Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

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  • Cheddar gorge
    Cheddar gorge
    by himalia11
  • Cheddar gorge
    Cheddar gorge
    by himalia11
  • Inside the caves
    Inside the caves
    by piglet44
  • himalia11's Profile Photo

    Cheddar Gorge

    by himalia11 Written Mar 14, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cheddar gorge
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    The Cheddar Gorge is a nice gorge with limestone cliffs. It's found near the village Cheddar (famous for its cheese) in the Mendip Hills. It's the largest gorge in the UK, being almost 5 km long and over 100m deep in places.
    The street B3135 goes through the gorge (with no foot walk) and we drove this winding street down to Cheddar. There are many car parks along the street, all pay & display (free Nov-Dec), that must be very busy in summer! When we were there, there only was an attendant at the lowest car park, however no matter if there's one or not you have to pay, either to an attendant or at the cashier. There are several caves and a museum that you can visit, there's a lookout tower and clifftop gorge walks and more - a pretty touristic place! As the weather was so nice that day we skipped a visit to the caves, and instead spent some more time walking in the Exmoor National Park later...

    The caves & museum are open 10:30 - 17:00 (10:00 - 17:30 in July & August).
    Admission: 17,- £ adults, 11,- £ children.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Amazing Cheddar Gorge

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Nov 24, 2008

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    Looking Back at Our Route into the Gorge
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    Once again, thanks to tips from various VT-members, I had heard about Cheddar Gorge before coming to England on this trip. It had both good and bad reviews and I was almost put off visiting it by a tourist pamphlet we picked up at our hotel in Bradford-on-Avon. It outlined various tourist attractions, caves, souvenir shops, etc. at the western end of the Gorge and reminded me of a few tacky tourist traps I have visited in my time. But, what the heck I thought, it was directly in our path so we may as well give the Gorge the benefit of the doubt!

    As it turns out, Cheddar Gorge, the largest in the United Kingdom, was quite impressive to our eyes, and a lot of others too - having been voted in a 2005 poll as the second greatest natural wonder in Britain. This gorge in the Mendip Hills (see my 'General' tip for its location) is unusual in that it was not formed by a permanent river. At the end of the last Ice Age, the limestone rocks of these hills were frozen solid, causing the melt waters from the retreating glaciers to carve out this 113-m (370-ft) deep path to the Ocean. With the passing of the Ice Age, the rocks thawed out and resumed the normal characteristic of limestone, which is to absorb any water or rainfall into fissures and deep cracks, forming underground rivers and caves instead of surface rivers. The resulting Cheddar Cave, at the bottom end of the now dry Gorge is where the oldest human skeleton in Britain was discovered, with the age estimated at ~9,000 years. This is also where the small area of tourist attractions is located - it was not so bad after all as we drove past !

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip

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  • piglet44's Profile Photo

    Visit Cheddar Gorge

    by piglet44 Written Jul 25, 2007
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    Cheddar is the largest gorge in the UK>
    The Cheddar Gorge and Caves are very beautiful and the tour is very well presented.
    You can also do climbing and extreme sports there if that is your thing.You can also tour in an open top bus. Just check on the website below.You can see the Cheddar Man the oldest complete skeleton in Britain.
    There is plenty more to do in the area .

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Enjoy the North Coast

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 20, 2006

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    Watchet Harbour at Low Tide
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    Finishing up with Cheddar Gorge, we drove for about one and a half hours through the mostly forgettable industrialized area around Burnham-on-Sea and Bridgewater before turning directly west along the north coast - headed for Exmoor National Park. A short way along this road, we diverted off the A39 highway to the small coastal village of Watchet so we could both enjoy the views and find ourselves a pub lunch.

    The tide was out as we wandered briefly along the harbour edge, admiring the pretty flotilla of small boats moored there. Leaving Watchet after our meal, we continued along the coast with occasional views out over the Bristol Channel as we began climbing up into the high ground of Exmoor (see the third photo).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip

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    We Make Some Friends

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With our South Korean Friends
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    Having stopped in the Gorge to take a few photographs, I noticed a young couple slightly uphill from me trying to take photographs of each other. When I offered to help them out by taking a shot of the two of them they very happily agreed to my proposal. Just as we finished up, they spotted their two friends coming up the hill toward us and shouted to them to hurry up so they could all get into a photo. Once I had done that for them, they insisted that Sue and I be included in a few shots as well ! These young people from South Korea were having a great time laughing and enjoying the sights as they walked up through Cheddar Gorge from the car-park at the bottom of the hill. My few weeks in South Korea many years ago came in handy as I was able to use one of the two emergency phrases I learned there - phonetically saying 'come sam me duh' (Thank you) to them. Unfortunately, I was not able to use the other phrase of 'hannah beck shew' (One beer)!!!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • Arianasarah866's Profile Photo

    Cheddar Gorge

    by Arianasarah866 Written Jan 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Obviously the gorge is mainly a place to walk and the scenery is lovely. However there are caves you can visit here, but having done Wookey Hole Caves I decided not to spend the extra money. There is a range of quaint little shops and some nice tea rooms where you can relax.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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  • munki's Profile Photo

    Cheddar Gorge

    by munki Updated Sep 3, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cheddar Gorge


    The travel guides states that Cheddar Gorge is an amazing limestone gorge created in the last Ice Age and a sight not to be missed if you are in Somerset.
    I was not impressed at all by the gorge and you probably will not be either (unless you are Dutch and have never seen a mountain before). The tiny road is packed with people, coaches and cars. There also lots of tourist orientated shops lined along the road which make finding a spot to park your car mission impossible and then when you find a place in one of the numerous crowded car parks( I went on a Sunday afternoon in August) you are asked to pay a pricey parking fee by one of the young parking attendants.
    Cheddar Gorge is a clear example of how a beautiful and peaceful natural spot can become a real tourist trap.
    If I haven’t put you off and you are still reading, it has to said that this narrow gorge is famous for its caves which have the right temperature and humidity for storing and maturing the Cheddar cheese. You can visit the Cheddar Caves and/or climb the 274 steps of Jacob’s Ladder.

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Cheddar

    by Jenniflower Written Aug 26, 2007

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    This tip will be written soon. I am uploading photos in the meanwhile. Should you have any questions for me re Somerset, please email me! Thanks :)

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Cheddar Gorge

    by Jenniflower Written Aug 26, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    This tip will be written soon. I am uploading photos in the meanwhile. Should you have any questions for me re Somerset, please email me! Thanks :)

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