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Cheddar 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
- 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:
Cheddar Garden Centre – a popular destination for gardeners, with indoor shopping and café
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.
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 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.
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.