Visiting Cheddar Gorge and need the essential information like how to get to Cheddar Gorge? Cheddar Gorge Parking? Things to do in Cheddar Gorge? and Things to do near Cheddar to make a real day trip of it!? I’m here to give you this in this Cheddar Gorge guide and blog post!
Cheddar Gorge and the village of Cheddar are must-visit places in Somerset! I’d been wanting to visit Cheddar Gorge for years, I finally did on the way down to Devon and I wasn’t disappointed!
Cheddar Gorge is a Limestone Gorge which basically means there is a road with towering limestone cliffs on either side and it starts from the village of Cheddar. It has previously been named as Britain’s second greatest natural wonder!
There is a surprising amount of things to do in Cheddar Gorge including visiting the famous Cheddar Gorge Caves and doing one of the Cheddar Gorge Walks!
Visiting Cheddar Gorge is perfect if you are on a trip to or from Cornwall or Devon as it’s just off the M5, you can pop in for a few hours and leave. Or you can easily spend 1 day in Cheddar doing all of the top things to do in Cheddar Gorge including a Cheddar Gorge Walk to make it a full and great day out in England!
Visiting Cheddar Gorge
How To Get To Cheddar Gorge
Cheddar Gorge is really easy to visit if you are travelling along the M5 or visiting nearly Bristol, Bath, Glastonbury or Western-Super-Mare.
It is located in the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty and is easy to navigate from the M5.
When looking up Cheddar Gorge directions and driving to Cheddar Gorge, be aware that the surrounding roads can be very small and narrow in places so drive cautiously.
Cheddar Gorge Day Tours
Despite the many day tours from London available, I can only see one Cheddar Gorge day tour from London on sale which also goes to Glastonbury! It looks like a great tour with good reviews though so if you are visiting the U.K or live in the South without transport, look into the tour here!
Cheddar Gorge Parking
I visited Cheddar Gorge on a sunny Sunday in June and I knew that Cheddar Gorge is a tourist hotspot so I was worried about the parking at Cheddar Gorge but even on a busy day arriving at 11:00 am, it was completely fine and there is actually quite a lot of Cheddar Gorge parking available which I’ve detailed below and added a map so you can see where is best for you to park in Cheddar Gorge.
Cheddar Gorge Car Parks
Cliff St Car Park Cheddar
Cliff St Car Park is the car park on the edge of the village which is where I parked as I thought most people would try to park closer to the village and therefore this would be less busy, which is was!
This isn’t a huge car park but it has a good amount of spaces. You can pay for 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, or all day by cash at the machine or via the Pay By Phone app on card (although be warned that the phone signal is 3G round here so it took me awhile to download the app!)
Cheddar Gorge & Caves Car Park
This car park is slightly further into the village but to get to the Gorge you still need to walk through the village. It is the official Cheddar Gorge car park and for the caves with tourist information centres around it.
The Cheddar Gorge Caves car park is only quite small so unless you get here early you might not get a space. You have to pay for parking here too.
Parking in Cheddar Gorge
What I didn’t realise until I arrived in Cheddar Gorge is that there are so many car parks on the side of the road throughout the Gorge and they were not that busy at all, even on a busy day.
Driving through Cheddar Gorge is definitely a must on things to do in Cheddar Gorge, so parking inside Cheddar Gorge is a good idea and there are pay stations at the ends of the car park.
How to See Cheddar Gorge
Before visiting, I really wasn’t sure how you actually SEE Cheddar Gorge!
So firstly, you can drive through the Gorge to see it! This is good if you have time to go all the way around, but if not you could turn around in one of the car parks.
You do have to be careful driving through the Gorge as there are people walking on the road a lot and it’s very windy and you have to drive through the village of Cheddar which can get quite busy and is a small road.
Walking through the Gorge is what I did (although not all of it) and this was easy to do when walking from Cliff St Car Park, through the village of Cheddar and following the road through the Gorge.
It is really impressive to see the limestone cliffs on either side but there isn’t a set path so you do have to be careful when walking on the road.
One of the most popular things to do at Cheddar Gorge is to do a Cheddar Gorge walk which I’ll talk more about below, but as well as seeing the Gorge from the bottom and from the road, there are footpaths up the side so you can see the view from the top into then Gorge!
Cheddar Gorge is on the edge of the village of Cheddar which is very much a tourist attraction due to its beautiful cottages and shops among the towering limestone.
So whilst seeing Cheddar Gorge, be sure you take time to see the village too!
For all of the things to do in Cheddar Gorge and things to do near Cheddar Gorge, check out my full Cheddar things to do post here!
Things To Do in Cheddar Gorge
Cheddar Gorge Walks
There are a few different Cheddar Gorge Walks and I liked this blog post which gives 11 different walks to do.
