Cheddar Gorge, Mendips
A walk with stunning views from the top of this iconic gorge. You might even see some of the local goats.
Cliff Street Car Park, BS27 3PS. This is a Pay & Display Car Park with a toilet.
The paths can become very muddy and slippery in heavy rain. We advise good shoes or boots. Some steep hill climbs.
Yes. There are sometimes goats on the path, and livestock in adjacent fields. One crossing of a main road.
The drive from Bristol is approx. 40 mins. If you want to make a day of it, you could cycle here from Bristol along the Strawberry Line. The public transport links between Bristol and Cheddar aren't great.
From Cliff Street Car Park, walk along the road towards the gorge. You'll pass some lovely cheese and cider shops that are worth stopping in your way back to the car.
Eventually you'll see a National Trust info centre on your right. Take the stony track (Cufic Lane) diagonally opposite the NT centre; the gatepost has markings for the Cheddar Gorge walk.
Continue up the track until you reach another signpost and gate on your right. Head through this gate and start up the steep climb through the woods to the top of the gorge. This is the steepest part of the walk and can be very muddy and slippery when wet. Stop halfway up to admire some of the caves on your left.
Go through the gate at the top of the wood and join a wide grassy path leading diagonally upwards (the alternative route joins slightly to the left at this point). Keep the stone wall to your right as you ascend to a small kissing gate.
Go through the gate and along the obvious path along the top of the gorge. This path is very slippery when muddy so take extra care. It gradually descends down some steps to a valley.
At the bottom of the steps, head through the kissing gate in front of you and continue along the wooded path. Eventually you'll come out on a wide track with a farm gate immediately to your right.
Go through the gate and down to the road. Cross carefully at the car park and head up the steep rocky slope on the other side. Follow it up to the top. It's steep but not as long as the first one!
When you reach the top, follow the grassy path to the right (do not follow the West Mendip Way sign that branches off left). You'll eventually come out at the very top of the gorge and be treated to some stunning views across the Mendips. Stay away from the edge of the gorge, it is a sheer drop.
Continue to follow the wide path down again. You'll eventually reach the lookout tower and Jacob's Ladder - a set of concrete steps that take you back down to the road. If these are closed, there is an alternative path to the left of the tower that takes you down to Lynch Lane. As you join Lynch Lane turn right and then at the end right again to walk down the narrow Lippiatt road. This will take you back down onto the main gorge road with the cheese and cider shops. Retrace your steps back to the car park.
More info here.