Looking for things to do in Cheddar Gorge? Say no more. Here’s how to spend the day in this cheesy oasis.
Toasties, cheesy bread, cheese sticks, cheesesteaks, cheesecake – you name anything with cheese, I’m there. So imagine my surprise when I found out there’s an entire village known for its cheese (not made out of cheese, unfortunately) Cheddar Gorge.
I’ll admit, that’s underplaying it a bit. Outside of their award-winning Cheddar, Cheddar Gorge also houses England’s highest inland cliff, housing some of the best views you’ll ever see in the country. Not to mention hidden caves, cliff-filled winding roads and delicious tearooms (if you leave without trying their scones, you’ve sinned).
In this guide, I’ll be sharing how to book Cheddar Gorge tickets, the best Cheddar Gorge activities & attractions, Cheddar Gorge walks and where to stay in Cheddar Gorge. I’ve also got a handy Cheddar Gorge map for you at the end (wish I made this before we went!) with all my recommendations so you can get around easily in Cheddar town. You ready?
Please note due to the ongoing situation (not sure if Google will flag this so I won’t say the *C word*) some of Cheddar Gorge’s attractions may still be closed. Be sure to check their tourism website before you visit.
How to Get to Cheddar Gorge + Cheddar Gorge Parking
Cheddar Gorge is about 3 – 3 1/2 hours from London (which, if you’re not from London…means nothing, but hey, I am a London travel blogger after all).
By public transit, the best way to get to Cheddar Gorge is by taking a train to Bristol from London Paddington station which is about 1 hour 40 minutes. You can book your tickets through Trainline. Then you’ll want to hop on bus 126 (here’s the timetable) to Cheddar Road from Bristol, it’s around a 1-hour bus ride.
But the easiest way to get here is ultimately by car (via the M4 or A303). Especially since you can drive around the Gorge and make pit stops where you wish. The only downside of course is that you’ll have to pay for parking.
We ended up parking near the Sainbury’s on Church Street, around a 15-minute walk from the town centre. It’s 0.70 per hour or you can pay a day rate, which I remember being under a fiver.
If you’d like to drive through the gorges by car (which I’ll admit did look pretty cool) you’ll want to park closer to the site. Here’s where to find the best Cheddar Gorge parking for your visit.
How Long Should I Stay in Cheddar Gorge?
Good question! Unless you plan to combine your trip to Cheddar Gorge with some more adventures in Somerset (like Glastonbury or Bath for example), I think you can see all there is to see in a weekend trip.
We went on a Saturday and came back Sunday night, but it felt like plenty of time to me.
How to Book: Cheddar Gorge Tickets
One of the things that confused me most before my Somerset visit was “Do I need tickets to visit Cheddar Gorge?”.
Yes and No. You can easily have a nearly free day (outside of parking and food) if you wish.
But if you’d like to do any of the Cheddar Gorge tours or get full access to all the attractions you’ll need to buy a ticket. An Adult Day ticket is £19.95 and a Child Day Ticket is £14.95.
If you buy them online you may be able to get a 15% discount as well and buy them with Tesco reward points (as of writing).
Attractions included in your ticket:
• Jacob’s Ladder, Lookout Tower and Cliff-top Walk
• Gough’s Cave + audio tour
• Dreamhunters at Cox’s Cave
• Museum of Prehistory
Cheddar Gorge Walks
The best thing to do for any trip to Cheddar Gorge is to take up the Cheddar Gorge walks.
Not only is the scenery beautiful, but it’s a great way to work up your appetite for all the cheddar you’ll be eating later (at least that’s what I did) and do some goat spotting.
Luckily you don’t have to be a pro mountaineer or anything of the sort to take up Cheddar Gorge walks, although they do differ in difficulty. Here’s some of the best walks in the area:
• Jacob’s Ladder Walk
• Cheddar Gorge Clifftop Walk
• Strawberry Line
• Cheddar Reservoir Walk
• Ebbor Gorge Circular Walk
• Crook Peak Walk
• Velvet Bottom Circular Walk
• Glastonbury Tor Walk
P.S – Be sure to check out the Endless Distance’s post on 11 Cheddar Gorge Walks You Need to Try for in-depth walking guides and locations!
P. S. S – Walking is also one of the best things to do in Cheddar Gorge with dogs!
Quick Tips for Your Cheddar Gorge Walk:
Before you embark on any of the Cheddar Gorge walks make sure you bring:
• Offline map
Cheddar Gorge Activities & Attractions:
1. Get Your Workout on at Cheddar Gorge
The best thing to do in Cheddar Gorge ultimately is to walk (that reminds me — bring comfortable shoes!).
