There are a few things that Cheddar in Somerset is well known for - namely cheese, caves and the phenomenal natural gorge that climbs into the hillside at the end of this large village in the Mendip Hills.
Cheddar has been famous for the excellent cheeses produced there for over 600 years. Back in the day, cheese making was very much a communal affair with the end product given to the owners of the cows that grazed the parish and provided the milk; these days its more for tourism – proper Cheddar Cheese, from Cheddar.
The limestone cliffs of Cheddar Gorge rise over 400ft and were carved out by the River Yeo which flows through the village from its source in a cave nearby; it’s a popular spot for walkers and adventurous sorts who come here for the rock climbing, and for those who relish the challenge of mounting the 274 steps of Jacob’s Ladder to the cliff top to be rewarded with the most incredible views.
The caves have long been an attraction because of the vast underground caverns where stalagmites and stalactites can be seen, and are famed for The Witch of Wookey who lived in the caves and was, as legend has it, turned to stone by the Abbott of Glastonbury, and for Cheddar Man, a 10,000 year old skeleton found in one of the larger caverns.
But let’s not forget that Cheddar is also a village where people live and work and play – one where you’ll find streets of attractive old cottages alongside more modern residences, gift shops and tea rooms, and in the middle, an historic market cross. All in all, it’s not a bad place for a stop off en route to your Sleeps12 large group holiday house, or to visit when you’re out pootling about. Bring your walking boots and have a good tramp on one of the trails, or hire bikes and set off on the Strawberry Line. If you fancy stopping for a bite to eat, try The Gardener’s Arms or Lion Rock Tea Rooms in the Gorge.
All information correct at the time of writing