Are you looking for the top things to do in Cheddar Gorge? From hiking, hot tubbing and afternoon tea, there are lots of things to do in Cheddar Gorge if you are looking for a countryside break in the UK? Cheddar Gorge is Britain’s largest limestone gorge with dramatic cliffs that rise over 450ft. It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty and is an ideal weekend break for outdoor enthusiasts, couples looking for country escape and families after a UK staycation. Read my guide on the top things to do in Cheddar Gorge to start planning your next trip.
From hiking, hot tubbing and afternoon tea, there are lots of things to do in Cheddar Gorge! #travel #VisitEngland Click To Tweet
Spend a morning underground and explore Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, the largest and most impressive show cave in Cheddar. This ancient chamber is 115 m deep, is over 2 miles long and has large chambers with picturesque stalagmites and stalactites throughout. The cave was excavated in the late nineteenth century by Richard Cox Gough, who lived in Cheddar. It is also where the 10,000-year-old ‘Cheddar man‘ skeleton was discovered.
These days the caves are beautifully lit up with atmospheric lighting, you can take a self-guided tour around the cave with an audio guide to learn more about the formation, history and excavation of the cave. Tickets to Gough’s cave cost £16.95 per adult when booked online and also includes access to Cheddar Gorge’s other attractions – Dreamhunters at Cox’s Cave, Museum of Prehistory, Jacob’s Ladder, Beyond the View and the Cliff-top Walk.
Afternoon tea at Lion Rock Tearooms
Treat yourself to an afternoon tea at the award-winning and picturesque Lion Rock Tearooms. The combination of retro decor, fabulous service and pretty garden views make this a top tearoom in the area.
Sit in their ‘secret garden’ and spoil yourself with a ‘celebration afternoon tea’. Enjoy dainty sandwiches, homemade scones and a selection of sweet delights. All served with a pot of tea and a glass of prosecco each, for 21.95 per person. One must have a glass of fizz when sitting in a secret garden after all.
Not a fan of afternoon tea? Why not visit Lionrock for Breakfast, lunch or a Sunday roast. You can enjoy the differently themed rooms, quirky decor and hospitable staff at any time of the day.
If you are looking to pamper yourself with a luxury stay in Cheddar Gorge then Strawberryfield Park has the luxury lodge for you! Set in 14 acres of charming Somerset countryside this west country park has several different eco-lodges to choose from. The park is ideally located for exploring Cheddar Gorge and the surrounding areas of Glastonbury, Wells and Bath.
We stayed in the ever so luxurious Deer Leap Lodge, a stylish one-bedroom lodge with open plan living and dining areas, large decking area, sunken hot tub, sun loungers and contemporary design. It’s the ideal romantic getaway for a couple looking for a countryside escape.
What we loved the most about the Deer Lodge was the extensive decking area and hot tub. You can spend hours unwinding in the bubbles or relaxing with a book on the sun loungers, without a care in the world. I believe we lost several hours of our life after a bottle of prosecco or two whilst soaking in the tub one evening.
It’s the little touches that make a stay at Strawberryfield Park so special. You can snuggle up in front of the large Bang and Olufsen TV, snooze on a super king size bed, have breakfast on the decking, enjoy the Smart Blu-Ray player, or soak in the freestanding bath. It’s a delightfully tranquil stay in a little slice of luxury and is conveniently located near Cheddar Gorge and all the surrounding attractions.
Hiking in Cheddar Gorge
The most iconic and popular walk in Cheddar is the cliff top walk. This circular three-mile route can be accessed via Jacobs ladder and is included in the price of the Cheddar Gorge and Caves Explorer ticket as Cheddar Gorge is actually private land. Although a public bridal way does cross it.
It’s a taxing walk up Jacob’s ladder as you ascend 900ft above sea-level, with 274 steps to reach the top. Once you have reached the top you are rewarded with the most incredible views of the gorge, the winding roads and the Mendip hills! The walk is quite exerting as most of the first half is uphill, you will also have to negotiate some rough terrain on this particular hike.
