6 April 2017

Cheddar from Cheddar - our quick trip to the gorges

We recently had a mini day-trip to Cheddar. I admit, my primary aim was to go to Cheddar and buy cheddar, just so I can later say I've bought cheddar from Cheddar. The fact that Cheddar Gorge area is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty came rather secondary, but it did make our quick family trip pretty stunning.

After badgering my husband on three separate times driving on the M5 to follow the signs to Cheddar we finally did. About half an hour later, we drove around the gorges for a while, before stopping over at one of the parking areas to have our supermarket-bought lunch. Chilly wind and the potential rock falls persuaded us to stick to the warm safety of our car for our snacks, but we did stretch our legs too. Four goats, trotting up and down the steep walls were eyeing us suspiciously and at a distance while we took family pictures.


A family day trip to Cheddar Gorges - tips on what to do

Family picture at Cheddar Gorges

cheddar gorges

dad and daughter watching cheddar gorge

mum, dad and daughter at cheddar gorge are of outstanding natural beauty


Unfortunately the impending three to four hour drive back to London was hanging like a dark cloud above us. Due to a cranky toddler and a long journey back home we did not have time to visit the caves, which I hear are quite spectacular.

Instead, we popped by The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company in town - these guys make their cheese locally and mature them in the caves. In fact, they are the only company that makes cheddar in Cheddar. At the shop the "cheese sommelier" introduced us to all the different varieties at the tasting counter. We particularly enjoyed the Cave Matured Cheddar, Natural Blue Cheddar and Truckle, and their Cheddar with a Good Slosh of Port. We ended up buying a silly amount of cheese, and also some chutney - a Harvest Chutney from Rose Farm, by another small local producer.


Girl on daddy's shoulders at Cheddar town

Cheese counter at Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company shop

an antique cheese press

tasting cheeses at a cheese shop

a canister of somerset scrumpy cider


And while in West Country, who could resist some proper Somerset Scrumpy! As soon as I saw a big canister of scrumpy I knew I had to get it. Presentation so far away from the ever-so-slightly-ponsy artisanal drinks we would usually go for, but yet so tasty. 

I wouldn't mind stopping here again and spending a bit more time. The town was rather touristy, but, the scenery was breath-taking, and cheese mighty tasty.

Top tips for Cheddar Gorges:
  • Buy cheddar! Just so you can say that you have bought cheddar in Cheddar ha ha. We enjoyed The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company who mature their cheeses in the caves, and who are the only company making cheddar in Cheddar. 
  • Reserve enough time. It takes at least 20-30 minutes to get off and then again back on to M5. If you are planning on visiting the caves add several hours more to your trip.
  • Parking in town is difficult. During high season (mid March to end of September) you will need to park in the paid car park area - there really isn't anything else. It is about £5 a day.
  • Parking in the gorges is free - there are parking areas on the side of the road. They are a nice place to stop over, have a packed lunch and watch climbers and mountain goats. You could also hike a bit if you have older kids. 

Have you ever been to Cheddar? And what did you think?





30 comments:

  1. I love cheese (particularly cheddar!) so this seems like a destination that needs to go on my list! #farawayfiles

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    1. You should totally go - in addition to cheese it was really beautiful there!

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  2. Driving through the Cheddar Gorges is such an awesome thing to do. The gorges really are spectacular. You should definitely save the caves for your next visit - they're also stunning and the stalactites and stalagmites are really impressive. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

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    1. They really are... Stunning scenery. I wish we would have had time to see the caves - the pictures do look stunning. Thanks for hosting :)

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  3. Great idea! I will soon join you in completing a Cheddar and Scrumpy expedition. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

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    1. Totally! Doesn't really go together, but perfect enjoyed on separate occasions :D

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  4. I've never been to Cheddar but the gorges make a stunning backdrop to your family photos. I love the sound of all the different types of cheddar you can buy too :-) #countrykids

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    1. The gorges were truly stunning - I don't think you can quite appreciate them from pictures but driving through them was beautiful.

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  5. We went to the caves as children, but haven't done much more. With N I took him to Wookey Hole caves instead. #countrykids

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    1. I think my husband must have visited these caves as a kid, but he probably wouldn't remember much anymore. Wookey Holes - never heard but will have to investigate it if it is feasible for us :)

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  6. My folks stayed near Cheddar Gorge last year but never made it to the caves either - which are supposed to be spectacular. Lovely scenery. #CountryKids

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    1. The pictures they have of the caves do look amazing - all the stalactites and stalagmites look wonderful. Maybe one day.

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  7. Cheddar looks like such an interesting place to visit, there's certainly plenty to see and do there. I bet exploring the gorge is beautiful, the scenery looks amazing, the perfect place to burn off the energy of a long car ride! All those different types of cheese sound incredible, my kids love cheese and would be in their element there!

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

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    1. The scenery was great and you could do quite a lot of hiking there. We saw lots of people walking and hiking up there, lots of outdoor activities for sure! Burning off that cheese ha ha!

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  8. Wow I've not been here for years. I would love to return. Such lovely photos. #countrykids

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    1. Thank you - it was lovely and if it wasn't that far I wouldn't mind popping by again!

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  9. I was just having an argument this week with someone about whether chedder is like champagne - you can't use the name unless it's made in Cheddar. It feels as though it should be true!

    I went to the gorge once as a child and it really stuck in my mind. So much so, that I am faintly annoyed I haven't taken mine there yet. One day!

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    1. You'd think it was that but no! The only protected one is the West Country farmhouse Cheddar, any other cheddar can be made anywhere in the world.

      You should definitely go! It looks like a fab place to take kids, especially slightly older ones.

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  10. I've not been to Cheddar Gorge for many years. I must take my children there one day, especially as they all love cheese! #countrykids

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    1. Well there is plenty of cheese to taste! And outdoors to burn it off :)

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  11. We love cheese in this family and would be in our element. My favourite cheese is crumbly. #CountryKids

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    1. I like all types of cheese! I was quite astounded though how many different cheddar varieties you can have :O

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  12. I have always fancied visiting here! In fact I was nagging Hubby the other day about putting it on our list. I too like the idea of buying Cheddar from Cheddar. Disappointing it's a bit touristy but I suppose that is to be expected #CountryKids

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    1. I know - cheddar from Cheddar... I even mentioned it at work at our team meeting, I was that proud of that pun :D Definitely nag more, it was a great place to see.

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  13. My fave place to go! I saw those cheese at Wookey Hole and I can only imagine how yummy they are! #countrykids

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    1. Wookey Hole has got another mention form another person too - maybe I should go there someday :)

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  14. I love cheddar cheese. This looks like a lovely place to visit. #countrykids

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    1. It was lovely - well worth a visit!

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  15. Ive never been to the caves but cheddar gorge is lovely.

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    1. It definitely is! Next time we will visit the caves :)

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