For the final day of our Somerset holiday, we went to Cheddar Gorge.
Driving towards the location, you can’t help but notice the landscape changing, it reminded me of Scotland at first, soon though you are winding your way down to Cheddar village and have walls of stone towering above you both sides, a breathtaking site!
I have to say this was my favourite place to visit all week, and I think that’s saying a lot, as all the places we visited were outstanding. I think it was the natural beauty, both from below and when viewed at the top looking down and across to the reservoir in the distance.
We’d booked tickets to go in the caves, there are two to visit, Gough’s cave and Cox’s cave, named after their respective discoverers. Gough’s is the more extensive of the two, there is a hand held audio guide, where you press in the numbers displayed at various points, and you receive a commentary as if by Richard Cox Gough about how he uncovered the amazing interior after digging it out. Geological events over millions of years created the unique look of the cave, which looks quite alien to any above ground rock.
Then we went into Cox cave, where a media presentation is projected onto the walls and tells the story of how mankind became the dominant creature in prehistoric days, you are moved through each opening to be shown the next part of the story, it’s quite effect against the uneven walls of the cave.
Next we decided to climb Jacobs ladder, a particularly steep set of steps taking you up from the village to a viewing tower, thankfully there are places to stop and catch your breath, and plenty of people did! We eventually made it up and I went on alone up the tower, there was a great panoramic view, but this was only a taster for what would come.
The guide map we’d picked up showed a walk along the top of the gorge, I persuaded my wife that we should embark on yet another climb…but was it worth it! The view was so much more breathtaking and we sat just taking it in, wishing we’d brought a picnic to savor the moment even longer. Eventually we moved on and attempted to carry on the circular walk back to the beginning, it turned out to be a little more effort coming down the other side than we really wanted so we decided to forgo climbing up the other side, and instead got to walk the road we’d come in on, and I had the chance to look up this time, I wasn’t disappointed!
Now all that was left was some food and drink, we decided on a pub in the village and although reasonably friendly, it wasn’t perhaps quite the quality we were hoping, but it still filled us and allowed us to replenish some much need energy.
Finally we visited the Cheddar cheese factory shop and bought some cave matured cheddar, before making our way back to the car. It had been a long but very satisfying day, and now we could look forward to returning to the caravan to have a relaxing evening.