There’s tons of Cheddar Gorge walks to get up to on traditional trails and the village itself! The natural beauty, winding road and rugged limestone are enough to capture you for the whole trip. Just be prepared to burn some calories!
2. Have a Scone at the Quirky Lion’s Tea Room
Laurie and I were starving once we finished our Cheddar Gorge walk *cue the Lion’s Tea Room*. Stuffed to the brim with nostalgic knic-knacs, a secret garden and English charm this tea room has been going strong since 1908.
I love the baby blue exteriors and the food was great too! We went for the fruit scones with local clotted cream and jam, with a pot of tea of course. Delicious.
3. Go Cheese Tasting
You didn’t think I forgot about the cheese did you? The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is the only place to buy Cheddar cheese, actually made in Cheddar!
We loved doing a cheese tasting here (it’s free — just ask) and trying more cheesy flavours than I knew existed! The staff is also super knowledgeable and friendly so it was a great thing to do in Cheddar Gorge for the full experience.
If you’re really about that #cheesylife you can take up one of their VIP Cheese Tours (yes, it’s a thing) where you’ll learn how the cheese-making process takes place up close and personal. Plus you’ll get a goody bag to take home!
4. Visit the Museum of Prehistory
I may or may not have forgotten to mention Cheddar Gorge is also a haven for history lovers. If you’re looking for a more cultural thing to do in Cheddar Gorge, look no further than the Museum of Prehistory.
The newly renovated site is dripping in archaeological gems found throughout Cheddar Gorge. Ask about the Cheddar Man Skelton…
P.S – This is one of the many attractions included in the Cheddar Gorge & Cave Explorer Ticket
5. Explore Village Life in Cheddar Gorge
Beyond the Cheddar Gorge walks and cheesy pleasure there’s a whole village to explore here, so make the most of it.
Pop into The Cheddar Gorge Fudge Shop for some sweets, roam through the tearooms and souvenir shops, peek at mini waterfalls at the Lower Gorge and check out the fifteenth century Market Cross in the town square. Oh and for the love of Cornwall please…
6. Dig into a Piping Hot Cornish Pasty
You’ll forget you’re in Somerset when you visit the Holly House. The Cornish pasties are second to none.
I may have had one before my Cheddar Gorge Walk (you know, for fuel)…and another one after (you know, for…more fuel?). And you simply can’t go wrong with a Traditional Steak Pasty, unless you’re veggie…then go for the Cheese and Onion!
7. Wander through Gough’s Cave
Gough’s Cave is easily one of the best things to do in Cheddar Gorge, and for good reason!
As Cheddar Gorge’s largest cave (and oldest…like 500,000 years old) you can explore over 2 miles of rock chambers including the site where Britain’s oldest skeleton was found.
To learn more about the history and geology of the caves I highly suggest the self-guided audio tour that comes with it! Be sure to check out the Cheddar Gorge & Cave Explorer Ticket if you want to explore all the caves during your stay.
8. Jump the Black Cat Free Fall
If you don’t like heights, skip the section. Otherwise, you’ll definitely want to pair jumping the Black Cat Free Fall with your sightseeing.
Nestled in Gough’s Cave you’ll be able to free fall from a 30-foot ladder onto the cave floors (safely, of course!)
9. Go Rock Climbing
Outside of being epically beautiful, Cheddar Gorge also has some of the best rock formations in the UK — perfect for climbing.
If you’re a beginner it’s definitely best to do this with a group (like with Beyonk, it includes Abseiling!) otherwise there’s plenty of room to go at it solo.
Climbing is available on the Northside of the cliffs on the Lion Rock path.
10. Sip Cider at The Cider Barn
You can’t leave Somerset without sipping some cider!
Although it’s a wee bit outside Cheddar village it’s a great place to stop on your way out of Cheddar. The quirky pub hosts some of the juiciest hot cider you’ll ever have. Plus, there’s a jukebox, open mic nights and a Somerset dog all waiting to give you a good time.
P.S – If you want to try Cider closer to the city centre just pop into the Leg Bender Cider Shop (The Cliffs, Cheddar BS27 3QA)
Where to Stay in Cheddar Gorge
Cheddar Gorge is filled with cosy hubs to call home for your visit. You can opt for a homey inn, affordable Airbnb or dip into luxury for the weekend. I’d recommend:
• ££ The Oak House Hotel
• ££ The Bath Arms
Cheddar Gorge Map
Have the best time in Cheddar 🙂 Be sure to send me a DM at @candaceabroad to let me know what you got up to!