Cheddar Gorge & Caves
Cheddar Caves, sister attraction to Longleat Safari & Adventure Park, sits within Cheddar Gorge, the biggest and most dramatic gorge in Britain with cliffs rising to 450ft and reaching over 3 miles in length.
Created by successive Ice Age meltwaters, the gorge was first occupied by our ancestors, Homo Britannicus, 40,000 years ago.
Today, it is one of the UK’s most famous beauty spots with two beautiful stalactite caverns and is a centre for caving and rock climbing. It is classified as one of England’s National Nature Reserves and is a premier site of British prehistory.
Britain's oldest complete skeleton was discovered here in 1903, having been buried below ground for 9,000 years. Older remains, dating back over 14,700 years, have also been found.
Cheddar Gorge appeared on a television programme Seven Natural Wonders where it was named as the second greatest natural wonder in Britain.
A Visit to Cheddar Gorge…
No visit to the South West of England would be complete without a visit to Cheddar Gorge …
This cave, named after mill owner George Cox, was discovered in 1837 whilst quarrying limestone. He opened it as a show cave shortly afterwards. The 5th Marquess of Bath, Thomas Thynne, took it over in 1930.
One of the cave’s most beautiful areas is the Rainbow Room where trace elements of minerals have turned the limestone into a spectrum of colours from orange to green and black to pure white.
Discovered in 1890 by Richard Cox Gough, Gough’s Cave reaches over 1km in length, over 90 metres in depth and contains a variety of large chambers and rock formations.
The first 400m are open as a show cave containing the most spectacular limestone formations and caverns. Other areas of the cave can be discovered through Rocksport Adventure Caving.
Amazing mirrored reflections through water give both the Swiss Village and Aladdin’s Cave stunning views of the stalactites above in the watery pools below.
Beyond the Caves…
Museum of Prehistory… enter the world of our ancestors and found out about everything from our migration out of Africa to 9,000 year old Cheddar Man – Britain’s oldest skeleton. You can see demonstrations of Stone Age survival skills, there’s cave painting for children and the museum reveals shocking evidence of cannibalism. Parental guidance is recommended.
The Lookout Tower… climb the 274 steps to reach the top of the cliffs and, from The Lookout Tower, you can see how Cheddar Gorge was carved out of the Mendip Hills by Ice Age meltwaters.
Cliff-top Gorge Walk… a 2-hour, 3-mile circular footpath takes you round this National Nature Reserve of species-rich limestone grassland, with rare breed British primitive goats, peregrine falcons and views that will take your breath away.
Gorge Tour Bus… board the Gorge Tour Bus at Lakeside for an open-top tour into Horseshoe Bend which sits beneath the 450ft high Pinnacles. Discover the landmarks of the Gorge before being dropped off at Gough’s Cave. Running daily from April to September and at weekends in March and October.
RockSport Adventure Activities…
Adventure Caving… It’s hard! It’s dirty! It’s fun! Daily – all year round. A real caving expedition deep inside the Mendip Hills, with climbs, crawls and squeezes – you’ll go from zero to hero. Suitable for beginners.
Rock Climbing… Take it to the edge! Daily from April to September (unless it’s raining)! Start with an easy climb and see how you quickly progress on our 50ft cliff face in this mecca for British climbers. Suitable for beginners.
Full details on Cheddar Gorge can be found at www.cheddargorge.co.uk
Visit Longleat Safari & Adventure Park and Cheddar Gorge. Two incredible fun-packed days out cost less with our brand new Combo Ticket.