Welcome back to the destination of the week, each week we will highlight a popular destination and give you all the information and first-hand recommendations you need to have an amazing holiday there.
This week you told us that the next destination should be Cheddar. Don't forget to join in on our Instagram polls @tysontrails to let us know which places you would like to see next!
If you follow us on socials you would have seen our recent weekend in Somerset where we stayed and explored the beautiful village of Cheddar. Staycations are a great way to get out of the everyday and travel at the moment, England offers so many sights and amazing landscapes.
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Best time to visit Cheddar
Weather in the UK is never predictable, summer and spring would be the preferable time to visit Cheddar Gorge for the best chance of sun and no rain. However, I would still be tempted to pack a lightweight jacket as you cant guarantee no rain. Winter and Autumn would still be great times to visit but just be prepared with waterproofs and wellies.
What to pack
This will depend on your plans, there is so much exploring to do from beaches where if you have great weather you could take swimwear to taking a hike where you will need some sturdy shoes. Dress as you would anywhere else in the UK and as you will more than likely be driving there's no luggage restrictions.
Things to see and do
Cheddar Gorge Walks
There are lots of walks to do around the gorge varying from easy strolls to longer more advanced hikes, we did 2 walks on our weekend. The first was a quick walk through the nature reserve, we parked on Abley Warren Drive where there is a couple of parking spots, If you put Abley Warren into the maps it will take you to that area. This was a simple walk along a gravel path, each side had fields and beautiful hills and is home to a flock of very curious sheep.
The second walk we did was a little more advanced but even Roman managed it so it is still a very easy one. We started by parking at Black Rock, there are only a few spaces here we arrived at about 9 am and easily parked but by the time we got back it was packed so get there early for a free parking spot. Opposite the main entrance, you will see a very steep looking path of rocks, this is the start of the path. We walked up to the top and along the top of the gorge to see the incredible views over Cheddar and then walked back down the way we came, you can do this as a loop if you have more time.
This is a village just outside of Cheddar and is more of an attraction with lots to do for younger kids. Its most popular attraction is the limestone caves but you will also find mini-golf, a fairy garden, an animated dinosaur valley and museums. Tickets cost £16.50 for an adult and £13.50 for children over 3 (under are free) so not the cheapest but a great day out if you have little ones in tow.
We stumbled across Glastonbury Tor and we are really glad we did, around a 20-minute drive from Cheddar you can either park in the town and do the circular walk from the abbey or we decided to park on a road called Ashwell Lane and walk up the public footpath to start the walk. It is an easy walk on grass and then steps, our only battle was the wind! The views at the top were amazing and the tower itself is a national trust site and has lots of mystery and legends surrounding it.
Brean beach is another day out, just a 25-minute drive from Cheddar. Parking is easy, it is either along the front or literally on the beach, we opted for beach parking as we had never driven on the beach before. All-day parking costs £5 in any of the car parks, there is also a national trust car park which is free to members right at the end of the road. The beach itself is a really long stretch of sand, we arrived when the tide was right out and to get to the sea would have taken forever! We walked along the rocks and watched people rock climbing, if you are still feeling active you could also walk the brean down which takes you along the top of the cliffs. A small shop with toilets offers foods and drinks and a resident ice cream van was a great treat after our walk.
Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company
Any trip to Cheddar wouldn't be complete without a visit to the village and in particular to the Cheddar Cheese shop. They offer a really wide variety of cheddars and lots of different flavours that are all available to taste test first. All the cheeses are matured in their natural cheddar caves to give them a special flavour. Tours are also available if you would like to learn how they make the cheese.
Where to eat
La Rocca Restaurant
Right in the centre of Cheddar, they are open for brunch, lunch and dinner and serve up a great cup of coffee. A wonderful Italian restaurant with beautiful views down the picturesque village, there isn't a bad thing to say about this place it is a must-visit.
Lion Rock Tea Rooms
If you are looking for something lighter or sweeter then this is a great stop, again right in the heart of Cheddar. They do a great afternoon tea and some delicious cakes with indoor seating inside the cute little tea room with quirky decor and outdoor seating in the secret garden that gets great sun.
If you have a sweet tooth like us then you will love this little find, they sell amazing cupcakes in so many flavours that you couldn't even imagine up half of them. The best part for us was they had a great selection of gluten-free options for Roy and not just the normal chocolate that he normally ends up with; nothing against chocolate - I love chocolate but that's all he normally ends up with whilst we get caramels and fruity flavours, however, he ended up having a black forest gateau as well as a coffee and caramel one.
How to get around
Being a staycation you would probably have a car with you which is the best way to get around, there will be buses to get you from village to village however if you are looking to explore some of the places we have mentioned you would need to drive.
Where to stay
We booked to stay in Cheddar Woods Resort and Spa and we booked through the hoseasons brand. The accommodation was great, we stayed in a 3 bedroom lodge that was dog friendly as we were taking our dog with us. Each lodge had a wrap-around veranda with seating, modern interiors with everything you would need for the weekend - dishwasher tablets, cleaning tools, toiletries and tea/coffee/hot chocolates. We were very impressed with everything there, it was peaceful and we were set right next to woodland. The resort itself offered a swimming pool, spa, gym, farm shop and restaurant all on site.