This is the second part out of three of My Glastonbury Adventure. My Glastonbury Adventure Day 2 involves me and Dave going to see (and thoroughly explore) the Cheddar Caves and Gorge.
If you missed Day 1, just click here to go back!
Cheddar Gorge Or The Wookey Hole?
We got up early for breakfast, as we wanted to make sure we made the most of wherever we choose to go that day. The breakfast here was so good! They had fresh fruit, not the tinned rubbish like most English B&Bs I’ve stayed in (I hate tinned fruit, it’s too syrupy). And then a decent full English breakfast – a great way to start a busy day!
So the choice was now upon us. After looking at the leaflets provided by the B&B, we came to the conclusion that the Wookey looked a bit too ‘kiddy’ so we went for the Cheddar Gorge.
A Cave Of Cheese And Legend
Arriving at the tiny village of Cheddar we soon discovered that parking was going to be fun. It was only about 9.30am when we arrived and the carpark was pretty full. Not only that, it was on a steep slope and very skinny… To make things even easier, people seemed especially determined to get in my way, walking behind me as I was reversing, standing in an empty parking space. You name it, they did it.
Finally parked up and ready to go, we headed to the ticket booth and purchased entry to the caves. You got the caves, museums, bus tour and look out all for one price. We got our audio guides for the first cave ‘Gough’s Cave’ and headed in.
The audio guide was actually pretty good. It tells you of the discovery of the caves, on the adult version. We had plenty of time so listened to the kids version too, which was disappointing. The kids version completely contradicted the adult version, which I think is silly. Alright, I get the kids one needs to be more interesting with fun stories, and that’s what I was hoping for, fun stories, but it just completely contradicted. Not good for making a talking point between adults and kids, just disagreements.
The audio guide had a ‘main’ part and extra bits. So you could just listen to the bare bones of the discovery etc. Or get a lot more information, depending on how much time you had. Although it was generally good, I noticed a couple of misinformation when it told us about the bats in the caves. It said that they used sonar, which is actually only possible underwater, in the air it is echolocation. This is one of my pet peeves when people are trying to learn something, it’s like getting venom and poison mixed up. It annoys me. The guide also said that the bats become ‘cold-blooded’. Not a great term and one that scientifically is avoided, and how ‘cold-blooded’ are we talking anyway?
Ok, had my little rant, on to the good parts! There was a prehistoric mammoth drawing, which was pretty awesome. You had to turn a light on to see it. There were also coins in the ceiling, which were placed there by explorers, as an early warning signal. If the coins fell the roof was unstable, so it was time to get out!
Walking through the caves you came to the magical place where Cheddar is matured. Real Cheddar only comes from this cave.
There were also interesting shapes, such as an elephant,, a witch and a black cat. Obviously the kids audio was a little more interesting here! Personally though, I didn’t think the witch looked like a witch. But the black cat was easy to distinguish.
Towards the end of the caves there was a pool. If you looked at the reflection you could see the village of Cheddar, supposedly! The audio guide did get a little repetitive towards the end, but it was mostly good and informative.
Museums And Another Cave
After leaving Gough’s Cave we crossed the road and heading into the museum. This was quite interesting. Although I did get a little confused with the use of the term ‘B.P.’ instead of ‘B.C.” but luckily this was explained. ‘B.P. stands for ‘Before Present’, makes sense right?
Remains of a human male were found in Gough’s Cave, and they have been given the name ‘Cheddar Man’. In the museum there were a number of theories as to who he was and why and how his remains came to be in the cave. There was also quite an interesting bit on cannibals, which possibly went into a little too much detail!
Leaving the small museum we crossed the road again to enter Cox’s Cave. The first part we entered I thought was the best cave so far, it was all pretty and red. I thought it was much more impressive than Gough’s Cave. However it soon turned into the ‘Crystal Quest’ which was for the kids really. It was a little too much really. Although there were some live actors, one of which had great fun making me jump! In hindsight I loved this cave, it was amazing fun, but at the time i thought it was a bit much…
A Nice Big Walk
Leaving Cox’s Cave we were right next to the climb to the Lookout. And it was a BIG climb. Along the way were information boards, that went through the natural history of the area as you climbed, which was interesting. Finally reaching the top and we were rewarded with some pretty amazing views of Cheddar.
From the Lookout, the Gorge Walk started. This turned out to be quite a bit longer than we’d anticipated, but well worth it for the views! There were some random goats too, so that made me happy!
As we were admiring a view, I decided that I really wanted to get to the other side of the valley and see where we were now. After checking the map we realised that that was exactly where the walk took us, yay! Not long after the rain began, and as we went back down into the valley and back up the other side there was lots of slipping and sliding! I lost count of how many times I had to grab a tree to stop myself falling!
We managed to finish the walk in relative safety. No major injuries, just a few bumps and scrapes! As we crossed the river we noticed it looked very high!
A Spot Of Shopping
We heading to the bus tour that was included in the ticket, only to find out that it had been cancelled due to the rain! There’s always something we manage to miss out on! So instead we went into the local shops. Here we had a taste of Cheddar from the caves and I will admit I could taste the difference! The Cheddar here tasted saltier than others I’ve had. So we bought some to take home and of course we couldn’t leave the area without buying some Scrumpy! Although I was a little disappointed that we had no way of storing cider flavoured ice cream…
As we were missing out on the bus tour and were pretty soaking wet, we found a little cafe to warm up in. Here I had a much needed hot chocolate and an amazing walnut and salted caramel cake.
As we were walking back up to the carpark we noticed a huge mural along a wall. This was done by local school children and was actually really good. Different year groups did different bits.
On the return to the B&B we freshened up and took the short walk (about 20 minutes) into Glastonbury to find some dinner. After a bit of wandering we settled on the ‘George and Pilgrim’. I hadn’t liked the look of it from the outside due to a sign offering pensioner deals (quite often a sign of bad pub food) although the building itself was beautiful. Luckily I was wrong about this pub.
I ordered the Somerset Pork and a local cider. The food was so much better than I’d expected. I’d happily go back there again. After eating we decided to have another drink, so I went to the bar where I discovered there was a mead list! Not just one type of mead (which is rare enough) but an entire list! As if it was wine! Wow! I was possibly a little over excited at this discovery and got myself a ‘Dragon’s Breath’ mead.
After the mead we decided it was time to move on and see what other pubs had to offer. Unfortunately, I can not remember the name of the next pub, but it was kind of across the road on a corner. After buying our drinks we discovered a skittles lane. The room with the skittles had some awesome paintings on the wall too. I have no idea how long we stayed here, but we discovered that although I’ve never played skittle before I’m much better than Dave!
A few ciders and plenty of skittles rounds later we headed out again. After a bit of time wandering around we ended up back in the George and Pilgrim. It was time for more mead… Although at this point we discovered that it wasn’t actually local, but from Lancashire… Oh well, at least it tasted good!
We sat in a little booth that had a Round Table poster. Which, of course, I read. I love Arthurian Legends, so it distracted me for a while! It didn’t take long though, until we were talking to the locals. We had some very bizarre conversations with one! And this is where we stayed until going back to the B&B for sleep!
Want the last part of the adventure? The next day we went to Glastonbury Abbey before heading off home. Just click here to get to the last part!
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