12 Things to see and do in Cheddar Gorge

This list is available on mobile through an app called Peoople , where you can find each location on a map, and listen to the audios ...

This list is available on mobile through an app called Peoople, where you can find each location on a map, and listen to the audios instead of reading the whole blog post - so you can have it on the go!

cheddar gorge from above

Disclaimers: images presented with a (*) are stock photos, edited with my own Lightroom Presets. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I will get a commission if you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you. This allows me to receive a compensation for the time and effort invested in creating the best content for you. Thank you for your support!

Last updated: June 2021

Cheddar Gorge is undeniably one of the most impressive hidden gems in England, and I am still surprised about how many people have never heard about this incredible place before.

Located in Somerset, Cheddar Gorge is the highest inland cliff in all England (around 400ft or 122m tall) and its majestic cliffs will take your breath away as you drive through them along the gorge - you might even forget for a second that you're in England!

But Cheddar Gorge is not only beautiful... There's an incredible amount of things to be done in this place, like cave exploring, cheese tasting, escape rooms, climbing, hiking, and much more.

To help convincing you to visit it, here are the top 12 things to see and do in Cheddar Gorge:

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Cheddar Gorge Walks
2. Cream Teas and Sunday Roasts
3. Gough's and Dreamhunters at Cox's Caves
4. Museum of Prehistory
5. Cheese Tasting
6. Climbing
7. Escape Rooms
8. Cheddar Crazy Golf
9. Take your dog to a dog bakery
10. Car meetings
11. Explore the Mendip Hills
12. Visit nearby cities
Resources for your trip



1. Cheddar Gorge Walks

Cheddar Gorge Clifftop Gorge view
The view at the top of the Clifftop Walk

There's plenty of walks to be done around Cheddar Gorge, being Clifftop Walk the most popular - a circular hike that starts at the Lion Rock and takes you all the way around the gorge through the top of the cliffs, and back down through Jacob's Ladder, just opposite where you started.

The walk takes roughly 2h and gives you incredible views to the gorge, as well as the opportunity to see some incredibly cute mountain goats.

We visited on a Sunday Easter while there were some restrictions in place, so most things were sadly closed, including the National Trust Office where we were planning on getting a map and some information about the hike. Thanks to this, we ended up only doing half of the hike - we started at a point on Google Maps named "Cheddar Gorge Walk Path", which is located on the opposite side of the gorge, right next to the Rock Lion Gate (roughly half-way the trail) and completely missed the Rock Lion as we walked towards the end of the trail. This portion took us around 40min to complete and it was very enjoyable. You can follow the vlog below if you're interested in it, as well as seeing the gorge from a bird's eye view.

To avoid missing a portion of the walk like we did, make sure you start near the National Trust Office (just a bit further up from Jacob's Ladder) and even better, get a map or follow the instructions online.

Nevertheless, the portion of the walk we did was extremely easy to follow and there were signs when necessary.


NOTE: Climbing the Jacob's Ladder is only possible for ticket holders, but descending it it's free. Ticket holders have access to the steps, caves and museum.


Clifftop walk map cheddar gorge
Vlogging the explanation for the Clifftop Walk. We did the lower portion showed on the map, since we started on the point you can see on the right hand side, when the walk crosses the gorge.

There are plenty of other walks that you can do, and in my opinion, you should not miss walking or driving through the gorge itself as the views are absolutely incredible - to me, much more impressive than from the top of the gorge, specially the portion where you can see The Pinnacles.


I will let the thumbnail in my vlog speak for itself:



2. Cream Teas and Sunday Roasts

Takeway Sunday Roast at Edelweiss in Cheddar Gorge
Takeway Sunday Roast at Edelweiss in Cheddar Gorge

After a great walk, you might want to restore your sugar levels - and that's when a Cream Tea or Sunday Roast will come to your rescue. Some of the most popular places to eat in Cheddar Gorge are the Lion Rock Tea Rooms for a delicious cream tea with a view and Edelweiss for a great Sunday roast.

While the Lion Rock Tea Rooms were sadly closed during our Easter Sunday visit, Edelweiss was offering takeaways so we have a great Sunday Roast at the end of the walk. While I am not a big fan of a roast (I know, I know...), and the lamb wasn't amazing, the vegetables were incredibly tasty, specially the cauliflower. 


3. Gough's and Dreamhunters at Cox's Caves

Gough's Cave
Interiors of the Gough's Cave*

One of the most popular things to do in Cheddar Gorge is exploring it's caves - beautiful caves full of history and cheeses - yes, some cheddar cheeses are matured here! (will explain a little bit more below).

Here you will also be able to find the oldest complete skeleton in England, known as the Cheddar Man.

Just like to climb the Jacob's Ladder, a ticket is necessary to explore both of the caves.

Unfortunately these have been closed for the time being due to the pandemic, so I highly recommend you to check their website before paying a visit to Cheddar Gorge if visiting the caves would be extremely important to you.


4. Museum of Prehistory

If you're a ticket holder, then you want to make sure you take full use of it, by also visiting the Museum of Prehistory - a visit that will give you insights on how human beings used to survive during prehistory: from survival skills to art and even the tools they used. 

You will also be able to get more information about the Cheddar Man found in the caves of Cheddar Gorge.


