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Cheddar Gorge Walks

Our guide to Cheddar Gorge walks offers a wide range of scenic trails, all of which offer unbeatable views and varying levels of difficulty. There are many trails scattered throughout this landmark, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you!

Described as the iconic natural gem of Somerset, Cheddar Gorge certainly lives up to its title! With breath-taking cliffs, enchanting caves and expansive moorland, there’s no better way to experience this landmark than on a hike.

Keep reading to discover 12 amazing Cheddar Gorge Walks…

1. Jacob’s Ladder, Cheddar Gorge

stairs in forest

The Cheddar Gorge Clifftop Walk allows access to the breath-taking trail of Jacob’s Ladder. However, if you want to skip hiking along the clifftop, you can purchase a Cheddar Gorge and Caves ticket to climb the 274 steps!

The hike may be a moderately challenging one, but it’s worth it as the views are astounding! You’ll see this once you’re at the top of the steps and in the lookout tower. Here, you can soak up sweeping vistas of the Mendip Hills, the Cheddar Gorge valley and Somerset Levels.

Once you’ve finished taking in the sights at the top, extend your hike by walking our second route on our guide to Cheddar Gorge walks!

Difficulty: Moderate
Suitable for: Adults and pets
Distance: 4 miles

2. Cheddar Gorge Clifftop Walk

Views from Cheddar Gorge Clifftop

One of the most renowned trails within this list of Cheddar Gorge walks, the Clifftop Walk certainly lives up to its status! This circular walk passes along two gorge ridges to the rugged clifftop. Plenty of dramatic panoramas can be found here!

This Cheddar walk also offers the chance to see a wealth of wildlife, including the iconic Cheddar Gorge goats! After spotting the animals, you can follow the path to another clifftop before taking in those elevated views of the Bristol Channel.

Alternatively, you can venture down another path through the woodland to discover the picturesque village of Cheddar.

Difficulty: Moderate
Suitable for: Adults and families
Distance: 4 miles

3. Cheddar Gorge Circular Walk

Couple walking with dog

If you’re seeking Cheddar Gorge dog-friendly walks, be sure to add this circular route to your list! This Cheddar Gorge walk is littered with breath-taking sights, as we as a number of dog-friendly spots to enjoy!

Beginning at the Cheddar Gorge & Caves car park, you can venture left and uphill through the village to find the waymarked path.

The path will take you through rocky lanes and woodland until you reach the top; take extra care as this part is a little uneven! Once you’re at the summit’s scrubland, you can let your canine companion off their lead and allow them to explore the area.

Head back down to the start of the walk, where you’ll find the dog-friendly eateries of Lion Rock Tea Rooms and The White Hart. Why not reward yourself with a bite to eat at one of these?

Difficulty: Easy-moderate
Suitable for: Adults, families and pets
Distance: 4 miles

4. Historic Cheddar Village Walk

Cheddar Village

This is the perfect trail for those wanting to enjoy an easy, scenic walk whilst unleashing their inner historian. The circular walk will bring you around many of Cheddar village’s iconic landmarks, some of which date back to the Neolithic period.

Over 30 historic sights can be spotted on this Cheddar walk, including St Andrews’ Church. Here, you can spot the church’s farm and vicarage before continuing right to find St Columbanus’ ruins and the high street’s 18th-century architecture.

Make your way along Lower North Street, a former medieval route, where the wonders of the Baptist Church and Norville Lane’s cottages await. Pass through Silver, Cliff and Redcliffe Streets to find ruins and notable buildings before reaching Union Street’s medieval Market Cross.

Extend this short but fascinating hike up to Cheddar Gorge, or simply rest your legs in one of Cheddar’s pubs.

Difficulty: Easy
Suitable for: Adults, families and pets
Distance: 2 miles

5. Strawberry Line

Somerset fields views

Strawberry Line draws its name from the former 19th-century railway line which carried a large number of local strawberries. The railway closed in 1963, leaving behind a long trail flanked by charming farmland.

The walk is a fairly linear one, taking you on a southward hike from Yatton to Cheddar. Care is needed when crossing sections of busy roads at Axbridge and Sandford, otherwise, this is a mostly traffic-free route.

Despite its extensive length, Strawberry Line enjoys a lack of steep gradients and provides plenty of seating. So you can bring the whole family along for a picturesque walk with views of cider apple orchards and Cheddar Gorge!

Difficulty: Easy
Suitable for: Adults and families
Distance: 10.7 miles

6. Middledown

views of glastonbury tor

Middledown is a moderate, circular walk that takes you uphill, through the nature reserves and farmland of eastern Cheddar. The trail is open all year round and offers a variety of terrain, from heathland to forested paths.

This hike begins at Cheddar’s centre and takes you across the River Yeo, then uphill along a public bridleway. You’ll be able to enjoy views of Cheddar Valley before veering right, past Mascall’s Wood Nature Reserve.

At the end of the woods, you’ll find livestock fields and meadows before entering the Bubwith Acres Nature Reserve. Bear right and uphill to uncover the highlight of this trail: panoramas of Glastonbury Tor!

