5. From Bath: Private Wells and Cheddar Gorge Trip with Pickup
The drive into Somerset from Bath will sweep you through the picturesque scenery of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
In Wells, enjoy a private walking tour of the historic centre. The city, which can be traced back to Roman times, takes its name from the freshwater springs which continue to well up in the gardens of the moated Bishop’s residence. This magnificent early English Gothic Style Cathedral has been described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals” and is famous for its scissor arches, clock, stunning chapter house and stained-glass windows.
Adjoining the Cathedral is Vicars’ Close, a charming cluster of houses frozen in time from the 14th C and believed to be the oldest residential street left in England.
The mediaeval palace has been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for more than 800 years. Walk over the beautiful moat and drawbridge, where you might catch the resident swans ringing a bell for lunch as they have done for generations.
After lunch the tour will continue towards Cheddar Gorge, which is one of England’s most iconic and spectacular landscapes that boasts the highest inland limestone cliffs in the UK.
As far back as the late Middle Ages, local cheese makers used caves in the towering cliffs of Cheddar Gorge as natural refrigerators. Visit the only cheese maker left in the village and discover how their award-winning cheeses are still made in the traditional way. Savour a selection of authentic cheddar cheese, as it should taste.
Stroll through the 17th C. village of Cheddar with its gift shops full of local goods and produce. Maybe indulge in a delicious cream tea, or a pint of local cider. The water mills and cottages have long since been converted into enticing shops and quaint tea rooms.
Stunning panoramic views await you from the top of the gorge cliffs, where you can appreciate some of the local flora and fauna if you choose to walk up the path. This 20/25 minute uphill hike is only suitable for those with moderate fitness and sturdy footwear must be worn. It’s well worth the effort and it isn’t a race!