All in a Day: Cheddar Gorge

Date Posted: 02/04/2013

Cheddar Caves, Somerset.

Pictured: Explore the Cheddar Caves on a group trip to Somerset's Cheddar Gorge.

Experience pre-history in one of the most picturesque corners of England with a group day out to Cheddar Gorge in Somerset.

Immerse yourself in a full day exploring the beautiful Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, where history, geology and landscape come together to offer your group trip a chance to experience pre-history in one of the most beautiful corners of the country.

A must-see destination for people who want to climb to the highest inland limestone cliffs in Britain, or step inside the breathtaking caves where the skeleton of Cheddar Man was found, the Gorge and Caves have been welcoming visitors for over 250 years - even before the discovery of Cox’s Cave in 1837.

As well as Cheddar Gorge itself, there are opportunities to also include a group visit to the nearby Mendip Hills, Somerset Levels or Cheddar Reservoir on a scenic Somerset tour. 

Whether your approach is through Cheddar, or via the high plateau of the Mendip Hills, everyone will stare in awe at ‘Cheddar Hole’ - just as Henry of Huntingdon did as long ago as the 12th century when he visited, before including it in his Four Wonders of England.

10.30am - Arrive at Cheddar Gorge/Museum of Prehistory

There are several ways to see the gorge and caves - but that all adds up to one great experience. To help set the whole scene, the first port of call is the Museum of Prehistory, dedicated to celebrating the life and times of Homo britannicus - our earliest ancestors from Britain.

Here, you’ll find how they lived and what they believed. You can even try your hand at some of the Stone Age survival skills which helped to keep them alive during successive Ice Ages.

The Cheddar Gorge is located in one of England's most picturesque corners.

Pictured: The Cheddar Gorge is located in one of England's most picturesque corners.

11am - Step inside Gough’s Cave

Gough’s Cave is one of Britain’s most beautiful caves, with its cathedral-like caverns, in Britain’s biggest Gorge. Audio-guides tell the story of its Ice Age creation, Stone Age occupation and Victorian exploration.

12pm - The Cheddar Gorge Bus

Groups can take the Open Top Gorge Bus Tour, which runs from the start of April to the end of September with a guide pointing out the features of interest - including the cliffs, the primitive British goats, the climbers, and - if you’re lucky - the Peregrine falcons.

12.45pm - Lunch and a spot of retail therapy

Once appetites are sated inside one of the biggest Costa cafe bars in the country, there will be time to indulge in a spot of retail therapy in the adjoining (Cheddar Gorge) Shop at the Gorge, selling a full range of crystals and fossils, as well as locally branded goods.

1.45pm - Marvel at Cox’s Cave

Different in style entirely to Gough’s Cave, Cox’s Cave is a brilliantly coloured grotto, which has been visited since 1837. An inner world of gothic splendour, it boasts fantastic calcite sculptures, silent mirror pools, dancing fountains and an evocative musical score.

2.15 pm - See the gorge from above

For the more active people in your group, take the 274 steps of Jacob’s Ladder (some say each step is the equivalent of one-million years of the Earth’s history) to reach the Lookout Tower on the cliff top for some of the most spectacular views in England.

3.30pm - Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company

The Cheddar Cheese company is said to be the only cheese-makers left in Cheddar.  Visitors can watch during the various stages as they transform rich, local milk into award-winning authentic Cheddar Cheese every day of the week throughout the year. And until the end of October a guide is on hand to help and answer questions.

Take a guided tour of Cheddar Caves.

Pictured: Your group visit can include a guided tour of Cheddar Caves.

After seeing the cheese being made, you can then treat yourself to a free sample at the taster bar and then visit the shop where Cheddars plus local pickles, biscuits, hand crafted cheese dishes, cheese knives, etc are on sale.

4.15pm - Time to explore Axbridge

A 15-minute drive away is the market town of Axbridge. With its picturesque Market Square, fine church, and attractive historic houses laid out in ‘burghal strips’ along the original street plan, Axbridge is well worth a group visit.

While away an hour browsing the shops, enjoying a cup of tea, and picking up some tasty souvenirs of the day - Somerset Cider, Cheddar Cheese and fresh local strawberries.

5.00pm - Depart for journey home

For further group travel information contact:


facebook twitter