5. Cheese Tasting

Cheese tasting at Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company
A screenshot taken from my vlog during our visit to the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company

When you think about the name Cheddar, I am sure the first thing that will pop into your head is cheese. Cheddar cheese is the most popular type of cheese in the UK and it was first created in the village of Cheddar, since the caves at Cheddar Gorge offered the perfect conditions for cheese maturing. Nowadays, this type of cheese is produced all over the world and interesting enough, there's currently only one company that still produces cheddar in the area: the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company

Make sure you don't miss a visit to their store, where you can do cheese tasting, and buy some of their amazing cheddar cheeses if you fancied any.

We bought the cave matured one and it did not last any longer than a week in our fridge - but I have to say that was temped to buy the tomato and red onion too as it was delicious!


6. Climbing 

Cheddar Gorge climbing
Group of people climbing the cliffs of Cheddar Gorge

If you fancy a different and more adventurous experience in Cheddar Gorge, you might want to try climbing or even rappel along the cliffs of the gorge.

There are specific routes that can be used during specific times of the year by experienced climbers who meet a certain amount of requirements - so if this is you, you might want to check their website for more information.

If you do not have any experience however, there are climbing groups that can be organised to teach and supervise unexperienced climbers, so there's space for everyone!


7. Escape Rooms

Cheddar Gorge escape rooms

If you're a big fan of escape rooms, Cheddar Gorge got you covered! You can choose between a 30min and a 60min escape room, both with different themes:

  • The Vault, 30min: ranging from 2 to 6 players, medium difficulty, it takes place at the former Richard Gough's house (the man who discovered Gough’s Cave), where your only way out is through a secret vault which you will have to find;
  • Caved In, 60min: also ranging from 2 to 6 players and medium difficulty, this one takes place at the actual caves. You will be sent on a cave expedition when you suddenly become trapped and the only way out is finding a lost item that will be the key to exit the caves


8. Cheddar Crazy Golf

Cheddar Crazy Golf location
Cheddar Crazy Golf location at the car park

Have I mentioned that in Cheddar Gorge there are really all sorts of activities, for everyone? 

For only £4.50, you can play a 18 hole, all-levels mini golf at Cheddar Gorge, with a lovely landscape!

This was actually an activity I forgot to mention on the vlog, but they're located near Cheddar Paws (which I will talk about next).


9. Take your dog to a dog bakery

Cheddar Paws dog bakery
Cheddar Paws, a dob bakery in Cheddar Gorge

One of the most interesting things to do in Cheddar Gorge has to be taking your dog to Cheddar Paws, a dog bakery that offers a selection of dog treats (as well as human treats for the owners) - and even organises birthday parties!

And even if you're just a dog lover who doesn't own a dog, or did not take their dog with them, Cheddar Paws has to be a mandatory stop to admire the cute dogs that will wag their tales and salivate while watching the dog treats across the counter.


10. Car meetings

car meeting cheddar gorge
car meeting cheddar gorge 2021

As I mentioned above, we visited Cheddar Gorge for the first time during the Bank Holiday Easter Weekend in 2021, on Sunday the 4th of April, and were surprised by a huge amount of motorcycles, classic and sports car that were driving and parking along the roads of the gorge.

I started wondering if this was a regular thing or if there was a car meeting being held on that specific date. So when I got home, I did a research and while doing my research, I got even more curious:

  • While I couldn't find an official page that mentioned car meetings happening at Cheddar Gorge, the term "Cheddar Gorge car meeting" was at the top of my search when I typed in "Cheddar Gorge car" on Google, meaning other people have been looking for it too;
  • All I could find was news of car meetings being held secretly during lockdowns and the visitors not respecting social distancing, which lead to the police being called to the site and closing roads or even other meetings outside lockdowns where police had to act due to locals complaints;
  • There were news of car meetings being held during the Easter Bank Holidays but also in other months of the year such as August, September...

So my conclusion is: you might not know when they will be happening unless you're somehow involved in groups of car lovers that know the dates and locations for all meetups, but you might end up being lucky and see one if you visit during the Easter Bank Holiday like we did. 

Just remember this is just my speculation, but if you do love cars, I hope I am right.


11. Explore the Mendip Hills

Wookey Hole cave
The magical Wookey Hole cave*

The Cheddar Gorge is located in the Mendip Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that has a lot more to offer than just Cheddar Gorge. This includes leisure walks, cycling trails, golf courses and much more. Some of the highlights of the Mendip Hills will be Ebbor Gorge and the Wookey Hole cave. 


12. Visit nearby cities

Bishop's Palace, Wells
Bishop's Palace in Wells

If you're staying at Cheddar Gorge for a few days, you might consider taking day trips to nearby cities such as Wells, Bristol and Bath. They're all beautiful and unique, so you might not want to miss on the opportunity to explore them!

We visited Wells on the same day as we did Cheddar Gorge as we wanted to squeeze both locations in a day and I did not regret doing that as Wells was absolutely incredible.





RESOURCES




TOP PLACES TO STAY IN CHEDDAR
Luxurious hotels: Mulberry Lodge and hotels in Strawberry Field Park: Batcombe HollowPerry Lodge, and Honeyhurst Lodge
Budget travel hotels/apartments/guest houses: Gordons, YHA Cheddar and The Annex Apartment

Booking.com


READ MORE ABOUT SOMERSET





I hope at this point you're sold to the idea of exploring this wonderful location, as I have run out of words to describe how much I liked it!

Thank you for reading and I wish you a wonderful time at the highest inland cliffs of England!



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