The main Cheddar Gorge walk is a circular walk from the village, up a track to the top of the Gorge and then through fields that take you alongside the Gorge. View the full trail on Alltrails here! This is also known as the Cheddar Gorge Clifftop Walk!
If you are short on time like me, you can still climb a path to a viewpoint at the top to see the amazing views and then walk back down. To get to this path, walk up Cufic Lane which is in the middle of the village and then turn right, through the gate and up the hill.
The path to get to the top is through some woodland and it is quite steep but it is definitely worth it!
Aside from the noted footpaths on the map (although don’t use Google Maps to look for footpaths as it’s not good here), there are some scramble footpaths up Cheddar Gorge.
This is a very steep way to climb Cheddar Gorge and you’ll need appropriate footwear but if you’re up for it, it looks like an adventure!
Cheddar Gorge Caves
Top of the list for Cheddar Gorge things to do is visiting the Caves in Cheddar Gorge!
Gough’s Cave is the cave you can visit with a guided tour with a Cheddar Gorge & Cave Explorer Ticket. If you are visiting Cheddar Gorge as a family, this is one of the best attractions for things to do with kids in Cheddar!
Jacobs Ladder Cheddar
Cheddar Gorge Jacobs Ladder provides excellent views from the top, but it will take you a few steps to get to the top – 274 steps to be precise!
This tower first opened in 1908 and was wooden but it has been recently redeveloped and is now a major Cheddar Gorge Tourist Attraction!
Jacobs Ladder Tickets are part of the Cheddar Gorge & Cave Explorer Ticket.
Cheddar Gorge Cheese
Yes! Cheddar Cheese is made and sold here in Cheddar and even better, it’s actually made and aged in the Cheddar Caves!
At The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company you will find a range of cheeses to purchase and take home, and you can do a Cheese Tasting Session!
Cheddar Gorge Shopping
The shops in the village of Cheddar are like Chocolate Box shops in a perfect quintessentially English designed village!
There are many gift shops, cheese shops, cider shops and much more for you to browse. There’s also an all year round Christmas shop called Old Rowlands!
Cheddar Gorge Cafes
As well as plenty of ice cream shops and take out cafes there are many cute cafes you can sit in for a sandwich (obviously I got a Cheddar sandwich) or some afternoon tea!
Lion Rock Tea Rooms is a highly rated cafe in Cheddar and it’s in a beautiful blue cottage. I went to Cafe Gorge across the road which had lovely outdoor seating and a view over the cliffs.
Cheddar Crazy Golf
Right in the middle of the village within a row of shops is Cheddar Crazy Golf, this is one of the fun things to do in Cheddar and perfect to keep children entertained on your day trip to Cheddar Gorge.
It was constructed 16 years ago using natural water worn stone from the Gorge on the site of a 19th century hotel garden!
Dreamhunters at Cheddar Gorge
Another attraction included in the Cheddar Gorge & Cave Explorer Ticket is Dreamhunters! Here you can walk in the footsteps of our ancestors in a multi media experience!
Things To Do Near Cheddar
From the Cheddar Gorge Clifftop Walk you can see a beautiful reservoir, this is Cheddar Reservoir which is a nice place to walk around, especially for dog walkers, and you can do watersports on the water.
Wookey Hole is a top family attraction near Cheddar and still located in the Mendip Hills!
For alternative Caves in Cheddar you can visit here! They have the largest and most spectacular show-caves in England plus 20 other fantastic attractions for families in Somerset!
Going here as well will make the perfect family day trip to Cheddar!
Day Trips from Cheddar
To make a full day out at Cheddar Gorge you can visit nearby places as well like:
- Weston-Super-Mare Beach
Here’s my things to do in Bath post to help you out!
FAQ About Visiting Cheddar Gorge
Is Cheddar Gorge open to visitors?
Yes, Cheddar Gorge is open. The Road and Countryside are always open to visitors and the Cheddar Gorge caves are open too.
Do you have to book to go to Cheddar Gorge?
The actual Gorge of Cheddar Gorge is a public road you do not need to book to visit. To visit the Caves at Cheddar Gorge you need a ticket which can be purchased in advance online or when you arrive at the ticket office.
Can you visit Cheddar Gorge for free?
Yes! The Gorge is a public road with public footpaths from the village of Cheddar which are all free to access. Fee’s only apply for Cheddar Gorge Tourist attractions like the Caves and Jacobs Ladder.
How long do you need at Cheddar Gorge?
If you are short on time, 1-2 hours is enough time for Cheddar Gorge but if you have longer you can spend up to 6 hours at Cheddar Gorge.