Difficulty: Moderate
Suitable for: Adults and families
Distance: 4.2 miles

7. Cheddar Reservoir Loop

Cheddar Reservoir

This loop enjoys scenic views around Cheddar Reservoir and can be accessed by Axbridge or Cheddar. The reservoir is not only a popular fishing lake but makes for a great dog-walking spot!

A picnic area can be found on the route, where you can relax with your canine companion or try your hand at birdwatching. The array of birds includes American wigeons, green-winged teals and Kentish plover. Bring those binoculars!

You’ll come across sheep on the route during summer, so ensure your furry friend is kept on their lead.

Difficulty: Easy
Suitable for: Adults, families and pets
Distance: 4.7 miles

8. Black Rock Nature Walk

roe deer buck

This Cheddar Gorge walk is a relatively easy one, featuring gradual uphill and downhill stretches with superb views. The Black Rock Nature Walk features a Somerset Wildlife Trust nature reserve of the same name, offering 183 acres of forestry and pasture to explore.

Due to the focal point of the walk being nature reserves, there is plenty of wildlife to uncover! If you decide to visit early in the day, you’ll be able to spot peregrine falcons and the adorable roe deer.

The walk begins at the northern end of Cheddar Gorge, following grassy and stone tracks southward through the nature reserve. Be sure to follow the path’s left turn, then continue through Long Wood Nature Reserve.

At this point, you can embark on one of two separate walks through the woods. Alternatively, progress to the valley floor and bear left back to the start, passing an idyllic stream on the way.

Difficulty: Easy
Suitable for: Adults, families and pets
Distance: 3 miles

9. West Mendip Way from Wells

Adults walking uphill countryside

This trail is ideal for experienced walkers who want to spend the day hiking through Cheddar Valley’s scenery. Despite its length, the West Mendip Way from Wells enjoys many facilities on-route, along with access to buses and car parks.

The Cheddar Gorge walk begins at Wells’ Vicars Cross, where you can follow a waymarked path past lime kilns and into Wookey Hole. Pass through the village along to Elm Batch bungalow, where the Ebbor Gorge’s ascent begins. It’s tough but worth the effort, as the gorgeous Mendip Plateau lies at the top!

Venture downhill along another marked trail through Priddy village in the direction of Cheddar. Here, views of Cheddar Valley can be enjoyed before entering Draycott Sleights Nature Reserve.

Follow the reserve’s path to Cheddar, where the sights of Carscliff Farm and an ancient village’s remains await.

Difficulty: Hard
Suitable for: Adults
Distance: 12.2 miles

10. Cufic Lane Loop

Cheddar Gorge Waterfall

Cufic Lane Loop is the easiest trail in this collection of Cheddar Gorge walks, offering wonderful views of the Somerset Levels. The path takes you on an uphill hike to Cheddar Waterfall, which is accompanied by a restaurant and Cheddar Crazy Golf!

After admiring the cascade, you can enjoy a downhill hike towards Cheddar with views of the neighbouring reservoir. Aside from the waterfall, you can admire the sights of Cheddar Valley, such as Brent Knoll and Pavey’s tower.

The trail starts and finishes at the Riverside Inn & Restaurant; here, you can savour a post-walk pint!

Difficulty: Easy
Suitable for: Adults, families and pets
Distance: 1.5 miles

11. Velvet Bottom Circular

person walking near bluebells

The Velvet Bottom Circular takes you through its namesake, the Velvet Bottom Nature Reserve. It’s an easy-going hike, offering families and dog-walkers sweeping views of the dry limestone valley.

The trail can be reached via Black Rock Nature Reserve along a dry river valley. Once you’ve entered the 42-acre hiking area you’ll find grassland and small forested areas; beware of sheep during summer!

The walk weaves through Longwood, an area that is especially scenic during springtime. You can spot the blossoming bluebells here before wandering into the historic town of Axbridge for any post-hike refreshments.

Difficulty: Easy
Suitable for: Adults, families and pets
Distance: 3 miles

12. River Yeo Loop

Couple walking by a river

The River Yeo Loop is a moderate hike starting and finishing at Cheddar’s central pub, The Bath Arms. This tranquil route takes you from the market cross towards Wells and out of Cheddar along the river.

The hike features sections of the Strawberry Line, as well as paths over historic bridges, including Hythe Bow Bridge.

Watch out for nettles after crossing Hythe Bow, then walk across the road to uncover several fields offering riverside paths. Don’t cross the next bridge, but continue towards Crook Peak and Cheddar Gorge before heading back towards Cheddar village.

Binoculars are a must for this Cheddar Gorge walk due to the wealth of animals wandering about nearby, including dragonflies and water birds. As well as animals, you’re bound to spot plenty of wildflowers here – especially during the spring.

Difficulty: Moderate
Suitable for: Adults and pets
Distance: 5 miles

Ready to strap on those hiking boots? Be sure to browse this selection of Cheddar holiday cottages to secure a base for your walking break! If you want to uncover more of the UK’s gorgeous trails, then take a look at our walking holidays guide.

Image Credits: Tanya DedyukhinaCC BY 3.0; RodwCC BY-SA 3.0; Lewis ClarkeCC BY-SA 2.0; Mr Eugene BirchallCC BY-SA 2.0

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