If you don’t want to get a Cheddar Gorge and Caves Explorer ticket you can always walk around the bottom of the gorge or visit the National Trust website to see what free walks are available in the area. You can also take a short drive and park at the top of the gorge for a gentler walk to Long Wood, Black Rock, Velvet Bottom and go up to Charterhouse.
You can follow the road along the bottom of the gorge passing shrubbery, wildflowers rock formations and free-roaming goats and sheep. If you are coming for a day hike you can park at the bottom of the gorge using the pay and display spaces, or some of the local Cheddar Gorge pubs offer parking and the cost can be redeemed against a drink, for after your hike. Some local properties also rent out affordable private parking spaces on the Just Park website site, for advance parking bookings.
Places to eat in Cheddar Gorge
There is a good selection of cafes, pubs and ice cream shops in and around the gorge, serving quality food in picturesque surroundings. If you are after a quintessentially British dish, then make sure you grab a huge portion of fish and chips at Tuckers Fish & Chip Restaurant and Takeaway. This award-winning restaurant and takeaway offers visitors the chance to experience some proper British traditional dining with a view.
There are plenty of places to grab a tea or coffee and cake around the gorge. You can watch the world go by with tea and scones at The Wishing Well Tea Rooms, sit in the beautiful outside area of the Rock face cafe, have a brew at Cafe Gorge, or sip filter coffee at the Waterfall Cafe. Why not spoil yourself with a cream tea at the delightfully quaint Mousehole Cafe and Restaurant as well?
You can also treat yourself to a pub lunch or dinner in one of the inviting pubs in the Gorge. Try the Sunday Carvery in the White Hart, have steak or a burger in the beautifully retro Bath Arms, or perhaps a mixed grill in the Riverside Inn? There are several ice cream shops in Cheddar, however, I would recommend taking a trip over to Swoon in Bath if you have the time. The artisan gelato there is incredible and the staff are really friendly. If you are looking to try some Somerset cider, head to the Cider Barn for local ciders on tap and rocking live music.
Cheese shopping in Cheddar Gorge
You can’t visit Cheddar Gorge and not try some locally made cheese, they have been making the stuff for centuries after all. There are many shops selling a huge variety of cheese, as well as locally made pickles and cider. Visit the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, a family-owned, independent small artisan cheesemaker, to learn more about their cave-aged cheddar. The caves in Cheddar have the ideal humidity and steady temperature for maturing the cheese and is sold as a premium product. Take a self-guided tour through the cheese company to see the cheese manufacturing process, sample their cheeses and then purchase some delectable cheese in the shop afterwards.
Definitely make a beeline for ‘Cobbs of Cheddar’ on union street whilst you’re in town. This fabulous local delicatessen has cheese, meats, bread and fish and stocks a range of local products.
Mendip Hills walking trails
There are a huge amount of walking trails in the Mendip Hills with forests, valleys, lakes, rivers and charming countryside to stroll through. Head to Rowberrow Warren [just north of Shipham] and take a gentle walk through leafy forests and small, babbling streams.
It’s a relatively easy and straightforward walk through the forest, with well-maintained paths. There’s even a rustic swing hanging from one of the trees which makes for an ideal Instagram shot!
Looking for a longer walk? Try the Burrington Coombe-Rowberrow circular walk, starting at Burrington Combe this walk takes you through Dolebury Warren, Rowberrow Warren, the Mendips and then back to Burrington.
If you have brought your pooch along for a stroll you can call into the dog-friendly, historic Swan pub. this cute, countryside watering hole is easily found on this walk and is located on Rowberrow lane. Have a pint, local cider or a filling pub lunch here.
What do you think o my guide to top things to do in Cheddar Gorge? What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below! Need somewhere to stay in Cheddar? Why not book an Airbnb? Sign up with this Airbnb link and get £25 in travel credit when you sign up!
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Our stay at Strawberryfield Park was complimentary but views remain fabulously my own.