Cheddar Gorge Walk

Today I went to Cheddar Gorge, which is another famous Westcountry landmark. I parked part way down the Gorge and looked for the National Trust marker for the Gorge walk. I talked to some very helpful chaps who were working there and they gave me some good tips for a nice cafe in the village. They also suggested that I walk up to the top and down into the valley on one side and back up to the top and down to the starting point on the other side, as walking back up the road would not be quite the same.

Sounded like a great idea as I was setting off!

I walked 720 feet/ 255 metres, almost straight right up to the top of the gorge. I was getting some serious complaints from my calves as they were really not ready for that onslaught! The views from the top were spectacular and I took loads of photos.

Cheddar Gorge from the Top

Cheddar Gorge from the Top

I went as close to the edge as I dared to go before the little voice kicked in to tell me to step back a bit, as it was a bit windy up there.

It was only when I was on the other side looking across at the sheer cliffs could I really appreciate why my little voice was shouting loudly at me! Perhaps it was a bit of a drop!

Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge

I walked down one side of the gorge and came to the lookout tower and Jacob’s Ladder, which is 274 steps that leads directly down into the valley.

There were a group of people there who were fundraising for the Ghurka Trust and to be able to help the area of Nepal, where the Ghurkas come from, which has been affected by the recent Earthquake. The aim was to go up and down these 274 steps at least 20 times, which would be the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. I went down the steps once and put some money in the bucket as my contribution!

After a yummy ice-cream break, I wandered up the valley to find the path to take me back up the other side of the Gorge. I stopped at the Lion’s Head Tea Room, which is aptly named as it sits right in front of a rock formation that is very sphinx-like in appearance.

Lion's Head Rock Cheddar Gorge Valley

Lion’s Head Rock Cheddar Gorge Valley

I enjoyed a gorgeous pot of fresh loose tea, in a bone china tea pot and served on bone china crockery, and a large slice of aptly named “Rock Cake “ with butter. I have not had rock cakes in years. My Nan always used to make them with raspberry jam in them. I really like them because they are not as solid as a scone and not as fluffy as sponge cake. They really are somewhere in between.

Tea Time at the Lion's Head Tea Rooms

Tea Time at the Lion’s Head Tea Rooms

Once I was suitably refreshed, I found the path, which led straight right up the side of the gorge, through the woodlands to the top. Yes, over 700 feet/255m from bottom to top! I had brought my walking poles with me today, as I thought they would help with the steep ascent and descent, but actually they were more of a hinderence than a help because I could not get my feet in sync with poles. I also found that I was not really swinging my arm with my garmin activity tracker on it, so I don’t think it registered all the steps and the miles that I did.

The path on this side of the gorge is a lot further away from the edge than it is on the other side. On this side it is well fenced and walled, whereas the other side, that I walked down, does not really have anything in way of boundaries.

My legs were seriously aching by the time I got back to the car, but I felt seriously proud of myself that I had completed it. I went back to the hotel for a shower and a rest. When Greg came back, we then went for dinner and for another walk because he had not been able to get out at lunchtime, so he had not done any steps.

In total, I walked 11 miles today and I was very glad to fall into my bed and go to sleep!

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