Cheddar is unique as it has Britain’s largest Gorge, a true natural spectacle. With peregrine falcons nesting on the cliff face and feral Soay sheep grazing on the lesser slopes. The Gorge was named one of Britain’s Seven Natural Wonders in a recent vote by Radio Times readers. Cheddar is also home to Gough’s Cave, an internationally famous archaeological site, which lies in an area of outstanding beauty. The Gorge also has a multitude of visitor centres and other tourist attractions, themed around cheese making, sweet making, crazy golf and adventure caving and more. As well as a variety of shops such as the gorge outdoors.
Wells is England’s smallest city and it is said to be its most unspoiled one. It is set in an area of outstanding beauty, with rolling countryside. The Medieval cathedral and busy market town with its quaint streets and market square makes Wells well worth a visit. As do its many shops, restaurant and pubs.
Weston-super-Mare is a great seaside resort with all the traditional seaside attractions, including the famous donkeys! Whilst not forgetting the world famous pier that has been rebuilt since the fire in summer 2008.
Weston Bay has miles of clean sandy beach, and a level sea front boasting superb views out over the Channel. Weston beach also has designated areas for wind and water sports, and there are boat trips around the Bay and further afield.
Weston’s other main attractions include the SeaQuarium. The impressive big wheel and the world’s largest dedicated Helicopter Museum. There is a wide variety of entertainment on at the Playhouse Theatre and the Winter Gardens to suit all ages.
Wookey Hole, just a few miles East of Cheddar, is another famous cave which is worth a visit. With its legendary witch, Wookey Hole is truly a spooky place. Above ground, there is a fairground museum and a number of other attractions to see. Nearby, is the tranquil Ebor Gorge, an area of special scientific interest.
The Somerset Levels and Mendip Hills. The centre of Somerset is truly blessed with an incredible landscape. The Levels are billiard table flat and below sea level and the rugged Mendip Hills tower over them. Both are wonderful terrain for walks, bike rides and leisurely drives. The Levels may be flat, but they are far from boring, with local industries like elver fishing and willow growing taking place along the network of tiny drove roads. Naturalists will spot a wealth of wildlife and rare flora in the area. The Mendip Hills are an area of outstanding national beauty. They are a sparsely-populated area with dry-stone walled fields and a number of great traditional pubs. Come here for walking or – if more adventurous – caving, climbing and absailing!
Glastonbury, with its famous ruined abbey and iconic Tor hill, is a short journey to the South-East of Cheddar. The town, said to be Avalon, the final resting place of the legendary King Arthur, is an intriguing mix of historic market town and New Age bazaar.
The Somerset Coast and the resorts of Weston-super-Mare, Burnham-on-Sea, Brean Down and Clevedon are just a short drive away. The miles of sand have made this coastline a popular visiting spot since the last century. Today, it still has a very traditional British seaside character, but it is not hard to find quiet and tranquil corners in which to enjoy the sea air. A longer journey down the coast takes you to the small but picturesque port of Minehead, famous for its steam railway.
Bath is a true gem of a city that richly deserves its status as a World Heritage Site. Built mainly from a golden sandstone, explore its wonderfully-preserved Roman baths, Georgian stone crescents, historic Abbey and hot springs. The city also boasts a wide variety of museums and attractions as well as a unique shopping experience with small independent shops, stylish boutiques and familiar big name stores.
Bristol is a short drive to the North, and it is a handsome city with all the facilities you’d expect of a regional capital. For many years it was Britain’s pre-eminent port, and many of Bristol’s attractions take a nautical theme, such as the superbly-restored SS Great Britain, the zenith of mid-Victorian maritime engineering. Visit the waterfront with its many restaurants, bars, galleries and museums – or visit the boutiques of trendy Clifton, not forgetting to walk over the famous Suspension Bridge. Visitors in July and August must not miss the Harbourside Festival and International Balloon Fiesta.
Longleat, the stately home of the Marquis of Bath, needs little introduction. Tucked just over the Wiltshire border, its as famous for its lions and other exotic beasts as it is for its rich history and beautiful setting. A wealth of things to do make Longleat a must-do family day outing.
Other things to do…
If you love to shop, this is the place for you! Visit Clarks Village in Street, just a short journey from Cheddar, for a huge range of retailers offering up to 60% off high street prices. In Bristol, pay a visit to the newly-opened Cabots Circus shopping area, where high fashion stores blend with the more familiar. On the outskirts of the city, Cribbs Causeway is one of the UK’s most popular “super malls”.
Visit in November to experience Somerset’s carnival season. Words can’t do justice to these events, as the small towns of the area take it in turns to have their streets packed with dozens of floats and hundreds of performers. The effort lavished on the floats, most decorated with tens of thousands of light bulbs, is truly staggering. The carnivals attract tourists from all over the world and raise money for numerous charities.
For all you golf enthusiasts there is The Isle of Wedmore golf clubonly a few miles away, or slightly further afield there are the popular Burnham & Berrow golf club, Wells golf club or Weston Super Mare golf club.