Lavender & Co

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    Lavender & Co

    Type

    Speciality Shop

    Axbridge

    Lavender & Co have a new online shop featuring an...

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