Mini guide to Cheddar
The word cheddar is famous the world over as the name of a type of cheese that
originates from the village of Cheddar in Somerset. Nowadays Cheddar is a fairly
large village of about 6,000 people situated on the edge of the Mendip Hills.
Cheddar is a mixture of old and new, with Victorian houses and older cottages
sitting side by side. There are some particularly nice examples of 18th and
19th century cottages at Venns Gate and Baits Lane. Also worth a visit is St
Andrew's, the village parish church, built in 1340 and with a 100-foot tower
that was added in 1480.
One mile from the village is Cheddar Gorge, the real draw for most tourists
who visit the area. This magnificent limestone gorge (the biggest in England)
starts in the Mendip Hills and winds its way for two miles, gradually getting
deeper and more impressive. There are many sign posted paths which wind their
way up to the top of the cliffs where there are some beautiful views of the
The gorge is home to many different species of flora and fauna including horseshoe
bats and peregrine falcons. A road runs through the gorge and there is an open
top bus tour available. Also at Cheddar Gorge are two spectacular floodlit caves,
Gough Cave and Cox's Cave, and an exhibition about the life and times of 'Cheddar
Man', a complete 9,000-year-old skeleton that was found in Gough Cave. Outside
is the 274-step Jacob's ladder, which climbs to a cliff top view of Glastonbury
Other places of interest include Cheddar Rural Village, where you can see what
life in rural Somerset was like in days gone by and the Cheddar Gorge Cheese
Company, which allows visitors a glimpse of a working cheese factory. For those
seeking exercise, other activities include caving, rock climbing, horseback
riding, fishing and golf.
There are a number of pubs, restaurants, cafés and take away shops in
the village and for accommodation there is a choice of hotels, bed and breakfasts,
self catering and camping faciltieis.
To reach Cheddar by car, take the A38 from Bristol until you reach the A371
at Axbridge. There is no railway station at Cheddar but mainline trains serve
nearby Bristol. National Express coaches don't run to Cheddar but they do have
a service to Wells, eight miles away.
Selection of hotels in this region:
Click below for a
full list of hotels and online booking