The Great Outdoors
Cheddar Gorge & Caves
If you need something to do while you’re visiting Bridgwater, Cheddar Gorge and Caves are a great day out. Explore one of Britain’s most spectacular natural landmarks on your doorstep today. Not only is it a beautiful landmark but it is also Britain’s highest, inland limestone cliffs rising up to 450ft. You can explore the depths of stunning stalactite caverns below that were created by Ice Age melting waters over millions of years. Whether you are interested in nature, history, geology, or just want to see some breath-taking views; you’ll find it all Cheddar Gorge & Caves.
This world-famous area is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. You can see an array of flora and fauna including the Cheddar pink and early purple orchids, the rare Twin Cliffs, Gough’s Rock and Cheddar whitebeam. As well as a variety of wildlife from insects such as violet oil beetles and green orb-weaver spiders. You can also see different bird varieties woodland birds like the great spotted woodpecker and tree creepers.
Cheddar Gorge and Caves is home to Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton and is estimated to be over 9,000 years old, not only this but the caves also hold a lot of history. Not only does the Gorge and Caves hold a lot of history but they also are home to lots of fun activities from the Black Cat Free Fall to Rock Climbing.
If history isn’t your cup of tea then stop in one of the many quaint tearooms or pubs in the town and try some of the cheese which is matured in the caves.
Brent Knoll is a 137 (450 ft) metre-high hill on the Somerset Levels, in Somerset, England. It is located roughly between Weston-super-Mare and Bridgwater and is just a stone’s throw from the Bristol Channel coast at Burnham-on-Sea. The hills size and isolated position on the levels means that it dominates its surroundings and can be seen from miles away, and its stature is even more emphasised to travellers as many travel ways pass it. Like, the M5, A38 and Bristol to Taunton railway line, which all pass within a mile or less from its base.
Before the Somerset Levels were drained, Brent Knoll was an island and was known as the Mount of Frogs, which provided a safe haven from the water and marshes. The Knoll dates back to the Jurassic times, over 300 million years ago when dinosaurs, primitive mammals and strange birds roamed the area. A shallow sea washed around its slopes thus giving it its other name of “Frog Island”. Brent Knoll’s extensive history is bookmarked throughout the village so you can learn more about the village’s history whilst enjoying a great day out.
Millions of years on a lot of amazing wildlife can still be spotted whilst walking up the Knoll, like two varieties of Woodpeckers, Jays, Kestrels and Sparrowhawks are extremely common in this area. You may also see Foxes, Rabbits and more common garden birds darting through the wildflowers of the hill, so be sure to bring your camera to capture the natural beauty of Brent Knoll.
This is a walk along country footpaths that ends up being extremely steep at the top, to a point where steps are included. This walk is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but if you make the effort to hike up to the top the views from the top are spectacular. With views of the Polden Hills to the south, Glastonbury Tor to the east, the Mendip Hills and Cheddar Gorge to the northeast, the Bristol Channel and Wales to the west and the Quantock Hills to the south-west.
At the base of the hill lies two villages, East Brent and Brent Knoll, which have a range of pubs where you can have a bite to eat after you’ve walked up the hill.
So visit Brent Knoll today, and enjoy the stunning Somerset countryside.
Glastonbury Tor is an iconic and evocative landmark offering magnificent 360-degree views of the Somerset Levels, Dorset, Wales and Wiltshire. The Tor is in Glastonbury, Somerset, and sits 518 feet above the surrounding flat land, making for a great hike.
The conical hill of clay and Blue Lias rises from the Somerset levels and was formed when surrounding softer areas were eroded, leaving the hard cap of sandstone exposed. The slopes of the hill are terraced, but the method of how they were formed remains unexplained to this day. Brimming with history the Tor has had many artefacts from human visitation that have been found, dating back from the Iron Age to Roman Eras.
Not only this but the excavations at the top of the Tor have revealed the plans of two superimposed churches of St Michael, of which only a 15th-century tower now remains. The rest of the church was destroyed in an earthquake back in the 14th-century leaving the tower to stand alone. Though now only a tower, there are carvings that survive to give some idea of how it was decorated. One of the carvings is of St Bridget milking a cow.
Glastonbury Tor is known as being one of the most spiritual sites in the country. Its pagan beliefs are still very much celebrated. As well as being an extremely spiritual site, the Tor also has been a site of religious significance for over 1000 years.
Aswell as a wealth of history, Glastonbury Tor also has an array of wildlife that roams the surrounding areas, from Badgers, Foxes and Rabbits to the Large Blue Butterfly which is very rare and is a special butterfly species. You may also see Green Woodpeckers, Swallows and Kestrels at the end of summer. A sight not to be missed so, make sure that you bring your camera and binoculars.
To find out more about the history of the Tor visit Glastonbury today, and try some of the cider and apple juice with apples harvested from the surrounding orchards.