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School Holiday Deals - Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge - A good day out, and you can see Cheddar Gorge for free

Cheddar Gorge in Somerset - good views, and a visit to the Gorge is free

Cheddar Gorge
Cheddar Gorge

Rock formations in the caves at Cheddar Gorge
Rock formations in the caves at Cheddar Gorge

Tower at top of Cheddar Gorge
Tower at top of Cheddar Gorge

We had a family holiday in Somerset not so long a go, and would like to share a couple of money saving ideas with you! We climbed Glastonbury Tor, which was fantastic. We also spent the day at Cheddar Gorge. There's several attractions which make up Cheddar Gorge: there's the gorge itself, caves, and a tour bus. Some of this is you need to pay for, but some of it - and they don't really publicize this - is free.

We purchased a family ticket to the whole experience, which would give us a go on the tour bus, a look down the caves, and a walk round the gorge. The family ticket was about £50 - not cheap, but the going rate for a family of four to get into a family attraction in the UK. Also, the parking cost £5 for the day.

The start...

Cheddar Gorge is all set on one road, which is highly geared to the tourist! You can park anywhere along this road - but that does cost. So, first off is the parking. If you can get to Cheddar Gorge early (we arrived at 10am), you can park all day for £5. Knowing what we do now, I would have parked round the corner in the town, and walked a couple of hundred meters to the main gorge.

We then paid our £50, and got on the open top bus. This tour was OK - but you can quite happily drive through Cheddar Gorge and see the gorge from ground level. The bus dropped us off at the caves, and we went off for an explore (all part of the £50 fee). The caves are very attractive, and well worth a wander round - and if your main purpose of the visit to Cheddar Gorge is to go down the caves, you'll have to stump up the entrance fee.

The caves take about an hour to walk round; and after the caves we wanted to walk around the top of the gorge itself (which is accessed by "Jacob's Ladder"). What they don't tell you is that you can quite happily walk around the gorge, and up Jacob's Ladder without a ticket to the "Cheddar Gorge Experience". The walk around Cheddar Gorge is about 3 miles in length, and takes around 2 hours. It's a circular walk, so you end up pretty much where you started off.

I'm not saying don't pay the money and enjoy the full Cheddar Gorge experience, because the caves are a sight to behold - what I am saying though, is make sure you know what you're paying for. If you want to walk around Cheddar Gorge and see the sights, this can be done without paying the entrance price.

Where we stayed

You might be interested in the lodges we stayed in (you may not, but just in case you are...); we took our holiday at Spindlewood Lodges in Somerset, which is a lovely quiet lodge park - and gives you views of Glastonbury Tor! There's plenty of accommodation around this part of the world. You can find loads of cottages near Cheddar Gorge.


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