As we alluded to last week, we went to Cheddar at the weekend to celebrate my birthday and found five wonderfully Somersetty treats to share with you.
Cheddar is set in the Mendip area of the county. It is home to attractions like Gough’s Cave and Jacob’s Ladder, but we went a bit more low key for our day out.
The Gorge Walk.
Online or printed maps are available from the National Trust for The Gorge Walk. The National Trust own the land in the Gorge, but access to the walk is free. There are a number of other walks that cross The Gorge Walk, so you might find you stumble across parts of it. From The National Trust’s little shop in Cheddar you can pick up a printed map (donations welcome).
The Gorge Walk is not for the faint hearted! Although it is only three miles, there is some pretty steep climbing and descents that will mean you earn your cream tea when you finish. Your efforts will also be rewarded with some stunning views across the Mendips, towards the Somerset coastline, and into the Gorge. We would not recommend this walk after lots of rain as it could get very slippy.
There is plenty of cider being made in and around Cheddar. For a selection of them check out The Cider Barn just down the A371. We picked up a bottle of Legbender Dry, from Rich’s Cider, based in nearby Highbridge. They have a shop in Cheddar where you can buy all things cider. For more information on Rich’s Cider, follow this Link,
Cheddar is, of course, synonymous with cheese. And where else could be more perfect for a cheese picnic than Cheddar? Half way through the walk described above, the scenery opens up and gives you the plenty of lush grass with stunning views to munch on your cheese sandwiches. We recommend stopping in the Original Cheddar Cheese Company farm shop on the high street. Not only does it sell some fabulous cheese but it has all the accessories you can imagine (including little cheese cool bags, to keep everything in tact on your walk).
There are plenty of cafes and gift shops nestled along the side of the main road. All of them are independent, without a Starbucks or Costa in sight. We enjoyed cream teas and toasted tea cakes from Simply Gorgeous, who were very generous with the cream and even warmed our scones.
Top of the Gorge Festival
One of the things that caught our eyes was Top of the Gorge Festival, 14 to 16 June 2019, organised by the National Trust. It is billed as a carnival of outdoor adventure. There will be a pop up camp site, and activities including trail running, mountain biking, climbing, caving, walking, archery, food foraging, campfire cooking and star gazing. We think this is a great celebration of Somerset and its beautiful countryside.
We loved it in Cheddar so much that we will be heading there again soon. Top visiting tip: get there early for good parking!