Places to visit

cheddar_village_brown_sign_250Cheddar is often used as an overnight stop by people on their way to a holiday in Cornwall and Devon, but the whole Somerset area is a great holiday destination in its own right and too often overlooked when zipping through on the M5. For most people in the UK, driving all the way down to Devon and Cornwall resorts takes two or three hours longer each way than visiting Somerset.

In Cheddar itself:

The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company 01934 742810.
Visit the dairy to see how Cheddar Cheese is made the traditional way, plus try and buy different varieties from the shop. The Cheese Company has been featured in TV programmes “Jedward’s Big Adventure” and “Rory Bremner’s Great British Views”.


  • Cheddar Crazy Golf – a challenging 18 hole course
  • See sweets being made at the Cheddar Sweet Kitchen
  • A wide variety of gift shops, coffee shops, tea rooms and streets of country cottages extending from the lower gorge down to the historic Market Cross
  • Many Cheddar Walking local walk starting points
  • Cheddar Arts and Cinema – Cheddar’s cinema closed in 1958, our nearest mainstream cinema is the Wells Film Centre which shows all the latest circuit films. Cheddar Arts also shows occasional films and there is a community cinema, The Roxy, in Axbridge.

Just outside the village towards Wells:


On the north side of the village:

Cheddar Gorge and Caves 01934 742343.
Gough’s Cave, Cox’s Cave (Dreamhunters), Escape Rooms, “Beyond The View” audio-visual show, Jacob’s Ladder, the Clifftop Walk, and the “Cheddar Man” museum. Everything on the right (south side) as you walk up the Gorge is part of the Longleat Estate, as are the Gorge car parks, the derelict Cox’s Mill, the museum building, and the shops around the crazy golf in Queens Row. The land in the gorge on the north side is owned by the National Trust.

Cheddar Village web site wishes to emphasise that visiting Cheddar Gorge is free of charge, it’s just a regular public road, but through a spectacular natural feature. There is no toll or ticket required to use the road. The high top of the Gorge is also accessible by public or permissive footpaths on both sides. If you use the gravel parking in the Upper Gorge (east of The Pinnacles) then parking is also free. You only need to pay if you want to park in the “marked out” parking spaces nearer the Caves or in the village, and you also have to pay on entry to visit the Caves and associated tourist attractions (your local supermarket and other voucher providers may offer discounts for the caves). Entry to the Cheese Company shop is also free, but there is a small charge to watch the cheese-making process.

Local shops

Did you know that Cheddar has more shops and cafes other than the ones in the lower Gorge? Leaving the car park by the Riverside Inn, turn LEFT (south) and walk for about five minutes, follow the main road round a bend to the right and you will see the Market Cross ahead, plus many other businesses, supermarket, pharmacy, banks etc.

PARKING in or near Gorge/Caves

Parking in Cheddar is operated either by Sedgemoor District council or by Cheddar Gorge and Caves (Longleat). The main car parks are shown on the map. The Longleat-owned ones in the lower Gorge area are metered, and intended for day visitors, but the upper Gorge spaces are not meter-controlled. Most main streets in the village are yellow-lined (double yellow in many cases), enforced by Somerset County Council wardens, with fines of £50 or more for illegal parking on yellow lines or in loading bays. Parking for pre-booked coaches is near the entrance to the caves.

View Cheddar – car parking in a larger map
PARKING in the village
There is a cheaper short-stay council car park in the village centre (Church Street) and if you don’t mind a walk, some side streets away from the main centres are free of yellow lines. Some local properties also let out private parking spaces on the Just Park site for advance booking, so worth checking on there. Cheddar has fewer on-street parking restrictions in the winter season 1 Oct – 19 Mar. If you see parking issues that need the attention of a warden, you can report them to

View Cheddar – car parking in a larger map

Parking charges: Click here for council-owned parking charges – mobile phone payment options are available. Longleat-owned parking spaces are currently one price £5 all day in peak seasons (£3 after 3pm) – more details here.

If you would like to make your views known about parking costs, please contact the Caves & Gorge or Sedgemoor DC directly.

If you are visiting Cheddar for up to 4 hours to go shopping or walking and not intending to go to the caves, your best bet may be to use the Church Street car park. Many shops in the village will refund at least some of your parking fee from that car park if you shop with them (including Sainsbury’s). There are places to eat or get a coffee, in the village centre. If you just want to see the Gorge and not the showcaves, consider parking at Black Rock.

To the west:

The historic town of Axbridge lies a couple of miles to the west, dating back to the 1200s. The medieval market square, the timbered King John’s Hunting Lodge, and its narrow streets are worthy of a visit. Between Cheddar and Axbridge lies the two-mile-circumferenced Cheddar Reservoir which is a popular destination for watersports fans, birdwatchers, walkers and cyclists. Cyclists can also begin the Strawberry Line cycle ride in Cheddar heading north west towards the main line at Yatton.

Around Cheddar

You can also use Cheddar as a base for touring the local area. Here are six ideas for great days out, offering something for everyone for a week’s holiday – and this excludes a day spent in Cheddar!

Other places of interest nearby include:

Banwell Caves and Tower | Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm | Puxton Park | Court Farm Country Park | Tyntesfield House and Gardens | Ebbor Gorge | Burcott Mill | Ashton Windmill