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Hiking around Cheddar

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Mention Cheddar to anyone and the first thing that will spring to mind is cheese, as this much-loved staple of Britain’s diet is synonymous with the Somerset village. The site of some of the most sensational walks around Cheddar is probably the next thing they will think of – the incredible Cheddar Gorge.

This spectacular fissure through the limestone of the Mendip Hills is one of the most stunning landscapes in the UK. From awe-inspiring cliff top routes to rambles amongst the wildlife and subterranean wonders found beneath the crags, Cheddar Gorge is an unforgettable adventure.

There’s plenty more to experience on your hikes around Cheddar. The steep slopes, windswept plateau and rocky outcrops of the Mendip Hills reward with magnificent views of the Somerset Levels and the Bristol Channel, whilst the hiking highlights of Somerset are all within reaching distance. You’ll easily rack up the miles around Cheddar.

Easy
01:59
3.86 mi
Easy
01:49
3.49 mi
Intermediate
04:31
9.70 mi
Intermediate
03:33
7.38 mi
Intermediate
04:34
9.06 mi
Easy
01:20
2.42 mi
Difficult
05:26
11.9 mi
Intermediate
02:09
4.89 mi
Easy
01:01
2.49 mi
Intermediate
03:42
7.94 mi
Easy
01:40
3.18 mi
Intermediate
04:54
11.0 mi
Intermediate
03:18
6.92 mi
Easy
01:16
2.88 mi
Difficult
06:41
14.3 mi
Intermediate
04:32
9.94 mi
Intermediate
02:16
4.95 mi
Intermediate
02:20
5.67 mi
Easy
01:58
3.90 mi
Easy
01:21
3.06 mi

Top 20 best walks and hikes around Cheddar

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Experience Cheddar Gorge

Many of the best hiking trails around Cheddar explore the gorge that is almost as famous as the town’s cheese. Historically, the conditions within the caves here were ideal for maturing the product, so the cheese owes a debt to this incredible landscape. Today, you can marvel at these caverns, the weathered crags and limestone pinnacles up close.

Teeming with flowers and wildlife, the botanist in you will want to spot the Cheddar Pink, a delicate flower that blooms in late spring. Greater horseshoe bats and great crested newts also inhabit the gorge, so there’s plenty to keep your eyes peeled for. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead.

To appreciate the scale of Cheddar Gorge, you will want to get up onto the cliff tops. After all, this is the largest gorge in the UK at three miles (five km) long and 400 feet (122 m) deep. Views from the top are extensive, with the lush water meadows of the Somerset Levels to the south and the Mendip Hills stretching away to the east.

Exploring the Mendip Hills

There’s more than one gorge worth exploring on your hikes around Cheddar. The limestone splendour of the Mendip Hills promises days of invigorating hiking with big vistas and gentle gradients. By the charming village of Wookey Hole is Ebbor Gorge, boasting dramatic cliffs, limestone scree slopes and superb woodland trails.

The vast tracts of the Mendips place you amongst some astounding natural sights. Exmoor ponies roam the high heathland, whilst buzzards, kestrels and peregrines can sometimes be sighted circling the skies above the rocky outcrops at Draycott Sleighs. An adventure across the craggy south-facing scarp here rewards you with fantastic views to distant Glastonbury Tor.

All Somerset for adventure

Your walks around Cheddar can take you west to the splendid Somerset coast, or north to the lakes of the Chew Valley – a haven for birdlife. South are the water meadows of the Somerset Levels and atmospheric Glastonbury Tor, often evocatively suspended above a layer of mist created by the damp ground that surrounds it. Using Cheddar as a base means that there are almost endless adventures at your fingertips.

Cheddar's best walks and hikes on the map

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