Cheddar Gorge in Somerset

Where are the Cheddar Gorge caves?

Cheddar Gorge is a large limestone gorge over 3km long, it is located in the middle of the Mendip hills near Cheddar village, the same as well known cheese.

The gorge was created by the ice that melted in the summer during the ice ages gradually eroded the limestone rock and thus formed a gorge and many caves inside the rock also thanks to some underground rivers such as the Cheddar Yeo and the Ax River .

The maximum depth of the gorge is 137m, with an almost vertical rock face to the south, and steep grassy slopes to the north. At the bottom of the gorge there is a road, but it is always at risk of flooding following rains, which can block the road even for days. The geological composition is very interesting and varied and there are also fossils.

Inside one of the caves of the Cheddar Gorge a skeleton, probably 9000 years old, called “Cheddar Man” was found in 1903 and the Cheddar Gorge has revealed other times archaeological finds from the pre-Neolithic era and here we are talking about practically 12,000 Years ago. These prehistoric men lived in caves.

cheddargorgeToday the gorge and caves of Cheddar Gorge, as well as being a tourist site of exceptional beauty, is home to a nature reserve and an international center for mountaineering and caving.

Half of the gorge belongs to the Marquise of Bath while the other half at National Trust. The gorge and caves attract over half a million visitors a year.

Caves have also been used in literature, in fact JRR Tolkien he used them as inspiration for the “Glittering Caves in the White Mountains of Rohan” that we find in his book “The Two Towers” ​​and have been used to film various dramas and adventure films.

If you want to visit the caves, wear a warm jacket, it is very cold inside.

There are several caves, but among the most famous are the Gough’s Caves which you can visit for a fee, or find the Wookey Caves which were inhabited by humans during the Iron Age. These caves have been formed by the erosion of the River Ax which runs deep under the rocks.

The famous witch of Wookey it is a stalagmite, which over the millennia has formed into a human-like shape and can be seen by those who visit the cave.

An interesting feature of the caves is that due to their constant temperature they were used to mature Cheddar cheese. In addition to the geological and historical interest, the caves also have entertainment for families and therefore you can safely take children there.

How to get to Cheddar Gorge Cave?

To get there you will first need to travel to Bristol or Weston Super Mare and take the  126 bus  which runs every hour (every two on Sundays).

The visit to the gorge is not a day trip from London but it is located in an area, not far from Bristol, full of attractions. Beginning with the entire Mendip area, the Wells CathedralWeston Super Mare, GlastonburyThe Clevedon Pier, Bath or on the opposite side the Exmoor National Park.

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